Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Grief Resurfacing

I have been slacking on blogging. Probably because most nights I work until about midnight and don't even have time to journal.... But today I feel the need to write.

The last couple months have been interesting to say the least.

If you read my last post, you remember that I had just started seeing a personal trainer. To say the least, I was not her biggest fan. I am finished training with her and despite her trying really hard, I am "on my own". I still really struggle with getting to the gym though. I really need to work on that. However I did lose a pound in the last week so that's progress....

Back in September, Dan and I met up in Las Vegas (NO WE DID NOT GET MARRIED) to go to a wedding of a friend of mine. We had a wonderful time there and it was great to have some time for just the two of us.


I had been on a GREAT streak of my fitness... I'd worked out 6 days in a row (which hasn't happened in over a year).... And then I came down with the stomach flu.... I lost 3 pounds in a day (hooray?) but have since gained it back. So I had to take a break from working out.... I got better.... and then had a cold.... And it's been hard to get back into ever since.

I have a dear friend named Sunshine who I have known since 1st grade. We went through all our schooling together (except college). Her husband Matt has been battling Melanoma for years. He was battling with it when my dad was going through the worst of his Leukemia and I would get messages from Sunshine telling me that she and Matt had been praying for my dad and worried about him. And it just floored me that someone going through something so terrible could be concerned about someone else. But that's just who they were. Very caring people.

Matt's health had really taken a turn for the worse and our last night in Vegas, Sunshine posted an update on Facebook that "this was it". Matt only had a few hours left. We were at a casino and it just really threw me. It made me think about losing Dan and what Sunshine must be going through and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I was able to keep myself from crying as I did not want to ruin our last night together. I woke up the next morning to find out that Matt had passed away.

I was able to go to the funeral which was good. I saw a couple old friends and was able to hug Sunshine and give her my condolences. And after that, I really thought life might get back to normal.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed that I was super emotional. Crying ALL the time... Exhausted all the time. At first I chalked it up to the usual girl stuff mixed with the fact that I was working a 65 hour week... But after those it continued on.

In the middle of my 65 hour work week, I spent the night at my parents since I had to work at the church all weekend. Saturday morning I got up (exhausted), had a little chat with my mom about things that had been going on at work, and then got in the car to go to church for a rehearsal. And the second I got in the car... I just started crying. Not sure why... but I just cried and cried.

The weekend after that I went to the wedding of my brother's childhood best friend, Jeffrey. Our families haven't seen each other in 20 years. So my social anxiety was a little high prior to the wedding but it was really good to see everyone (though I didn't recognize him or his brother because... well 20 years). When we got back home, I pulled out the old photo album and found a picture of the 3 of us.
Jeffrey, Me, David. Man we were cute.
I took one look at this picture and burst into tears. Again, not entirely sure why.

A few days after that... I had a couple of really vivid dreams. I was driving, and I looked up and had like a computer screen and in a Skype-like fashion I saw my Grandpa. And I wasn't just a picture... Like he was alive and I screamed "GRANDPA!!!" and threw my arms around him. (It was a dream, clearly I don't hug computer screens in the real world). In the same night, I had a dream that I was somewhere (not sure where) with Sunshine and she got up and started talking about Matt and what she was going through.

I woke up puzzled about what it might mean. And then when I was at work I suddenly had a flashback to a phrase Cassandra used to say daily. It's something I haven't thought of in a long time and it just kind of popped in my mind. So that made me wonder more... Why was this happening??? What did it mean?

Well the next night, I had ANOTHER dream about seeing my grandpa. Except this time, it was the frail grandpa that I saw at the end of his life. And it wasn't until THIS dream that I realized he was "healthy grandpa" in the previous dream. Still puzzled by it all... it was something I brought up when I went to counseling the next week.

So we talked about my dreams and flashbacks, the excessive crying and fatigue.... And she said that it all started around the time Matt passed away... which I hadn't even thought of. So it seems that his death is bringing up some residual grief that I haven't dealt with concerning Grandpa and Cassandra. My body is trying to process everything still and while it sucks, I am just going to have to go through it all. Honor the tiredness and the emotions. Talk it out when they come up. Journal.

