Monday, April 15, 2013
What widowhood has taught me so far…
Waterproof mascara not only withstands a little crying, but it thickens, holds curl and doesn’t flake/smear like regular mascara does. Okay, now for the real ones...
It is okay to ask for and accept help. You are not a burden because something terrible happened to you and you need help to get through it. If anything, the people who really matter are just hoping you’ll give them something to do to help. It’s just your turn to be helped.
There’s no right time. Timelines don’t exist. Don’t listen to someone else tell you that you should or shouldn’t. Don’t make any big decisions in the first year is bullshit. Most of us will HAVE to make big decisions. Some of us will want to. Do what you feel in your gut is going to help you in the long run. Then kindly (maybe silently, maybe not) tell anyone who disagrees to fuck off.
Exercise is medicine. Grieving is incredibly hard on your body. Exercise will help you sleep, eat and relax. It will also boost your immune system. You don’t need to have poor health on top of all the other problems. Also, I found that a strenuous workout was one of the few times when my brain would settle down. Physically challenging myself makes my emotional brain shut off temporarily and it’s almost the only thing that does.
Whatever it is you love to do, be it knitting, hanging out with animals, hiking, singing, walking in the woods, painting…do it. Do what used to make your heart sing. It might not feel the same at first, but you will eventually feel it again.
Don’t agree to do stuff you truly don’t want to do. Life is too short to do stuff you don’t want to do.
It’s okay if it feels like there’s nothing you want anymore. I think that will come back eventually. It’ll be scary when it does come back because it’ll feel like you have something to lose again and that’s terrifying. But that fear means you are alive and feeling. That’s good. And scary.
Humor is medicine. Don’t try to read or watch sad, dramatic or traumatizing stuff unless you really want to. Read David Sedaris or Tina Fey or Mindy Kaling, or watch SNL, 30 Rock or Arrested Development. Even if you’re too sad to laugh, at least your brain will get a break from the darkness for a few moments.
Seek out others who “get” you and support you. They will sustain you and vice versa. You need each other.
Disclaimer: Most of these are in my “easier said than done” category and I struggle with them daily, but I still believe them.