It’s been two months since my mom has passed away. What an emotional time it has been for me since this all began. Last week was a little more rough than normal, being forced to readjust to my regular life after my mom’s funeral and traveling all over France. But "baby steps my friend" is what I always tell myself. They say that when you hit rock bottom and go through a traumatic event like losing a loved one, you learn a lot about yourself. Thanks to the creation of this blog and the writing process, I'm learning a lot about myself. This learning process continues with every post I write.
Throughout the posts to follow I'm going to introduce the concept of coping mechanisms.
Wondering what coping mechanisms are? Well, when a person faces a stressful situation which they might have a hard time handling, they turn to certain tools to help them cope with their situation. Finding a healthy coping mechanism is key, and you should choose one or more intended to make it easier to live your everyday life. But there are also negative coping mechanisms. Some examples of this are alcohol and drugs. Drowning your grief in such unhealthy behavior would make your situation worse, and it would set you up to dig yourself deeper into a depressive and dependant hole. With that said, we will only focus on positive and healthy mechanisms--and remember, everyone’s coping mechanism is different. What works for John might not work for Susie.
One mechanism which has helped me a lot is to set aside at least 15 mins out of my day to be by myself. I need this, especially living in a city that's always surrounded by chaos and people. So, for me, it’s important to get that “me” time. You should take your time out too. Fifteen to twenty minutes a day, in a place of your choosing and comfort. If you feel comfortable in the car, then let yourself grieve in the car (but, please, no driving and crying). Or, maybe you know a quiet place in the park where you can find peace--a place that makes it easy for you to gather your thoughts. For most people, the place where they find they can reflect and truly be by themselves is in their home.
Make this time meaningful for you. It will allow you to take a minute, sit back, and reflect on everything. This exercise will give you a space to grieve. You can decide only to focus on the person that has passed. This activity tends to be emotional, so it’s ok to let yourself cry. Just hand yourself over to the grief and allow yourself to feel it. It’s important you go through such a process where you let yourself feel the pain. Holding all the pain and emotions inside you isn’t healthy, and if kept in, the beginning of the grieving process can lead to negative things such as depression.
Throughout the next couple of weeks, I will continue to give different examples of the various coping mechanisms, this way you'll have a chance to try and find which one works best for you! By the way, if anyone has any suggestions or wants to mention a coping skill that works best for them, please write it in the comment section below.