On top of all that and being overwhelmed with work/life, I have really been struggling with this whole long distance relationship thing. From the very beginning I have said that we are really good at it. And I still believe that. But after spending 7 weeks together and knowing what that is like, being apart is REALLY HARD.

Not to mention, we are currently in the LONGEST stretch of time we have spent apart in the 8 1/2 months we have been together. The longest time apart prior to this is 46 days. How long is this stretch??? 92 DAYS. UGH. We have made it 32 days and still have 60 to go.....

And I am struggling big time. I've seen all sorts of cute countdowns on Pinterest like having 2 jars filled with marbles (corresponding to the jar). One that says "Days Down" and one that says "Days to Go"... The other night when I was having a rough time, I started looking up things to do... and while I found a ton... None of them seemed good enough.

He and I had a long talk about it the other night (because he is struggling too). I think another part of it is that my roommate moved out here from California to be close to his girlfriend who lives here. And when he moved in I thought it would be a great situation... Until she is always over here (which is fine... it's his place as much as it is mine) but I guess it just makes me miss Dan more, seeing them together and hearing them laugh. So I decided that I need to find something to do to distract me and keep me busy for the next 60 days. I am not sure what yet... I may increase my workouts... Or actually clean my room! So if you have any suggestions, feel free to leave those in the comments!

Today.....

Today is Cassandra's birthday. And I knew it was coming up and I knew it would likely be hard. So many things have changed since she passed away and so many things I wish I could tell her and talk to her about. Today a few different memories popped up in my mind. And as I sit here and write this I can recall the very last conversation we ever had....

We were passing in the hallway at work. She wasn't working full time anymore because she had just had Harper. I stopped her in the hall and said "I really miss working with you." We talked about it for a little bit and went on our merry way. I'm not sure what had prompted me to say that, but I am so thankful we had that moment.

I think about her every day and miss her.

It's true.... I guess I keep thinking that after a year of firsts, things will get easier. But I still miss her. Some days I still can't believe the reality of it. I guess I just need to be thankful for the time we did get to spend together, remember the good times, and look forward to the times to come when we are reunited.

Hug your loved ones. Make sure they know you love them. You never know when it could be too late.


Monday, August 24, 2015

One Year Later

There have been a few "One Year" anniversaries since I have blogged. There was the one year anniversary of Grandpa's death back in June. I started writing a blog entry about that, but never finished it... But most recently was the one year since being diagnosed with depression.

With it being a year down this road, it has made me evaluate where I was and where I am now. I have made A LOT of progress, but I still don't feel like I am where I need to be. I am still on meds and still have days when I struggle. Still, for the most part I can function.

Dan was here for 7 weeks this summer and it was wonderful. On the flip side, though... When he had to go back to California I was a complete wreck. Initially I told myself that when he left I was going to get a ton of stuff done (like housework and errands), but when he left all I could do was lay in bed and cry. (I was able to go to work, but cried there too). I should have been productive that Saturday but all I did was stay in bed. That first weekend he was gone all I did was sleep (15 hours Fri night, stayed in bed from 1pm-6pm, slept 6-8, then back to sleep for 8 hours, worked, took a 3 hour nap at my parents). It got to the point where I was feeling a lot like I did last summer when I was diagnosed and it really started to bother me. As time went on and we re-established our routine things got better. I'm trying to get back into being active and social.

Before he left I got us both Fitbooks and we made a deal to use our time apart to really work on health and fitness. A few weeks back, I went to the gym to kick things off, but wanted to get my measurements done so I could track my progress through the next 12 weeks.

Oh 24 Hour Fitness.... You always know a sucker when you see one. The guy who was doing my measurements turned out to be the Fitness manager. He and I started discussing my goals, the road I have been on and he got all excited and said we had a lot of things in common and he wanted to give me a FREE personal training session.

Now, this is not my first rodeo. I know how these things work. When I first joined the gym they had this GREAT offer where you get 3 personal training sessions for $99. If you want to continue with it, they take that price off the package you purchase. If you don't like it, you get your money back. So I got it... and that's how I started working with Megan... who I trained with for 8 months and became little miss fitness... Remember her???

