Guest contributor Stephanie Fee & Founder of Creed Love
When you lose your husband to an unwanted divorce and lose your only child to cancer life somehow loses it’s zest. Honestly, life itself just didn’t seem worth living.
How am I suppose to move forward?
How am I suppose to heal and move forward when my heart is broken and my body frail?
This “new life” for me has been devastating to say the least. There are lots of changes for me to adjust to. Everyone has them at some point. Some smaller, some larger. It’s how life goes. For me, these changes were excruciatingly painful. When my world around me started to crumble, I didn’t know how to handle any of it.
I wanted to crawl into a hole. So I did for a while.
My first year without my son was a fog. Going from the first birthday without him to the first Christmas, to the first day of school. My house was too quiet, but the thought of getting up to actually do something seemed exhausting in itself.
The second year was the most painful year of my life. Depression and anxiety took over, post traumatic stress and fatigue put the bow on top. It was horrible!! Therapy and meds kept me going, somewhat. My mind and my heart were so damaged. The pain was unbearable. When you have your suicide planned out, it’s time to start yelling for help! Nothing could make this better, nothing.
People kept thinking and saying, “You’re so strong” or “I don’t know how you do it.” I wanted to scream at them, at the world, even though they were trying to sympathize. I wanted to say: “Guess what?!?! I’m not doing it. I’m not strong!!”
I’m a mom with a broken heart caused by many tragic situations. I’m in the thick of it. I have figured out that it’s ok to be broken. It’s ok to hurt. It’s ok to be real and honest. It’s ok to tell people that you’re not doing ok. It’s okay to be weak.
It’s okay to say that you’re having a bad day, bad week, bad season. It’s not so that the other person knows all of it. Sharing that with someone…that’s for you! It’s for you to get it out, to be real with yourself and own the story that’s now been placed on you.
One of the worst things I’ve done to myself is not allow myself to “not be ok.” We tend to do that. Tell ourselves that we need to start acting “okay,” to get to feeling okay. You begin believing that you can’t be weak. That there is something wrong with being weak.
Let me tell you — It’s okay to be weak! There is nothing wrong with needing people’s help, no matter what the situation is. Death, divorce, addiction, whatever. Being real with yourself is the most important thing you can be and do.
I’ve learned that when someone asks me how I am doing or if there is something they can do for me, that it’s my choice to tell them. I get to decide if I want them to know. Sometimes I choose not to — only you know the people that can handle your mess. No one gets to make that decision for you.
Being weak also doesn’t mean that pieces of strength aren’t re-establishing themselves in your life. It’s not a quick journey. Being strong also doesn’t mean you can’t fall apart. I think it means you get to decided how to handle what you’ve been given in the moment. That doesn’t mean you won’t have crappy days. You will – we all will. Just being willing to accept them for what they are is not a sign of your weakness.
The most important thing I’ve learned in the grieving process?
I’ve learned to be easy on myself; healing takes time and there’s no reason to rush!
You get to do this at your own speed. When I hear someone say “you’re so strong” I just laugh and think…if you only knew!