Grief and the Fragility of Self:
5 Simple Things to Cope
The last couple of years have seen some big changes for me. They are mostly internal and dealing with behaviors and how I react to certain situations. Old ways are deeply ingrained so when one changes it is a big old WOW, let’s celebrate this shit. This is huge.
One of the big changes that’s happened is not reliving old situations over and over and over, put that shiz on repeat, usually when I am trying to sleep for the night. As you can guess that makes getting to sleep difficult at best and frankly all that reliving old events is really exhausting. It sucks you dry, you feeding a beast from 10 years, 20 years, even two years is too long. I’ve done this most of my adult life. It was a struggle to change this and bam one day, gone.
Now that one day took a lifetime of work to get to but the point is I did get to a place where I rarely do that reliving and can I say I do not miss it. I stopped feeding the old beast my energy and that’s a good thing. But what I have noticed since my father’s death is this…
Even though you have changed and changed drastically when something this huge hits your life you find the old autopilot goes on well autopilot. That’s when I stop and take a look at what I am doing. Right now it is showing up as negative self esteem. All those feelings of not being good enough of being the outsider and often feeling like that even with friends are cropping up.
One of the biggest difference is that it is more in the background it is not right up front all the time. It lurks below the layers of grief and shows up on my fragile days. When it does show up my reaction to it is very different. First off I know it is completely untrue I am so worth it and more. I know the script is old and outdated, there’s no need to actually follow it or buy into it. I step back and am aware of what the bullshit part of me is saying. It’s a bit like an old video, kind of grainy and overplayed.
I choose not to act from that area of me. I come back to my heart. I come back to what the Truth of me. I create the means to not use that old paradigm each time I do not feed it. Each time I decide that I am love, joy, empowerment, compassion, and quirky. So while it may be popping up it is a deeply engrained defense mechanism and yes it will be there for the rest of my life. But my reaction to it is so different and that’s what counts. Here’s what I do on a really fragile day. I almost wrote bad but it is not bad so I’m not going to use that word. I’ll stick with fragile.
The top 5 things I do for me out out of self love are…
Get off social media! FB especially can just be a huge mind trip for me when I’m down. I get off it and don’t get back on. I have an email account dedicated to the FB so if I need to see if I’ve been tagged I check there on a fragile day.
Paint in my art journal. This works for me as it gets all that crap out of my head and onto the paper. It’s a great place to work empowerment and self compassion into the web of your life.
Exercise. I know everyone says this but it works. Last year turned into what I started calling a rest year as working out didn’t happen often by the end of. It’s really hard to not be aware when doing a one arm snatch. You’ll TKO yourself with a dumbbell.
Meditation. It doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be for hours. I’ve been doing five minutes in the morning right now. It helps set the tone for the day.
Read, especially rereading favorite novels. There is a certain comfort that comes from hearing or reading the same story. Plus if your brain is mushy you don’t have to think all you have to do is enjoy, since you have the plot memorized.