A few weeks ago I wrote about how I need to have courage and to be kind to myself, because my life after bereavement and trauma is forever.
With a return to work imminent, I have been trying to do more things, push myself, and reintegrate.
That has meant testing my coping strategies.
Grief really does come in waves. As I described in this post, grief can be a tormenting tease. The positivity I felt from events last week such as a wonderful trip to Leeds after was extinguished in a heartbeat last Saturday morning.
Back were the feelings of lowness and panic, and with a vengeance.
There were a couple of things that contributed to this dip. Last week had been a busy one, and I am learning the hard way that my energy levels are limited. A psychiatrist gave me a useful explanation for this: in ‘normal’ (for want of a better word) life we spend 70% of our brain’s energy thinking of and doing normal everyday stuff. In dealing with grief or trauma, the brain spends that 70% of its energy on just getting through the day and on self-preservation, leaving just 30% for normal everyday stuff. That was helpful to explain my brain fog, my now-terrible memory (I frequently forget or take a while to respond to things – sorry). So, my busy week of ‘normal’ things wore me out emotionally as well as physically. As I adapt, and learn my boundaries, that will hopefully improve.
Another was news that the new Royal baby was in its way. My response felt silly, but being kind to myself I had to reflect it is perfectly rational in the context of my life: the news underlined everything I so badly want but do not have, and what I may never have (in terms of being able to go into labour when the baby is ready, and have a natural birth).
In response, I did the sensible thing and avoided social media as best I could until the media hubbub subsided.
Martin and I had a film day, which was much-needed. It gave us a break, and kept me away from social media.
Other things in my self-care coping armoury include colouring-in of course; taking pictures of bright and colourful things for my Instagram account; and I’m also getting more into Pinterest, finding lovely things – it’s a safer form of window shopping. Frustratingly, because I love books reading is still hit and miss, but hopefully that too will come.