I believe that by being open about suicide and sharing coping experiences and ideas, we can learn from each other.
The stigma has kept us clammed up for so long, it’s time we shared.
These work for me. Not to wipe away the pain. But to help me figure out how to live my life with this loss.
Writing hurts sometimes. Well, a lot of times. But there is a release of pain after I hit publish. I also feel free to do it now–to say what I want. No one is stopping me because I started my own thing. I don’t have the shackles put on us by societal norms and there is always pressure to stick to those. Well, they suck and they need to change. Period. And I’m not sticking to those. I am not always going to be “positive” but the one thing I will not do is leave people without is hope. Even though I am suffering the worst possible loss, I have not lost hope for others or for myself. That has to be an element of everything I do.
I have the most wonderful sense of calm when I speak about Charles, suicide and mental health. I find that so strange and it’s entirely unexpected. Maybe it’s because I felt I had to be so quiet for so long. But I feel Charles with me when I speak. And quite frankly, that feels good. I appreciate your allowing me to tell my story.
3. Giving back
There is that big empty cavernous space in my heart that I must fill with something worthy. Other moms out there who have lost a child understand. This is so grueling. I have been talking about mental health and suicide long before Charles died, since 2010. I am just getting started….
My legs weigh a thousand pounds. I had no idea grief could slow me down so much in all aspects of my life. I wasn’t a pro runner before and now I run a truly pathetic pace. But that’s OK. I’m running a slow marathon, not a sprint. No one is timing me and I’m doing it for my own mental health. It cleans out the cobwebs in my head. No ear phones allowed. Just me and my thoughts. Some days are really, really hard. But I make myself go every other day in the rain, in the wind, in the cold.
5. Being bold
I step outside my comfort zone and go and do things I’ve not done before. And I just say it. Because it needs to be said. Mental illness and addiction don’t need to be swept under the rug. Suicide does not need to be whispered. Too many people are suffering.
6. Being transparent
I had no idea how freeing this was. There’s no going back. Emotionally Naked is how I roll.
7. #Griefheart project
With the #griefheart project, I can express my soul in this grief journey. Which is what this site is all about. And I can do this with others who are hurting. Exercising my creativity in memory of my creative genius who died by suicide is painful, soul-searching and freeing all at the same time. I feel good about having a goal that honors him. I have no clue where this is leading and I feel excited about that.
8. Letting it all out
Tears have hit at inopportune times. Not as often now. But I let it go. I allow myself the tears. I allow myself to accept the pain so I can move on. Letting the journey take me has been a big shift for me. Talking helps. It just does.
9. Reaching out
Nobody can think of our situation 24 hours a day. And sometimes that means I need to reach out and call someone. I used to think support groups were not my style. But I stepped outside that comfort zone and attended. I see now how important it is to bond with others in similar situations. You build relationships from the heart at these groups. You share a journey that others just can’t fathom. The relationships from these groups continue to be helpful now.
If you’ve ever experienced grief, I would love to know what works for you.