Feelin Blue? – Guest Blogger Jan Mabey
Feeling Blue today? Maybe your new outfit has a stain that the cleaners cannot get out, the heal broke off your Jimmy Choos (that hurts!), you can’t find the perfect Prada bag to go with your new Christian Dior Jeans? Maybe you found out you have to find a new apartment because yours is being sold as a condo, or your pace of employment just announced a reorganization which clearly means you might be out of a job? Maybe all of these in the same week! Possibly you are down because you have put on a few extra pounds with all the halloween candy that was never given out, maybe its raining and you had big plans for a fun hike and picnic with your family or friends, or possibly your lonely and the guy you thought was the one is only a fleeting memory, or maybe you are ending a long term relationship, getting a divorce, or found out that your beloved pet was hit by a car or has cancer, maybe someone you loved deeply has passed on. All of these are worthy of the grieving process. But how is it that some of us “get over it” in a day and other of us never do?
I think before we can answer that question it is important that we take a moment to realize that there are many different layers of sadness and grief caused by a plethora of reasons and just as many varying personalities and ways of coping, or in some cases not coping. Not to mention that some things really are not meant to be “gotten over” but slowly faced and lived with the best we can.
Let’s take the ending of a relationship, was it a short-term fling, a long-term marriage or partnership, something in-between? Did it end peacefully or as a result of abuse or betrayal? Was it a death and if so was it an accident, an illness, a suicide or natural aging? Each of these takes on a different form of processing and dealing with the grief. In addition to grieving the loss of the actual person we also grieve those things that became habits like calling and texting, a lifestyle, what never was in the relationship and what might have been, we even grieve our unmet expectations. Grief is complicated.
Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in situations we just didn’t see coming. They knock us right over and even worse sometimes, life rains down with one thing after another. When this happens we can find ourselves thrown completely out of balance and set back so far that we question… just about everything.
I cried through the majority of this year, from January thru August, at the drop of a hat, all day long, sometimes a thought triggered my emotions, often the tears just came out of nowhere, and a lot of them at that! One morning I was on the phone with the exterminator scheduling an appointment for their next visit, right about when they asked what time on Wednesday would be best I broke into tears. Long term health issues, a daughter relocating with her family to another state for her career, my son moving through a divorce with two beautiful children in the throws, losing a daughter in law that I had come to love deeply, I found myself in the middle of a drama that had had little to do with me but nonetheless I was in the wrong place at the wrong time as a friendly observer shared, and as if that were not enough, while all of this was happening, I found myself facing another hurdle that verged on the edge of a Shakespearean tragedy (I will surely write a separate blog on this, in time).
Through all of this, I found myself drowning, I was at the end of my proverbial rope. And on top of it all, I decided to start beating myself up for, you guessed it, “NOT GETTING OVER IT”! As I laid in bed one morning staring aimlessly at the back of my bedroom door I acknowledged to myself that I was going down the rabbit hole and I needed to do something, and do it fast. I went and saw a friend who is also a counselor and they helped me to come back to a place where I could acknowledge the stress as well as the variety of loss I was processing in a relatively short period of time. This is when I began to make my grief list and to understand how truly complicated grief, grieving, healing, and recovery can be. Namaste – Jan Mabey