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From the Depths of a Slump

Monday, November 12, 2012

As you know, life has its ups and downs.

The past month for me has been a series of mostly downs, unfortunately.

Those who read/have read my blogs regularly know that I am overall a pretty positive, upbeat person who tends to take change pretty well by comparison to most. I’m a go-go-go girl, and like to charge forward into the horizon with a can-do attitude and gutsy leap into the unknown.

Sometimes, though, I get knocked flat down. And then I just lay there for a while, feeling hurt, sad, mad, frustrated, and sorry for myself.

I started October in my usual manner – go-go-go get ‘em – with the sight for a wild ride of three workshops plus one cooking class to come! I set a goal to prioritize my yoga practice, and stay on-top of my to-do list at home and with work. It was looking all well and good until a phone call on Thursday morning, the 11th of October literally knocked me flat.

I was in yoga practice, and had missed about 8 calls from my mother. I had forgotten my phone at home (truthfully – I am thankful for that), so I didn’t see all the missed calls until I was safe at home, alone. I immediately called her, and was shocked to hear that my Grandma Joan had unexpectedly passed away in her sleep. They found her dead in bed that morning when she didn’t come for breakfast. I collapsed in sobs on the floor of my office, feeling the walls around me crumbling as I tried to process this new reality.

She was gone. Just… gone.

I’ve faced a chain of losses in the past three years of my life, and unfortunately, I see more coming in the not-so-distant future. It seems we each come to a few points in life like this, where we face the deaths of so many of our elder loved ones, be they four-legged or two. In 2008 I lost my Grandpa Abe; in May 2009 I lost my Grandpa Bill, followed by my childhood chocolate lab (my 12 year-old “sister”) before my birthday in July, and then my Grandpa YZ in November 2009. I lost my 18 year-old childhood cat in 2010, and then my other childhood dog Maggie, a 12 year-old golden retriever, in 2011. Despite experiencing these grievances, none have compared to the hole I feel in my life at the loss of my Grandma Joan. We were very close, and she always spoiled me, from when I was a baby to just last month. I loved her very very deeply, and made a point to go for lunch and treats with her often, have her for dinner, and stop by to bring her cookies when I was out and about.

I share all of this today for a few reasons. First, it is therapeutic for me to express my loss through written word, and second, to illustrate that no matter where we are in life, health, or happiness, there are twists in the road that will inevitably send you into a slump.

Since 10-11-12, I haven’t really been “myself.” I’m trying to get back into what is a “new normal” for me, but have been struggling to hoist myself from the ditch of grief. I’ve noticed that old crutches and behaviors have resurfaced (particularly emotional eating, and too much sugar), and I’ve felt extra lethargic and tired, like I can sleep forever. I haven’t been as motivated in my yoga practice or workouts, and find myself lacking the drive to DO, like I normally have.

Even those of us who seem to have the “health thing” down pat still fall into slumps.

But the important thing for me is that I recognize this past month as just that – a temporary slump – not a tailspin into an old way of life. I’ve needed the time to turn inward, experience my pain and struggles, and just exist in it for a bit. I know the process isn’t complete yet, and will I will always have a spot in my heart for my Grandma, but I’m opening up to the change life brought, however untimely it may have been.

This month, as we head into some of the craziest weeks of the year with the holidays and financial stress they bring, I will continue to take small steps toward reclaiming the me and life that I love and deserve. I can’t change the past. I can’t erase the weeks of pain and emotional eating. What I can do is to understand that like all things, this too shall pass.

Each day we are granted with a new opportunity to create a life and body that we love and cherish. Each day I wake to open my eyes yet again, I must give thanks for the blessing of breath, and possibility.

If you are in slump like I am, do not fret. It is normal, and part of the journey of life. Even if your slump has been a month, a year, or maybe 10 years, today is a new day. What will you make of it, and how can you learn from the depths of the slump you’ve experienced?

My Grandma and me, after a vocal performance last year at the orpheum theater. She was my biggest fan and supporter!


