The grief journey wants you to slow down and be still. For the most part, a person can do little else. The early days of loss are overwhelming and filled with confusion, numbness, endless tears, chaos, and sleepless nights. It’s a challenge to get out of bed let alone shower and get dressed. Although we are somewhat tolerant of this upheaval in the early days, somewhere down the road we get frustrated with ourselves for not being able to “pull it together”. It is as though we are convinced that if we “pull it together” all will be back to normal. It won’t be… not for a long time… so don’t allow this false expectation to rush you through the process.
Down the road you will feel stronger and on some days you may even feel like you slayed the dragon. Then suddenly, and without provocation, the world comes crashing in again and it seems as though you have gone back 1000 steps in your healing. You have. But that is okay! It happens to all of us. On these days when it’s too overwhelming to answer the telephone, listen to the news, or get out for groceries, allow yourself to shut down and withdraw from the world.
However, there are two conditions to this:
- Don’t withdraw indefinitely. It’s perfectly fine to have a day where you stay in your pyjamas, keep the curtains closed and do nothing. Remember: it’s fine for A DAY. If this becomes your new norm, it’s not healthy and you will do yourself more harm than good. Reach out for professional help if you find that you have withdrawn from the outside world and can’t find your way back. There is help out there, please take it.
- Let a family member or close friend know that you are fine but you just need some time alone to be quiet and reflect. Those who care about you will be hyper vigilant about your wellbeing. Try to understand that they can no more stop worrying about you at this time, then you can stop hurting because the world wants you to. Take the time you need, but do let others know that you are safe.