So we scheduled my training session. I was super excited. But as the time came, I got more and more nervous. The session was this past Saturday and let me tell you... I had every right to be nervous.

HE. KICKED. MY. BUTT.

This is what we did:
First he taught me how to do kettlebell swings.
Then we did:
8 Kettlebell Squats
10 Pull Ups on the TRX (I'm not sure what thats actually called)
15 Kettlebell Swings
3 sets of that
Then we did
Sled (drag it down to the water fountain walking backwards, then on the way back pulling it behind me)
BattleRopes for 30 seconds
Plank for 1 minute
3 Sets of that

I haven't sweat that much in a long time. That's more work than I've done definitely in the last year... Maybe longer. It was TOUGH and afterwards I kinda felt like puking.

He walked me over to the computer to show me the personal training packages available. And I knew he would do this going into it. And the thing is that it's just SO EXPENSIVE. And yea, the more you pick the cheaper they are per session... but it's still so much money. So I ended up picking the smallest package they had (5 sessions) and he threw in another free one too. He set me up with a trainer named Sara.

Tonight was my first "session" with her. It was more of a consultation where we talked about my history, my goals, did measurements and set up a plan for me. It was good for me. I really want to get back to where I was pre-depression. I think after a year I am finally ready to do it.

The rest of my week looks like this:
Tuesday: Steady State Cardio 30 minutes at home (perhaps going for a walk or something like that)
Wednesday: Resistance Workout, Cardio Optional (since Hip Hop isn't happening again this week)
Thursday: Steady State Cardio 30 minutes at home
Friday: Training Session
Saturday: Steady State Cardio 30 minutes at home


This week we are mostly easing into it. Just setting up those habits...

She also gave me a whole list of homework.

*Be more active Tuesday and Thursday
*Wednesday get in the gym and HAVE FUN!!!!
*Practice new food routine, hit calorie goals, let macros fall where they may
*Track food at minimum 3 days
*Every day do a "I'm thankful for my body" thought. (Can be something as simple as "I'm thankful I can get out of bed" or something like "I'm thankful I can run")
*Journal (track workouts, write thoughts on what you did, thoughts on life)

I am DETERMINED to get back to where I was. After Saturday I know I have a really long road ahead of me. I was very frustrated that I let myself get to this point... But I suppose we all have hills we have to climb. I guess I am just going to have to climb this one again. But I guess if I have done it once before, I can do it again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Stuck and Apathetic

It's been quite a while since I have blogged.

A little over a month ago I made an appointment with my doctor to re-evaluate my meds. I had felt like things weren't getting better and I'd hit some situational things and we decided perhaps I needed to increase my meds. So we did. Increased the Zoloft to 75 mg a day and also decided to revisit in about a month and if things were not better to add in Welbutrin. Zoloft is a stabilizer and Welbutrin is more of an "upper".

My life lately has been slightly out of control. In the words of my mother, I just can't seem to catch a break. :( My stress level has been through the roof and it seems like everything just keeps going wrong and I'm getting overwhelmed and frustrated with life in general.

But things aren't all that bad. I took a short (4 day) vacation to California which was WONDERFUL. It seems, though, that as wonderful as that trip was ever since I got back I'm just as (if not more) overwhelmed and struggling real bad.

One thing else I have noticed is that I am just full of apathetic feelings. And this was my fear of going on the meds in the first place. And it's funny because I noticed this after going to (yet another) Andy Grammer concert.

We had VIP tickets with meet and greet and we were late leaving Fort Collins and there was a chance that we would miss the VIP aspect. My reaction? It's not a big deal. The concert was good, but I guess I wasn't as excited as I have been in the past. Part of it could be due to the fact that it was my 11th one so I wondered if the excitement was just wearing off.


