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Friday, January 30, 2015

When you're not coping with the loss of a loved one

I talked to a friend the other day who's been through some pretty tragic losses one right after the other.

Their life is almost on hold because of these losses, as if what was lost no longer validated what still is.

I was without words.  I got it.

That was me not too long ago.

My brother has been gone 7 years 5 months and 2 days at this writing.  Suicide.  I remember it as if it were yesterday.  I remember how I felt hearing that he was gone.  I remember how I felt for days, weeks, months - and yes, years after he died.

I was changed forever.

I know I'm not the only person on this planet to suffer great loss.  I know so many others have had so much more and sometimes worse.  I never want to feel that pain.  Never.  I can only speak of my own.  The hole in my heart that, as I said - changed me.

That pain turned me from someone who was secure in who I was - to being somehow needy.

I was always afraid of the "who's next?"  I didn't form close attachments, because they'd leave anyway and I did my best to push (or scare) away anyone I felt close to so that I was doing the leaving.

I got caught up in behaviors that were bizarre, then I got sick.  Stress was a major factor in the Lupus that was always underlying, but I never knew was there.  Stress flared the Lupus - making me so sick.  This brought on other problems and it snowballed.  My normal was abnormal.  My world was upside down in so many areas.  I'm so thankful to my husband for not only sticking it out - but kicking my ass back into shape.  I'm also thankful for this blog and those of you who read regularly.
THIS was the perfect way to process everything.  (without therapy)  The good, the bad, the ugly and the absolutely bizarre.  Many posts I've taken down - because WHAT THE HECK??  At the time, though - I needed to say whatever it was I'd said.

Most people I surrounded myself with didn't know how badly I was struggling.  I'm not even sure my husband knew the extent I was struggling.  I talked to NO ONE about how I felt.  I surrounded myself with people who didn't really care all that much.  I mean I didn't, so why should they?  I began to accept treatment toward me that I would have never previously accepted as OK.  It wasn't OK.  On the outside - I was fine.  I could hold it together in group settings (unless there was alcohol involved).  No one saw the dark and twisty that was inside of me.    It took a while for me to realize where I was with ME, what I expected of my life and what I expected of those in my life.  I finally began to see things as they were.  To realize that real friendship shouldn't be such hard work.  It should just be and to start fresh.  Forgive what needed to be forgiven and file the rest.  Not just with others, but with myself.

It was a long road.

Looking back now - and putting this out in print and reading it - I can't believe it was so long.  I can't believe how little I cared for myself or how much damage I did to myself in so many ways when all I really had to do was ask for help.

Never once did I ask anyone to talk with me about what I was going through.  I was ignoring it.  Trying to push through the pain.  Brave.

If you are here - don't be brave.

Don't let YEARS of your life go by in grieving.  TALK TO SOMEONE.  ANYONE.

Don't be like me.

I regret nothing in my life.  I look at everything as a lesson or a page/chapter in the book of me, but honestly - reading back, I wish there were more entries of joy and happiness than sadness and pain.

I want your pages to be filled with joy and happiness too.

Because what's gone is gone.  Truly.

Love with all you have and you will never have any regrets.

And if you're sad - talk about it.

Thank you for reading my blog!!