I took a Human Stress class this quarter, and one of the things we talked about was the 5 Myths of Coping with Loss. One that particularly stood out to me was the idea that it is necessary to work through or “process” a loss. Wortman and Silver studied SIDS parents in the late 1980s, and found that parents who were preoccupied with thoughts of the loss at 3 weeks post death were more distressed 18 weeks post death than other parents. Thinking about the death did NOT bring the parents peace.
And this makes sense right? When you are focused on a problem that is outside of your control, you will only be more distressed. Losing a loved one is always difficult, but the loss of a child seems to especially grieve the senses. Parents are left questioning, “Why me? Why my baby?”
Some questions can’t be answered. And to focus on trying to answer them will only leave the individual writhing in anguish.
However, an individual can sometimes find meaning in their loss, depending on the circumstances.
For me, personally, I have struggled the past 4 months with my father’s manic state. It is unbelievably draining and stressful. He neglects his medication, and makes decisions that endanger himself as well as others. He recently crashed a car while driving drunk and sleep deprived.
“Why won’t he get better? Why won’t he just take his medication?”
If I ask myself these questions, I will be forever haunted by the silence. There are no good answers.
However, there are other ways of coping with it. I left the house and am currently living with my extended family. I’m trying to meditate and exercise every day. I try to avoid talking or thinking about him, because it only gets me upset. I choose to focus on things that are within my control. I relish in the positives.
I made the Dean’s Honor List again. This is the third quarter in a row.
I’m seeing Buloy tomorrow AND Saturday. Looking forward to spending time with him and getting to dance at a new venue.
I was able to plank for a minute today. I am getting stronger.
I was able to leave my house and distance myself from the stress. I am empowered and protected. I am putting my health and sanity first.
Life is difficult, but life is good. Taking a few deep breaths and then going to sleep with a peaceful mind. Good night Readers.