The day after the concert it was announced that he was going to Headline The Taste Of Fort Collins this summer. TOFC is my FAVORITE weekend of the summer. 3 days of music and food in my amazing little town. Could it get any better? (The answer is no). After it was announced, I had multiple people ask me if I was freaking out. And I wasn't. I heard the news and my thought was "oh. cool." the end. Again... Not sure if it was because of how many times I have seen him or because my favorite DJ's aren't there anymore and I'm not quite over that one yet.... Or if it's the meds.

These 2 events brought it to the forefront of my mind. Maybe something is up. And I started to notice that these aren't the only times I've felt apathetic. It's about a whole lot of things. I mentioned it to my counselor and she said I should probably mention it to my doctor. So tomorrow morning I will be doing just that.

It's frustrating because I feel stuck. I feel like I've been at this for so long (It's been 8 months since I was diagnosed) and I just fear I will never get back to happy Jessica and what happens if I'm never happy again????

The last few weeks have been SUPER hard on me. My stress level has gone through the roof. On the Saturday before Easter I came down with a HORRIBLE stomachache and couldn't really eat anything. I figured it was a fluke, but it was still there on Easter Sunday too. There was a thought that it may be an ulcer (caused by stress). I am definitely in need of a break from life but I do not see that happening anytime soon. :(

I'd had a really hard night last night and spent the latter part of my evening in bed crying. I woke up exhausted and not in the best mood. I had a hard time getting out of bed and then was running late and had to put gas in my car, etc... When I finally got to work I heated up my lunch and right as I was walking in the classroom my lunch spilled all over the floor... And that was just the beginning of my awful day. Tears were shed at work and I just wanted to go back to bed. I got in the work van to go pick up some kiddos from school and the first song that came on the radio was "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten. It was a good reminder that I need to not give up and I need to find the fight that I have left in me.



After a really tough day at work I still managed to go to Hip Hop, despite not really feeling it... Not sure if it really helped, but it didn't hurt I suppose. Hoping for some answers tomorrow and maybe my life to get back on track soon.

To better days
~Jessica~

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Grandpa's First Birthday In Heaven

Tonight was week 5 of GriefShare. Yes, I'm still going. There was some question about how helpful it was since a part of me felt like I was more of a helper/leader than I was a "participant". But I am getting some healing out of it, so I continue on.

Last Tuesday was Grandpa's birthday. The morning was a little rough and I listened to my "Grandpa" playlist on my way to work. One thing I noticed was that I can now listen to "How Great Thou Art" without breaking into tears. That has to be progress, right?

Work itself went okay. Kelly brought me flowers and a sweet card so that helped.

After work I had a staff meeting and the way it all worked out was really unfortunate. It was on a Tuesday which is when I have GriefShare, which I thought would be really good for me with it being Grandpa's birthday, but the meeting with mandatory. GriefShare is in Loveland at 7, and my meeting was in Greeley at 6:15. We got out a little after 7, so I booked it to GriefShare and made it there around 7:40, just in time to see the video and participate in the discussion afterwards. 

One thing in the video that stood out to me was that they talked about when you anticipate a death, a lot of the time you start the grief process while the person is still alive. This creates a "shorter" grieving period (to outsiders anyway), but I definitely feel like this does not hold true to me. Sure, his death was anticipated and I knew going into my trip that it was a possibility but I think I was still very much in denial about the reality of the situation. And I prayed so freaking hard for him to make it til I got home...

Which leads me to my other point. The movie talked about life events and how they can play a role in everything. For example, I was on my trip and didn't get the chance to grieve and how that can lead to regret. Specifically... "If only he'd lived 2 more weeks". This is something I've discussed at great length with my counselor. We've discussed that no matter what it's never enough time. :( 

At the end of the meeting, I was getting up to leave and one of the leaders approached me and asked me how I was. I said I was doing okay and then mentioned that it was Grandpa's birthday. He said that he had felt a tug on his heart to reach out to me, so maybe that was Grandpa. It was a sweet little moment. 

