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

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. :)
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