Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The Waves of Grief

Recently it has been easy to occasionally think I am going crazy. Deep down, I know I am not, I have been through a traumatic event and I am grieving. However, when you become a different version of yourself to the one that you are used to, then you start to question everything.

I was told by a counsellor, that I saw a year or so ago now, that I am normal. It's a nice thing to hear really...there aren't many times in life where we get analysed and classified as normal. I always told my mum that I was the normal one in the family!

I learnt that the ways in which I am feeling and coping so far, are healthy and positive.
Now despite this being reassuring to know, it obviously doesn't make the process any easier.

I heard a description recently which really resonated with me and perfectly visualised, for me, how grief feels which I wanted to share with you.

Imagine you are paddling in a little rowing boat in the ocean on a lovely sunny day. Suddenly a storm hits out of the blue, and your boat starts to get thrown around from side to side. You feel frightened, anxious and un-stable. The storm passes, however it has left very strong waves behind. You have moments of clear calm water, followed by aggressive waves. Your little world is quite literally rocked. As time passes you can start to adjust, but your boat has been damaged. A small hole in the hull is now there, not large enough to drown you but it is noticeable.
However now, even the smallest other boat that crosses you, causes a flood of water to pour in, adding pressure and weight. The hole can be patched up, but it will never be as strong.

This, for me, is a simple way of describing how it feels. Grief has surprised me in how random and irregular it is. Some days, like the calm water, you can feel almost like nothing has happened and genuinely feel positive and happy. Then all of a sudden, the strangest thing will trigger you to fall back into a dark place, where everything is overwhelming and painful. I wish there was a pattern, to feel prepared for the latter...but there is not.
All we can do is know that things will improve and we will reach the happier days again soon.

If you, like me, are going through this horrible journey, or know someone who is, then hopefully this can be of some help to you. Having one good day, unfortunately doesn't mean that the next day will be too. Accepting this, and embracing each day as it comes, is the only way. Let yourself feel each emotion and then be prepared for anything.

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