After GriefShare, I picked up some ice cream and headed home. As many of you know, I've been dating a WONDERFUL man for the last month. He has been so supportive in all of this and I cannot say enough great things about him. When I told him that Grandpa's birthday was coming up he told me he thought I should celebrate him on that day. The morning of Grandpa's birthday I posted a timehop on Facebook. It was from one year ago. The original caption was "Happy Birthday Grandpa! I'm so lucky to be in the same family as this guy! I had ice cream in your honor tonight. XOXO <3 div="">

Not long after I posted that, Mr Wonderful asked me what Grandpa's favorite ice cream was and mentioned that we should have an ice cream date to celebrate. Best boyfriend ever? Yea I think so.... 

He wasn't going to be home until late, so when I got home I got out my memory book that has been neglected for months and I put together 3 pages. No tears were shed and it felt nice to have that time to put it together and look through the pictures. 

Walking hand in hand with Grandpa, Grandpa being silly and him helping David with a crossword puzzle while wearing a shirt that says "Jessica's Grandfather"

We then had our ice cream date and it was just the perfect way to remember Grandpa. Happy Birthday Grandpa. I miss you.



Grandpa reading to David and me. Also a picture of Grandma and Grandpa and all the grandkids.






Spending time with Grandpa.









This weekend was especially rough. Things have been going fairly well lately and I think a big part of that is due to the fact that I have been just go-go-go for so long. I had zero plans on Saturday, plus it was snowy so I stayed in bed all day. I told myself to get a bunch of work done but I just had NO energy. So I laid in bed, watched Gilmore Girls and took a nap from 2-5. I typically don't like to nap that late because then I won't sleep but I was just wiped out. 

I tried to go to bed pretty early since I had to get up early the next morning to get to work.... And it was supposed to snow all night so I would have a gross commute in the morning. I woke up at 6 and was getting ready for work when I got a phone call to just stay home. And while I could have (and should have) spent the day being productive, getting cleaning done, etc I spent yet another day in bed. And took another nap from 3-5. And it's funny because I was told to stay home and still felt guilty and like I was slacking. (Workaholic? Yea, I think so) I so badly wanted to have some energy but I just didn't have any. And that has been the most frustrating part of going through my grief. During my 2 day relax-a-thon I also ate WAY MORE than I should have and a lot of comfort foods. Which led me to feeling not so great about myself and I gained a little weight and I told myself I had to get back to the gym. Our goal is twice a week and so I told myself I would go Monday and Wednesday. 

Well Monday rolled around and I was tired and had kind of a bad day at work and honestly, I wanted to do pretty much anything other than go to the gym. But I forced myself to. I walked a mile on the treadmill and did some strength training (calves, chest, some planks (yay!), triceps, wall sits and rainbow planks). It felt good to get back but when I was looking in the mirror I definitely did not like what I saw. And I think I was a little over ambitious when it came to the weights because there's a slight chance I may have injured myself. Stay tuned on that one. 

But I had kind of a revelation while I was there. For the past 8 months I've been waiting and waiting for my motivation to just appear. And guess what? It hasn't. (Big shock there) And with that I am slipping into my old habits and going back to my excuse making ways and so I realized that to get that motivation back, I have GOT to put some effort in. It's not just going to make an appearance all on it's own. I'm going to have to force myself to get to the gym and with time, I'm sure it will come back. It will probably take some time though. So that's going to be a challenge... 

This morning I was walking to my kitchen to make some breakfast and I noticed some mail sitting on the dining room table. I picked it up and inside it was this card. 





It was so unexpected and so touching. As I read it I cried. It really meant a lot to me that she would take the time to write it and tell me that Grandpa would be sad at me being sad, that he is with me always, and that he wants me to be happy. And being happy does not mean I am forgetting him. I think the most helpful thing about this is it came from someone who knew and loved him and was able to see my relationship with him. Very comforting. 








Tonight at GriefShare, at the very beginning she had us draw a picture of what we think our heart looks like right now. This is what I drew: 
My heart is broken and crying. I also drew silhouettes of both Grandpa and Cassandra because that Jewel song popped into my mind as I was drawing. "There's a hole in my heart in the shape of you"

The focus of tonight's GriefShare was Grief and Your Relationships. We talked about how some relationships can change when you go through Grief. Here are some notes I took during the video
  • Isolating Adds to loneliness
  • It's easier to sit on the couch than to go out. 
  • Sometimes I push people away so if something bad happens again, it won't hurt. 
  • "I will never be back to my old self. I'll be a new person, but I'll never be back to who I used to be."
At this point all I can do is keep trucking along and do my best to practice some self-care when I can. And keep going to the gym. And remembering that being happy does not mean forgetting Grandpa. 

