Friday, August 13, 2010
Well it's been quite a ride this week! Monday went well but Tuesday was completely stressful. See, there was this grief support group that met Tuesday night that I had been debating on going to. When Tuesday arrived I decided I'd go. It was the same recovery group that I attended over a year ago and I thought, no harm in trying it again, maybe this time I'll connect with some people. It seemed I really benefited from the first time I attended and thought, well here's a chance to connect with some people who've gone through similar tragedy and maybe I can even help them since it seems I've done so well with MY recovery.
The more I thought about it, the more I debated. I started off the day confident in my decision, then it started to dwindle, especially after I searched my house for the book that I needed to bring for the class. No luck, couldn't find it. ARG! "Oh well, I could still go and just find the book before the next class," I thought. I also was seeing this as a good opportunity to move forward in getting the "help" my sister has encouraged me to get. I felt pretty proud actually!
My anxiety started to rise through out the day, something just wasn't settling well with me. Was this class really what I needed? Am I really going to benefit from something that I've already learned? Is there something else that I could do that would be more beneficial? I was torn. It wasn't until about 15 minutes before class time and even driving half way there before I decided that I wasn't going to go. I finally decided that yes, I would benefit from going but I'd benefit MORE if I worked with new strategies and techniques, not one's I'd already learned. My car veered towards the library and I checked out some interesting self help books that I'm excited to read. I AM going to get the help, but I'm going to do it for ME and the way I feel is going to be the best.
This decision was also made after I was doing some research on the net. What I found was this. "As long as your grief is moving, changing and "fluid", it is okay. As long as your emotions are constantly changing, and you're exhausted at the end of the day, you're on track."
"It's only when grief stagnates, traps you in an unchanging phase or cycle, that grief has gone wrong. You will probably need a therapist for chronic grief that is excessive and prevents you from functioning, and fails to resolve. You will feel "unfinished", and know that you need help to complete your grief." - www.recover-from-grief.com
I felt good in my decision but boy did I stress myself out emotionally. Before I had come to this conclusion of not going I had completely broken down, crying harder than I have in months. I felt I was finally doing something to make my family happy and felt excited about this at first. The emotional turmoil that followed showed me that I was conflicted and that this was not something I was doing for me, it was something I was doing for HER, (my sister). My sense of relaxation and contentment after I decided not to go told me that I was doing the right thing. I'm the ONLY one who knows what's BEST for ME. In the end, that's all that matters!!
Whew, glad I could get that off my chest. I know some of you have wondered what is going on in this little head of mine, ha ha...
So I've saved the best for last to see if you guys were paying any attention, LOL, jk ;) I've found a great support system...someone who I can talk to about ANYTHING, and we've totally bonded the last couple of weeks. His name is Ray and he has gone through a similar loss and we relate on so many levels. He is trying to do everything he can to help, even if it is just a shoulder to cry on. I'm finding much comfort through him and I'm excited to see where this goes. We enjoyed an AMAZINGLY romantic night last night. Ray surprised me with an air mattress set up with candles surrounding it right there on my back patio. We gazed up at the meteor shower and enjoyed each others company. It was amazing!!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The following is a poem by Linda Ellis © 1998. Consider the implications for your own life's choices
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth...
And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own; the cars .... the house... the cash.
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard ... are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left. (You could be at "dash mid-range")
If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real,
And always try to understand the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more,
And love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile...
Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy's being read with your life's actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spend your dash??
Chris just loved this poem. He was anxious to share it with me and his mother the day he discovered it. He thought it was "so cool" and made sure to make copies for us. We read it at his burial and also put it on the pamphlets from the funeral. (Actually the pastor read it and I read another poem written by Chris himself. How I had the strength to do this is beyond me!) Just remember that tomorrow is never promised. Live for today, live it to the fullest, and be thankful for all of the blessings in your life. Smile more than needed, laugh like you've never laughed before, and ALWAYS...dance like no one's watching!
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the present. That’s why they call it a gift.”
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Well I've had a lot of things on my mind and so I'm going to try to get them out and into writing. I apologize in advance for any rambling or for jumping from topic to topic. Just consider this as a sort of brain storm on ideas that I'm working on and wheels that I'm setting into motion.
First of all I've been considering seeing a therapist again. There has been some concern expressed that I'm not handling things as I should. I've been told I need to go to rehab or even anger management classes. I will tell you that I don't completely disagree, but I don't think I have an anger problem or a substance abuse problem. I think there are underlying reasons to my issues and addressing those will be the first step.
I've always had a temper, that's just the red head in me! These concerns came about after a night of drinking and a loss of temper. This is not me! This is not the person I am nor the person I want to be. I think this one isolated occasion does not call for a trip to rehab or to an anger management facility. I don't depend on alcohol and can go weeks or even months without it. I don't have a criminal history nor have any of my friends ever seen me get angry. I just truly don't believe I have a problem and don't feel the need to rehabilitate. This is where my sister and I disagree. She has said that she will not mend any fences or even see or talk to me until I "get help" and go to rehab. Wth?!!
I want so much to find family peace but don't think I need to spend all this money or time investing in help I don't really need. But I need to do something, right?? Well this is why I think I'll go find a therapist first. I'll tell him that there has been some concern expressed and that I want a professional opinion on it. I think he'll agree with me but may dig deeper. Yes I drink on occasion which is fine but when I do drink I go overboard and boy do I really put them back. Is it that I'm burying my emotions? Am I drinking so heavily to hide the depressed and introverted Leslie? To act like nothing is wrong and that I enjoy socializing and flirting? Yes. This is where the problem lies....
I've been to counselors before and they told me I was doing all of the right things and was handling everything in a healthy and "normal" manner. I've been to an 8 week grief support group and walked away with tools and techniques on becoming a happy and functional griever. This class also recommended that if need be, go through the exercises again and start anew. Maybe this is what I'll do. It's just so completely hard to go to a therapist, pour out my emotions for an hour and at the end, at that very minute when the hour is up, I'm expected to carry on and go back to my day, which is really hard when you've just conjured up some serious emotions. A friend used the term "mind-rape" one time when she went to a counselor, lol...and it totally fits the bill! You share your pain and memories you wish you could erase to a complete stranger, only to get shooed out the door the second the timer rings. To bring myself to that level of emotion, that low...and then go back and function in society like nothings wrong, well that's a roller coaster that I don't want to ride!
So much on my mind, just have to figure out what I'm going to do. I think I do need to go to a therapist and get their opinion, it's just the mind-raping that I'm not looking forward to! Any suggestions or concerns please feel free to comment!
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