Tuesday, 13 November 2018

World Kindness Day...My Experience On Why Self Care Is So Important During Grief

Self care is absolutely vital in life generally, but when you are grieving I can't stress enough how important it is.
I really do believe that I suffered with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after my mum died, and think that it does still rear it's ugly head from time to time.
It is sometimes easy to think that you are just going crazy, but watching someone that you love die is extremely distressing, heartbreaking and stressful. So no wonder that our minds struggle to cope for a while. I don't think that this is helped by the way that the media depicts death, and what we have grown up to watch in films, which sadly just isn't the way that things end in real life, but that is a whole other issue to speak about another day.

I have always been very laid back and calm, but having gone through losing my mum I definitely became more anxious. I worry a lot nowadays, and it is generally about other people I love getting ill, or my dogs. It makes me frightened that I don't have the one person who is meant to protect you the most in my life anymore. I feel vulnerable without her.

There was a day, around 2 months after, that I had decided to try and go back into working. (I must add here that I am freelance, so was very lucky to be able to be flexible around when I wanted to return to my work as a hair and makeup artist.)
I had booked to do a test shoot; which is a creative photoshoot in which you collaborate with other freelancers to build new images for your portfolio.
It was in London and I thought that this would be a great fun and relaxed way to ease myself back in.

I remember standing on the rush hour train into London Bridge, squashed into a corner as it was so busy, and feeling so tiny and vulnerable. None of these business men and women knew how bruised emotionally and mentally I was, and none of them cared for me. They were happy to push past and nudge me with no care at all. You really have no idea what anyone is going through.
The world carrying on around you when yours has fallen, is very very odd.

I started to feel hot... extremely hot, and also quite sick. I felt myself panicking, but tried to stay calm and just take my winter coat off to cool down.

I had one arm out, and then the next thing I remember is being woken up on the floor by a man, and a crowd of voices asking if I was ok.

Mortified. I was mortified.

I was offered peoples seats, but decided to do the very British thing of saying I was fine, silly me, and I would just stay on the floor.

I had fainted a couple of times before when my mum was very ill and she had woken me up in the night, but at least I was in the safety of my home then.

I never made it to my photoshoot as I still felt extremely dizzy when we arrived to London Bridge and the idea of trying to carry on and carrying my heavy kit around the underground just was not a good one.

I think that I wanted to share this little story to remind anyone facing grief, that even though you haven't been physically injured, you really do still need to take things easy and listen to your body.
Grief can be debilitating and cause actual physical symptoms, or affect your mind in a way that you do become anxious or have panic attacks.
These often will ease with time, but it is important to know that this is normal and not to worry.
Just as you may have looked after your loved one who was ill, you now must look after yourself.

I thought that as today is World Kindness Day, this would be the perfect day to remind you to be kind to yourself too.


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