To better days
~Jessica 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

GriefShare Week 2

Tonight was my second week of GriefShare which I'll be honest, I was less than thrilled about. I did my 5 daily exercises this week and it seemed like so much of it would have been helpful to do back in August when I was first diagnosed with depression and starting to go through things.

For the most part the last week was actually really good. Things seem to be falling back into place and going really well. In fact, they are going SO well I almost didn't call my doctor to increase my meds... But the last time I thought things were going great they came crashing down again, thus the need to increase the meds. So I did it anyway. I suppose it's better to stabilize my emotions, rather than deal with the roller coaster that has been my life.

Saturday I had to be at the church to make chili with the youth and it really put a lot of things into perspective for me. Last year I didn't make it there in time for chili making. Casey handled everything for me because I was still such a mess from Cassandra's death. I stayed in bed most of the morning and finally put make up on and curled my hair for the first time since she died. A year later I am functioning much better. I still have my days, but it was interesting to see how far I've come in a year.

Anyway, back to GriefShare...

I actually talked tonight. I feel like I can give people some advice on how to get through things, so I guess that's helpful.

Here are some things that came up for me while we watched the video:

  • I'm there physically, but I'm not there.
    • This was SO ME!!!! Sometimes I still feel like this. I get so wrapped up in what is going on, but I was mostly like this in Seattle. I know I've mentioned this before. I still just have a hard time accepting that's how I was on my first trip as youth director. 
  • I'm afraid. I shut myself off from people so as not to feel pain if you lose them too. 
    • I have definitely felt this. In fact, after the year I had in 2014, I definitely thought to myself that I was glad I wasn't in a relationship and possibly never wanted to be in one because I wouldn't want to have to go through that loss or have someone else go through the loss if I died first. 
  • I didn't want to deal with life so all I did was sleep
    • I feel like this has lightened up a bit in my life, but for a long time this was definitely me. Constantly tired ALL THE TIME. 
  • Looking for NEW pictures of Grandpa. Wanting to tell him about the good/bad things that happen in life.
    • I would love to see new pictures of Grandpa and me. Still working on my memory book (Well I haven't worked on it in months actually) makes me wish I had more recent pictures. There is a period of time where there are none and that makes me sad. I guess I regret that I didn't spend more time with him. The thing that makes me the saddest is that he can't see me working at the church and I know that would make him SO PROUD. It also makes me sad that he won't be able to officiate my wedding (if that ever does happen) and achieve great things. I am happy that he was able to see me graduate college, but if I ever go to grad school (something that keeps getting put off) it makes me sad that he won't be able to be there to see me do that. There are a lot of things that he's going to miss out on. And that makes me sad. 
  • To cope remember DEER (Drink, Eat, Exercise, Rest)
    • Okay so in the movie they talked about exercise but said this doesn't mean going to the gym. It means something as little as just going for a walk. Start with small steps and build up from there. This is something I've been trying to focus on. This last week was actually really good for me in the gym department. I went to Hip Hop on Wednseday and took it pretty easy.... And even got called up to the front to help lead "Treasure". I was pretty shy and not super happy but it was a good experience. I was feeling pretty alone and that helped. Thursday I went to the gym again with the goal of walking on the treadmill for 1 mile. At the end of 1 mile I wasn't really ready to stop so I kept going and made it to 2 miles! Part of it was I was definitely fueled by a few songs that played on my Ipod during my walk. Sometimes when I play my Ipod I pray for songs to be played that I need to hear. I think maybe that happened. The songs that helped me were: My Angel by Kellie Pickler, Materpiece by Andy Grammer, and Shut It Down by Pitbull. 
  • My Faith Isn't Working
    • Before the video we had a conversation about our prayers not being answered and it wasn't until this portion in the video that I was brought back to Seattle. I went into the trip knowing that Grandpa dying was a possibility but I prayed and prayed that it wouldn't happen. Every tunnel we went through, when I held my breath I wished and wished that he would live until I got back from the trip. And as we all know, that didn't happen. And I guess it took tonight to make me realize I still harbor some anger at that. I'm angry that I wasn't able to be fully present on the trip. I'm angry that I didn't come home to be with my family. I am just angry at the ONE THING I prayed for for so long didn't happen. I don't know how I am going to get through this anger because what's done is done and there really is no changing it. 
One thing that also came up for me tonight is my impending happiness. Yes, things have gotten better but a part of me is still afraid to be happy. Being happy means I'm not sad. And if I'm not sad does that mean I've forgotten him? I know he wants me to be happy, but I just don't want to forget him.

