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Dealing with grief; work with your mind

Grief is so hard, it has so many faces, and sometimes you have no idea when it's going to punch you in the face. I deal with my grief every. single. minute. of my life. Most of the time, I'm able to get through day-to-day life appropriately. And yet sometimes, I'm reminded that things are no longer normal for me. I get overwhelmed easily. I come to a cold fast stop in my tracks, and I completely lose thought of what's happening around me. I battle with my depression, ADD, and anxiety. And all the while, I try to keep the pain of Trent's loss at bay. This weekend has been more challenging than usual. I keep trying. I keep trying to act normal and go about the motions. I smile and laugh, I talk to friends, I hug people who care about me. But I just haven't been able to get out of my own way. I've been crying, I'm frustrated, I'm asking myself if I'll ever be able to feel like my feet aren't made of heavy lead. I have this overwhelming feeling of failing at everything I try to accomplish, because I'm not able to follow through and complete anything because it's so fricken difficult to even breathe. I want to do nothing but lie in bed, pull the covers over my head and avoid everything. But when I try to do that, I can't get away from my mind. Last night, after the millionth time this weekend of melting into Donnie's arms in a blubbering mess, he asked me what he can do to help me. I have no idea. I have no idea what anyone can do to help me. I just want him back. I just want Trent back and life to go back to normal. No one can give that to me, so therefore there's nothing that can help. While I was wiping my snotty nose on my sleeve (this is a testament to how low I was feeling, because I have a complete disdain for snot and boogers), wiping my tears with the same snotty sleeve, I realized I needed to do something 'easy' in which I could be in control, and would occupy my mind, but not be too taxing either mentally or physically. Then it came back to me. One of the tools I used when my grief was so raw and fresh - my coloring book and markers. Something about the strokes of the markers, the simple lines of the coloring book, being in complete control of the project - as simple as all of this sounds, it's like salve to my grieving mind and heart. And so I colored. I sat at the kitchen bar and colored for close to 2 hours. I felt my breathing slow, I felt my blood pressure lessen, I took intentional deep breaths and took in the 'pleasure' of what I was doing. Donnie stayed with me, sat beside me, talked to me very little, kissed my forehead or cheek every once in a while, but let me be in my world. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you I felt fine afterward. All the pain and anger was still there. But I also was able to breathe a little more easily. My heart rate wasn't at an alarming pitch. The tears had stopped flowing, if even for a little bit. I sat there with my 4-day dirty hair, my dehydrated and under-exercised

body, my snotty sleeves and tear-stained face - and I felt proud of this pretty little picture with colors that represented my feelings, that I accomplished. A project I had completed. Something I did that was 'good'. For anyone else out there dealing with the crippling effects of suicide loss. I'm so, so sorry. I'm not going to ever pretend that I know how to do this. But I'll be here to walk beside you, hold your hand if you need, and explain what has helped me, to the best of my ability.


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