This is my first blog post in a while. Christmas was an immense battle which left me exhausted and broken. But very slowly, piece by piece, tiny step by tiny step, I’m getting stronger.
Next month will be the two year anniversary of Ned’s death. He also would have been celebrating his 7th birthday. Two years? It feels like yesterday.
April will bring the one year anniversary of Dad’s sudden death.
I have had people say that it’s time for me to accept what’s happened now and move on with my life. I don’t bother to reply to these comments. They don’t deserve a reply.
So, where am I at? I still have the same diagnoses: Complex Grief Disorder, PTSD, Depression and Anxiety. I still cry myself to sleep every night as I have done every night since I lost my little boy. I still have panic attacks and become fearful of leaving the house. I still have suicidal feelings. I am still on very strong, very high dosages of medication.
But, and it’s a huge BUT, I am slowly learning safer coping strategies to deal with my grief and my mental illness. I have learnt and now accept that some of my coping behaviours in the past have been harmful and ended up leaving me in a worse state than I already was.
With the amazing and endless support and care of three wonderful professionals – my GP, my psychologist and my bereavement counsellor – my behaviour patterns are changing. There are three main changes that I have made over the last month:
- I have stood up to certain people who have intimidated and bullied me for years, simply by telling them that they are no longer a part of my life.
- I have started to write for children again. Being a children’s author was always my dream and I have realised that I’m not ready to give it up.
- I have started running three times a week – no music, no running buddy, just me and the world around me.
Three small stepping stones on a very long road to recovery. They may seem like nothing to some people, but believe me, it has taken a tremendous amount of grit, determination and energy for me to get here. It has been a huge battle.
I will never recover from losing Ned. I’m not the same person as I was two years ago. That person died the second the police officer told me that Ned had passed away. But there is a new me forming. A very different me. My view on life is very different. What I want from life is very different.
I will never stop grieving for Ned. The tears I cry at night will never dry up. I will never forgive myself for letting him go on that horrific day. But I know that I have to be here for my two other sons. And I want to see them grow up. I love my three boys equally with every beat of my heart.
There will always be bad days and I may not be ready to step onto the next stepping stone for a very long time. But as long as I can keep both feet steady on the stone I’m standing on and not fall into the deep water below, then I’ll be ok.