To Better Days
~Jessica

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

GriefShare Week 1

Have you ever heard of GriefShare?

I never had until my counselor told me about it a few months back. The best way to describe it is it's like an AA meeting for people dealing with grief. When I first heard about it, I looked into it but all the sessions were nearing the end.... And while they say you can start at any time, I'm slightly OCD and needed to start at week 1. So I waited it out and started tonight.

One of the rules of GriefShare is that what we talk about stays there, so I will not be blogging about what other people say. More my reaction to what is said. Each week we will watch a video and have a discussion. During the week I have 5 different days of exercises to do in my workbook.

One thing I've really struggled with in most of my depression and grief work is my relationship. As I deal with the losses of Cassandra and my grandpa, I feel like other people think I shouldn't still be focused on them. In the books I've read and the people I've met and those in the video we watched all their losses were closer: child, parent, spouse. Not grandparent or friend. And that makes me feel like people are judging me and thinking "why aren't you over it yet? It was just your grandpa or just your friend."

Okay, so logically I know this is mostly NOT the case... But it definitely made me refrain from really speaking in session 1 tonight. But I also tend to be kind of a shy girl to begin with. So I guess we'll just see what happens in the next 13 weeks.





I took a few notes during the movie and here is what spoke to me:
*Grief affects our ENTIRE person.

*Grief is a good thing. It is a sign of love. The only way to avoid grief is to never love.

  • This actually makes me laugh because on more than one occasion, when I've seen people lose a spouse I've thought that I can't imagine that and it makes me want to withdraw.



*You don't need to be strong-- you need to be human.

  • I actually was just saying last week that I'm tired of being strong. Maybe this is a sign I need to just stop and let the feelings come. 


*If you say you're fine, people won't come around.

  • This is something I definitely struggle with. I am known for masking what I'm really feeling, telling people I'm fine yet feeling alone all at the same time. I ened to start being more honest and open with people. 


*Lean into grief-- Let go of not letting people see me grieve.

  • Crying in front of other people is just NOT an option for me. I've only cried in front of my counselor once. I don't even know the reason behind my extreme dislike of crying in front of others. Maybe it's because then I don't appear "strong". Maybe I just don't want other people to feel uncomfortable. But apparently it's not healthy. Hmmm...







It will be interesting to see where the next 13 weeks take me. If nothing else, it will at least be nice to go through the process with other people who get what I'm going through.

And maybe in the next 13 weeks I'll actually find my energy back.... Maybe, just maybe...

To better days
~Jessica

Monday, January 26, 2015

3 Month Check.... And no I'm not pregnant

When I went on Zoloft, my doctor said she wanted to see me back in 3 months to see how things were going. There was a big mix up with my prescription getting refilled which led to a freak out on my part because what happens if I run out and don't have a refill? So I set up the dandy little 3 month appointment.

It was with a different doctor because my doctor was pregnant when I first started seeing her and is now gone. Sad. I really liked her.

Now here's the thing... With the beginning of the year I was feeling like things were starting fresh. I was back to eating healthy, I was actually going to the gym, I'd signed up to do yet another 21 day challenge AND I'd signed up for a Run 2,015 miles in 2015 and I knew I could do it. Things were looking GREAT.

