How I’m Coping with Loss on a Loop

As hard as I try not to feel like one of those cartoon characters walking around with a cloud over my head, it’s pretty hard not to. There are daily reminders of the multiple stresses in my life and I can’t seem to hold onto what I know is all that matters: the present.

I consider myself a positive person. I know that dwelling on the past is useless. I’ve gotten pretty good at avoiding a worrisome outlook. I believe wholeheartedly that bad things must happen in order for us to appreciate the good.

  • I used to think that my father’s brain injury was all about anxiety.
  • I used to think that my brother’s death made me feel guilty.
  • So, when the third bomb hit and we had to give up our dog after only six months with her, I realized that all three of these major life events can all go under the same category…

LOSS

In a sense, I lost my father to medical malpractice. Yes, he is physically still with us, but so much was taken from him. And it’s just horrible.

I lost my brother to alcoholism. He is gone. Forever. And I am so sad.

I lost Savannah to unforeseen circumstances. I was her person and the house feels empty without her.

So, here I am, with three losses on a loop, never having the chance to recover from one before the next came along; being reminded every day of what my father lost; haunted by the words my sister spoke into the phone when my brother died; wondering why Savannah isn’t following me up and down the stairs.

Here’s what I tell myself and anyone else out there who needs it:

1.) Feel what you feel. Be sad, angry, frustrated, pissed at the world…whatever you want. Cry. Cry a lot. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing. Cry if you need to. Don’t you dare hold it in.

2.) Eliminate things and people that don’t serve you. You’ve got enough on your heart. Say no. Walk away. Purge. And then, don’t feel the need to explain. Nobody needs to know. Make choices that work for you and be done with it.

3.) Try not to feel like you are just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. This is not Karma. This is just life. It’s all good, even if it’s bad. 

4.) NEVER apologize for feeling like you do. Feel it. Embrace it. Own it.

5.) Dig deep and find the positive, inspirational, life-altering lessons from this experience. They are there for you if you are willing to see them.

6.) Ask for help. As much as you feel like crawling under a rock and avoiding the world, get out there and talk, listen, breathe, and connect. You are never alone.

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To those who know me well, I give myself permission to break one of my own rules.  I’m in the middle of this loop and swimming in sadness. Please forgive the unanswered calls, the cancelled plans, and the mood swings.

This is life right now. It is what it is. And I know I’ll be okay.

Pros and Cons of Three Life Choices: Which Choice Are You Gonna Make?

Pros and Cons of Three Life Choices: Which Choice Are You Gonna Make?

When something is bothering you, you have three choices:

  1. Let it go.
  2. Do something about it.
  3. Stew over it.

Each has its pros and cons. And here’s what I think those are.

Let it go.

  • Pros: Oh, it feels so good. If you TRULY let it go. You have to think about it and put it through the “does it really matter” test. Often things bother us just because of our state of mind at the time. Maybe it won’t bother you so much after a good night’s sleep.
  • Cons: You might think you let it go, while really you just shoved it deep down, only for it to emerge stronger and uglier at another time. Then, everybody’s in trouble. Be very careful.

Do something about it.

  • Pros: Standing up for yourself is a good trait. Looking in the mirror and fixing what you don’t like will help you grow. Trying to change an injustice is what this world needs. Action moves us forward and teaches us valuable lessons from past mistakes.
  • Cons: You’ve got to think long and hard about your action. If it involves someone else, you could easily be dumping your crap in their lap. If it was your problem in the first place, maybe you should keep it that way. Also, you have to be careful that your action doesn’t make the situation worse or cause a whole new problem. I’m thinking specifically of public protests that turn violent and harmful or even deadly.

Stew over it.

  • Pros: None.
  • Cons: The definition of stew is great anxiety or agitation. I think you see the cons here.

It takes years of practice and lots of bothersome situations to figure out your best choice in each situation. Who knows if anybody ever figures it out. But if you spend your life trying to figure it out, you are ahead of the game. Lots of people choose number three automatically. Try not be one of those people.

And maybe, just maybe, think long and hard about number two, as well.

Do no harm.

 

 

Five Things You Might Feel When Life Sucks and What To Do About It

Five Things You Might Feel When Life Sucks and What To Do About It

*****Warning – Profanity*****

It doesn’t matter what it is. Maybe you’re incredibly stressed out. Maybe you keep fighting with your spouse. Maybe your children are behaving horribly. Maybe your laundry is piled up like a damn pyramid. Maybe someone you care about is dying. Maybe you’ve just had it up to here with the pressure of being who you are.

Whatever it is…life pretty much sucks right now. But on top of the sucking, you also have to feel these five things. And you are ready to fucking lose it.

  1. Loneliness – you feel completely alone, that you are the only one who can or cares to fix any of this; if you don’t do it, nobody will; you want to just crawl under a damn rock, but then everything would probably get worse
  2. Isolation – might seem like the same as loneliness, but it’s not; it’s that feeling that everybody thinks you have the plague; maybe you’ve bitched one too many times; maybe you cry too much; maybe nobody wants to play with your kid anymore and maybe the parents don’t want your kid around theirs; maybe you’ve just been a little too much YOU and nobody can take it anymore. Hell, YOU can’t take you anymore!!
  3. Irritability – you’re right at the edge all the fucking time; the tiniest thing will send you over; somebody questions you, looks at you funny, or God forbid, criticizes you – – – forget it. That shit won’t fly. Don’t they realize how close you are to breaking every dish in that cabinet? Leave me the hell alone.
  4. Depression – it’s just really damn sad that life has to suck right now. You didn’t do anything to deserve it. In fact, you thought you were doing the complete opposite; being a good person, helping others, waking with a positive attitude, being a better person than you were the day before. A whole lot of good that shit did.
  5. Anger – This mother fucking shit is just about all I can take and the next asshole who does anything to make it worse will have a fucking bloody nose.

What do you do about it?

You say, fuck it.

You feel it. You own it. Then you take care of you.

You are the only one who will.