*Dedicated in loving memory of Grandma Joan Larson, March 19, 1930 – October 11, 2012 ~ May she live forever on in the lives of the remarkable children and grandchildren she raised.*
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am now just reading about your grandmother. I am so very sorry for your loss, but remember that she is now with our Lord. Take comfort in that, my friend because she will always be with you!!!! God will get you through this. Your grandmother is now your guardian angel!!!!!
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    1782 days ago
  • KARENE10
    So sorry to hear of the loss of your Grandma Joan. You two look beautiful in the picture.
    1930 days ago
    How are you doing? It is rather strange going thru the process of grieving and processing the loss of our loved ones. My mother passed away this past Sept and I am still processing and dealing with the grief... we are never prepared to say goodbye or to think the person who has been such a big part of your life is gone.

    I would imagine you are busy, focusing on coaching others in your business and still taking care of you... and imagining your Grandma is in spirit cheering you on. We must still LIVE life to the fullest... even though part of our heart aches for our dear ones.

    I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for inspiring me, to move it and reach my goals of fitness and health. It is definitely IS work, and we MUST do it for ourselves and so we can be a blessing to others.

    Thank you for showing us what is possible. I have 40 lbs to lose. I need to break it down into step by step goals so I dont get overwhelmed.

    Have an awesome day.... YOU ROCK!! emoticon emoticon
    1939 days ago
    I am just reading this now, and am so sorry to hear about your loss. Unfortunately, as you get older, it does happen a lot more. But you have a geat attitude...someday her memory will bring more smiles than tears.
    1952 days ago
    hi witney love,sorry i am so late getting round to this but a lot on really sorry to here about your grandma ,i know exactly how you nana was my life she helped bring us up after my mom died and i always turned to her for advice but if it helps you my nana is still there for me each and every day,she still helps me make my discions.i always ask myself when i am uncertain about something what would nana say,then it helps me to make my dicsion.her words comfort me when i need them and think of them.your grandma will always be with you if you keep her memory alive.she will live in you and your children,what you tell them about the way you look like your grandma in the face.treasure the memories and the times you have together and remember one day you will meet again inshallah emoticon
    1972 days ago
    I am sorry for your loss. It is especially hard at Xmas time. She would be proud of all you are doing to make others healthier and happier!
    1982 days ago
    Sadly, it seems as if many of us have been through trying times like this. A few years back we had a series of deaths in my family but what made them even more devastating is that everyone was fairly young. It started with my dad(58) then my sister in law(22) and after that was my brother(34). It was ALOT to handle and on top of that I was learning to be a mom to two small kids.

    If I am being honest. I still get in funks from time to time when I think about losing them so closely together. It really is overwhelming and sometimes we just have to do what we can to live our everyday lives, apart from being the picture of health.

    I hope you continue to heal more and more each day.
    2005 days ago
    This is just what I needed to read tonight. My dad (47) unexpectedly passed away in April and I have just been in such a slump. My whole world has been turned upside down. I am ready to get back on track, but plan to pace myself so that I don't burn out and spiral down even more. Thanks for the encouragement!
    2005 days ago
  • HARLOW10
    I am sorry for your loss. I know what you are going through. In 2003-2004, I lost about 8 people, one of which was like a grandfather to me, one a beloved great-aunt, and the worst of all: my mother to cancer. I know where you are at right now, and I know that you'll get through this.
    2014 days ago
  • AKA639
    I am so sorry for your loss. May you carry all of the love and memories of your Grandma with you.

    I'm in a slump as well, and thank you for the perspective.

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    2016 days ago
    Oh sweetie. I am so sorry for all of the sadness and loss. My condolences.

    2016 days ago
    Your beautiful and heartfelt words make me think of my own Grandmother, gone nearly 20 years but never farther away than my heart.

    I wish you a lifetime of memories of her held strong in your own heart.
    2017 days ago
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Your blog brought me to tears as I thought about my own sweet grandma (the only one of my grandparents that is alive). Thank you for sharing and may she rest in peace. emoticon
    2018 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. You are so lucky to have had such a wonderful relationship with such a special woman. I hope the memories that you have are a comfort to you at this time.
    2019 days ago
    emoticon Sending heart healing vibes your way.
    2019 days ago
  • MAEST35
    For Grandma Joan. I cannot understand how you feel, but I am certain you are comforted by the good times you shared together. I've suffered my own deep personal losses, and I am aware of just how "off" they can make you feel. Congrats for allowing yourself the time and space to reflect and the spirit to purposefully move forward in the wake of this loss.