And so I went in to my appointment and told her how well things were going... I was taking my meds, I was going to counseling, I was going to get into a support group, LIFE. WAS. GOOD. So she said she'd write my prescription for 6 more months and in 6 months all I had to do was call and she'd extend it for 6 more. Awesome.

I posted on Facebook about it being my 3 month check and apparently one of my friends thought that was some sort of a pregnancy announcement. (It wasn't) And then 2 of my other friends had a FIELD DAY with it. At least it made for some amazing humor. :)
51 COMMENTS
Just the beginning of hilarity


The appointment itself went really well. She had me retake the depression test I took at my first appointment and she asked me how things were going. I said things were going better, not 100% but better. She said she was really happy with my progress and the steps I was taking and wished all her clients would take those steps to get better. So I was happy. Got my meds, things were looking up....

And then about a week later, things came crashing down YET. AGAIN. I don't want to go into details (not really my details to share) but some things happened that were really getting me down. I began to think of people I hurt a long time ago, the hurt they are going through now (not related to me) and I started to really beat myself up about it. And as always, I kept most of this to myself which is not good.

There was also a fire at my apartment complex. Not my building... I slept through it, but it caused some panic in me about what I would do if I were in that situation.

Some other things in my personal life were a mess.

So when I went back to counseling, things were COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than the last time I was there (when things were GREAT) and we decided perhaps we should increase my meds. Now I feel like a total jack-whacker having to call the doctor who I had convinced things were going so great and tell her I was apparently wrong. But I need to do it anyway...

I was SO HAPPY when 2015 started. Finally the crap year that was 2014 was OVER. But one thing I didn't consider was that 2015 is going to be filled with the first year of anniversaries for all that stuff and I started to wonder: "Is 2015 just going to be me RELIVING all that happened in 2014?" Because I don't know if I can handle that...

I spoke with my counselor about this. She doesn't think that it will, but I will definitely feel the feelings.

Today was the 1 year anniversary of Cassandra's Death. It's something I've been kind of anxious about. After her funeral, Kelly and I went out to lunch and got burgers and fries in memory of Cassandra. This year we decided to make a tradition of it. I invited a few of the other ladies from work, but they couldn't come so it ended up just being Kelly and me. I was kinda disappointed, but we had a lovely time. Although we work in the same classroom now, I feel like we are always so busy that we rarely get time to catch up and just chat about the things going on. So it was good for us. And we got this MONSTER of a dessert. And it was delicious.

So where am I one year later? Well... the last 2 days I've spent kind of reliving my emotions a year ago. Or at least remembering them. I remember how hard it was.... but a funny thing also happened. I'm able to take a step back and realize how lucky I was. I had so many wonderful people supporting me at the time. My youth and my "assistant" at the time. While I was crying in my office he handled things, left me alone when he sensed I needed it and hugged me when I needed it. My youth weren't mad at me for not being there with them and they even did a balloon release with me. And they were there for me for the next 12 months in all the hard things I went through. 

It's funny because when the job was originally presented to me, I was so hesitant to take it. I thought "nope, it's not for me." but I know that without those people, I would not have been able to get through the last year. God works in mysterious ways, for sure.... 

I did a little writing this morning. Work itself was mostly fine. It was crazy and as I learned on Sunday as well, distraction can be very good for me. 

Tomorrow I start my Grief Support Group-- GriefShare. It's a 13 week course and I'm sure I'll be blogging about that. I'm really hoping it will help me get through this. Being able to be with people who actually get what I'm going through will be nice. 

As far as the eating and working out.... all my challenges are put on hold for now. I have gained this reputation over the last 4 years of being the girl that eats healthy and works out all the time. And honestly... that's not me right now. And it stresses me out because I feel like everyone expects it from me. And the few times I have been to the gym this year, I've left frustrated and mad because I am not where I once was... And I expect myself to be. And get mad because it's hard. And then I go home and cry. So the new goal is to work out twice a week. Once for Hip Hop and once for something else. I need to just be easier on myself and I will work up to where I was. I just have to be patient. 

It's a never ending journey.... 

To Better Days
~Jessica