Hitting Rock Bottom - A Vulnerable Moment In My Story

Hitting Rock Bottom - A Vulnerable Moment In My Story

I had time to prepare for Wes’s death, I knew it was coming. I had those hard conversations with Wes and with myself trying to sort out some of what was to come. I thought I was ready for it, I thought I was prepared for what was going to happen next. Maybe that was my problem, I thought I was ready for it. Little did I know that no matter how long you have to prepare, how many hard conversations you have or how many times you walk yourself through the situation, you can’t be ready for it.


My grief came in and hit me like a tidal wave, it took me out with one blow. I was knocked so far back that by the time I came back up I was so lost as to where I was. I struggled with my grief; I couldn’t understand why I was hurting so much when I had prepared for so long. My body was feeling one thing, but my mind was having a completely different conversation. I struggled with feeling my grief, I was over it by now. I had been grieving the loss of Wes long before he died, I was done feeling it. But that’s not how grief works, it doesn’t stop because you have been feeling it for a certain amount of time. It doesn’t care how long or how intense it is, grief is coming for the ride.


I struggled for many months after Wes died. To the outside world I looked like I was managing, but inside I was facing a whole other battle. I struggled with doing it all by myself, I struggled with starting over with a small child, I struggled with how Wes’s illness robed us of making those family memories. I was struggling with so much and didn’t see an end in sight. My first instinct was to run, run as fast as I could away from my grief. I figured if I didn’t feel it then it wasn’t there, easy-peasy! So that is what I did, I ran to every distraction I could think of to help lessen the blow of my grief. At first it was working, the small distractions helped me forget my grief and allowed me to feel somewhat “normal”. But very quickly those small distractions stopped working, my grief was slowly seeping back in. The small distractions weren’t enough, I needed more. So that is what I did, I started distracting myself more and more and more. I was running as fast I could, but one thing no one tells you, grief is a track star.


The faster I ran, the worse my grief became. In the moment the distraction helped, but quickly after my grief came back and knocked me farther and farther backwards. It was a never-ending cycle; I was up and down like a yoyo barley able to get my footing on my new life. I thought there was no way out, I thought this is how it’s supposed to go. I didn’t think healing and moving forward would be the outcome. Slowly I was digging a deeper and deeper hole for myself, getting farther and farther away from the life I wanted to live.


At the time I didn’t know that my behaviour was typical, that what I was experiencing was actually typical grief. I was so ashamed as to how I was dealing, that I hide it from everyone. I didn’t want people to know I was struggling and hurting so badly. Every time I spoke with someone, I was being praised for being so strong. I couldn’t let those around me down, I couldn’t be a burden any more than I already was. That back and forth was a nightmare for me, keeping it all together to the world and then breaking down into a million pieces behind closed doors. I was losing grips on myself and my life as each day passed.


I remember my turning point so clearly, like it happened yesterday. It was 8 months after Wes died, I was struggling worse than I ever had before this. I was so desperate for the pain to go away, I needed to feel like myself again. I was crying, feeling like no matter what I did I would feel like this forever. In that moment, crying uncontrollably on my bed, something happened. It was like someone else was with me in my room, I don’t know how to explain it but it wasn’t your typical let it all out bedtime cry.


In that moment as I was desperately wanting the pain to go away, my head moved to look to my left like someone grabbed it and moved it for me. To my left was my nightstand, and on that nightstand was my daughters monitor. In that moment I broke looking at my baby sleeping so peacefully. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head when I looked at her. This voice in me said “do it for her, do it for your baby.” I will never forget that moment, I will never forget those words so clear as if someone were standing right next to me. That was my turning point, my push, my motivation to face my grief, heal my grief and start living the life I deserved and my daughter deserved.


I have to admit that the first few steps were hard, I wasn’t sure what to do or where to go but I knew any movement forward was movement in the right direction. Once I got a footing on how to face my grief and heal it, I worked night and day reading new books, meditating, journaling, working out. I was so determined to stop living this crappy life I was creating and change it for the better. As I took each step forward healing and accepting my grief, I started seeing the beauty life still had for us. I started enjoying the little things and eventually the big things as well. I stopped distracting myself when my grief showed up, I stopped running every time I felt uncomfortable. I was starting to love life again and seeing all the potential for an amazing future.


Now here I am today, embracing everything life has for me and loving every second of it. I will always carry this grief with me, it will show up from time to time. But learning how to manage my grief and have tools to help me through those difficult moments are what has saved me from my never-ending downward spiral.


I share this part of my life with you, a very vulnerable side of my story in hopes that if you are in a similar situation as I was in, that you can see that there is a light at the end of your tunnel. Grief is a very complicated and messy journey to navigate, but when you can slowly sift through that mess and work through some of the pain, on the other side is a beautiful life waiting for you.


Take it one step at a time, you are not alone.




*If you are having intense grief with mental struggles, please seek professional medical support*

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