Not enough people talk about this…
I believe that the foundation of leading a beautiful, BOLD, and juicy life is knowing and sharing our truths. A truth that I have shared is that I struggle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. While I have made great strides in getting a handle on my mental health, there can be days where multiple triggers throw up a road block. Sometimes the road block is simply a wild turkey crossing the street causing traffic to slow down. I say this in jest since we have so many roaming around here on Cape Cod! Other times the road block is like one of those ugly, concrete jersey barriers.
A colleague of mine from New England Organ Bank posted a great Huffington Post article on Facebook last night. I read it this morning. It truly resonated with me; hence the inspiration to write this post. Yesterday was a big, ugly jersey barrier kind of day due to multiple triggers. There was the unexpected news from the pediatrician that there might be something wrong with my firstborn, Miles, who is now 5 years old. Then there was the unexpected trip to the hospital to have Miles’ blood drawn. The same hospital I was at in September when I helped to facilitate a beautiful, young woman give the ultimate gift of life after losing her battle with addiction. It felt like just yesterday that I was bearing witness to her grieving family and supporting the staff through the organ donation process. Then there was the phone call from my mom.
My mom suffers from dementia. My grandmother died from Alzheimer’s and this is likely what my mom has. I say likely because Alzheimer’s cannot be formally diagnosed until after death. It’s difficult to talk with mom both on the phone and in person. I used to call her everyday but that stopped a year ago. Her short term memory has almost completely disappeared. She struggles with maintaining a conversation. I can almost “see” her brain attempting to process my words, but getting “stuck” after a few sentences. I called her yesterday since it had been a few days since we last spoke. I told her I was taking Miles to get a x-ray and blood work. She called me a few hours later and it was like we hadn’t even had the previous conversation. Last time I was at their house for a visit I watched her feed the dog 4 times in 2 hours. It was so upsetting. Spending time with my folks is important to me, but it’s a delicate balance. They live 30 minutes away in the same house where I grew up. I have learned to gauge my emotional gas tank before making the decision to go visit. I can go down there with a full tank, only to return on empty. I am slowly losing the mom I once knew.
The article I referenced speaks to the 3 kinds of grief no one talks about. The following is an excerpt:
“Remember: Grief is not always about death, but it is always about attachment and separation. Often, people endure pervasive and intense distress without having faced the death of a loved one at all. Further, in these cases of unrecognized losses, our grief is often not recognized by others, either. But you can grieve the loss of anything, anywhere or anyone to whom you had become attached—no list could name all the possibilities. To deal with the sorrow, you may need to find confidants, counselors and support groups that can assist you. Above all, you need to have your grief acknowledged. Allowing yourself to understand the validity of your emotions is the only way to begin feeling better. You are not the only one to have mourned in these situations—and you are not alone. “
I encourage anyone who can identify with any of this to seek out support. BE COURAGEOUS. BE BOLD. Open yourself; your heart; your mind; to the opportunity of healing. Life is too short to live any other way.