    I have followed you for over two years now, and you still are an inspiration to me. I feel 1000% (yes, a thousand) percent confident that you will be back on track in no time. I will use this as inspiration to help me do the same.

    With great love from one Sparker to another. Sending you positive energy in the universe, darling. :)
    2019 days ago
    My Grandma passed away on Saturday night 11-10. We are so much alike.
    2019 days ago
    May your Granmda Joan rest in peace. I love the picture of the two of you together, the love and bond you shared is obvious...I'm sure you will cherish it always.

    Take your time to grieve as you need comes in all forms and at all times, even when we think we've gotten past it. Keep in mind there are grief support groups available if you need them...even online to help you grieve in private if group settings are not your thing.

    Thank you for sharing this with us; as always you are so endearing, inspiring and encouraging.

    2019 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Grandma. The death of someone close to us is the hardest thing to deal with in life. Dealing with financial stress and divorce is a drop in the bucket compared to someone not being on earth with us anymore. When my dad passed 3 years ago I thought my life had ended. How can someone so young be taken from me? But knowing he is in a better place has given me peace and that one day I will be with him in our eternal life. I hope you find peace soon.
    2019 days ago
    I'm so sorry for your loss. This blog was beautiful and brought me to tears. Thank you for being encouraging, inspiring, and please know what a wonderful person you are!!!
    2019 days ago
  • SKILL133
    So sorry for your loss. I love the pic of you and your grandma and reading this blog brought tears to my eyes. I can relate on so many levels and this was a fantastic read for me from a slump perspective. Thanks for sharing!
    2019 days ago
    So sorry for your loss. Take the time you need to heal and focus on the memories.
    2019 days ago
    My heart is with you. I'm so sorry for your loss.
    2019 days ago
  • LTRUM71
    I am so sorry for your loss! What wonderful memories you have of your grandmother. I hope that you find peace soon.
    2019 days ago
    A lovely heartfelt blog that will touch a lot of people, sorry for your loss she sounded a lovely lady.
    Anne emoticon
    2019 days ago
    You have not lost her...she is in the depth of you where she now belongs. HOld long and strong because when you need her most, she WILL be but a breath away from your side. Take care and blessings while you understand her new position and strength in your life.Do avoid the emotional eating and add more prayers and meditation!!! ((((((hugs)))))))
    2019 days ago
    So sorry for the loss of your wonderful Grandma Joan. May your heart heal in time and may you come out of the slump better and stronger than ever.
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    2019 days ago
    I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your grandma. You have many special memories to cherish. She would want you to continue to be healthy and happy, I have no doubt. Hugs.
    2019 days ago
    2019 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/12/2012 8:44:58 PM
    Very sorry to see you lost such a special lady. Keep working on coming out of your slump but it is good that you didn't deny the pain and grief. It's very important for each of us to process our losses in our own ways.
    2020 days ago
    You are in my prayers as you continue your process of saying good-bye to your dear and lovely Grandma Joan. (you can just see her loveliness radiating right out of that photo of the 2 of you! - and you inherited it from her, for sure)
    Thanks you for sharing the ups and downs and words of encouragement.
    It is clear you will live your life in a way that will continue her wonderful legacy, and have her smiling down on you from heaven!
    God bless you and your family at this time of sadness, as you all adjust the your 'new normal'.
    emoticon emoticon

    2020 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/12/2012 4:24:13 PM
    I am so sorry for your loss, I too was devastated when I lost my granny. Still miss her dearly and this was 15 years ago.

    Thanks for sharing this blog, it was just what I needed to hear today! Also recovering from a little slump and today was also my first day to kicking it to the curb!


    2020 days ago
    Your Grandma Joan was beautiful, may she rest in peace. And I hope you find strength in her memory and that the pain subsides with time. My deepest sympathies to you during this difficult time.
    2020 days ago
    So sorry to hear of your loss. You have special memories of a very important woman. You look beautiful together. I am sorry you lost someone so dear. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs.
    2020 days ago
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