Day #6. Boosting your self esteem

12 days of coping strategies

The sixth coping strategy is “make your alter ego your ally.”

Ever since I was fifteen years old, I’ve used a strategy to help me get out of the cycle of beating myself up. I didn’t realize I had been using this method for decades until after Charles died when I started writing “alter ego” posts here. It’s what I do to get myself out of the habit of self criticism.

When I was a young teen, I would join in those teen conversations about hating this body part or that. “My thighs were too fat.” “I am too tall.” I … Read more...

All this noise

Me: Some days I think, “How will I ever get through to people?” No one can hear me. I just feel drowned out.

Alter Ego: Everyone feels that way.  

Me: I know that. But I feel that way today, damn it. 

Alter Ego: So what do you want a pity party? 

Me: No. I just want to be heard. I keep pushing and pushing and pushing. I feel like I’m yelling but the crowd around me drowns me out and it makes me feel like my message is just not important. 

Alter Ego: You know there is so much noise Read more...

How to let go of bitterness in grief

Who wants to be bitter their whole life? How does it improve the quality of your life? And do others want to be around you when you are bitter?

The short answer is that it doesn’t improve the quality of your life so let’s get rid of it.

We are allowed some bitterness in grief. Just know that it’s a space you want out of. You can have the thoughts, no one can stop that. I’ve had them. Just make sure you have strategies to overcome that feeling so you can move forward.

Awareness comes first. Then a willingness to … Read more...

My alter ego soothes my fear of fading memories

charles-beach

Me: Some days I feel like his memory will fade and I will not remember all that I want to remember

Alter Ego: You won’t forget the really important things

Me: But I want to remember everything

Alter Ego: Even with the ones who are living, you forget things. It’s not possible to remember everything

Me: Sometimes when I think about this, my breathing is shallow and I feel panicky. The memories are all I have

Alter Ego: It’s that feeling that it can’t be real. His death, I mean

Me: Exactly. I feel like if I move forward, I Read more...

My alter ego talks to me when I want to give up

push-uphill

Me: Some days I just want to give up. I just feel like I’ll never be heard

Alter Ego: But you are being heard

Me: Why don’t I feel it?

Alter Ego: You can’t really expect that every day you’ll feel it

Me: I feel sure people are so tired of me. Want me to just shut up about it

Alter Ego: Why do you feel that way?

Me: Suicide is a dour subject that people want to tune out

Alter Ego:  And you think you should shut up because of that? 

Me: No

Alter Ego:  What are you expecting Read more...

Anticipation of the first death anniversary

Me: I don’t know yet which is worse. The anticipation of June 5, Charles’ death anniversary, or the actual daycal_june5

Alter Ego: I’ve noticed you are sleeping restlessly again and the hot flashes are worse 

Me: And the heaviness in my limbs. It feels like the death anniversary will mean he is farther away from me

Alter Ego:  You’ll have to learn to carry him in your heart

Me: Sometimes I know what that means. Other times I don’t and I feel if I cling to my grief I’m closer to him and he won’t fade away

Alter Ego:  Did Read more...

My alter ego talks me through my first Mother’s Day

Alter Ego:  It’s Mother’s Day today. Your first

Me: Now that’s a new definition of the first Mother’s Day

Alter Ego: It’s the first since his suicide

Me: I just want to die

Alter Ego: Really? 

Me: No, not really. I planned the birthday and death anniversary but there so many occasions. I just failed to plan for this one. 

Alter Ego: What would you have done? 

Me: Planned a surgery that lasted all day 

Alter Ego:  Well you don’t need surgery

Me: No. I just need the anesthesia

Alter Ego:  It’s just one day

Me: I know, I know. Read more...

Grief. My alter ego tries to hoist me out of bed in the morning

Alter Ego:  Morning. Time to get up. 

Me: I don’t want to. 

Alter Ego: You have to get up. 

Me: But I’m not ready. I have to face the fact he’s gone when I’m awake. 

Alter Ego: Are you going to spend all day in bed?  Won’t that totally depress you? 

Me: Yeah. It will. 

Alter Ego: What are you going to wear on your run? 

Me: My legs feel like lead. I don’t want to run. 

Alter Ego: You always feel better once you go. 

Me: Not always. Somedays my legs feel like lead the whole time. Somedays nothing Read more...

Grief: My alter ego and I argue on what to say

Alter Ego:  A lot of new people at this party

Me: I love meeting new people

Alter Ego: What will you say if they ask how many kids you have?

Me: Maybe I will just mention Richard

Alter Ego: What about Charles?  

Me: I don’t know. Just saying I have one sort of makes me feel like I don’t honor his memoryBlank white speech bubbles

Alter Ego: Saying he died is such a conversation killer

Me: Well I’m not going to say “Hi my name is Anne Moss, I had a child die by suicide” 

Alter Ego: Let’s hope not

Me: If it Read more...

Why do I post about grief? My alter ego and I have a battle

Alter Ego: Are you really going to push that “publish” button and depress everyone?

Me: Well that’s not why I am writing all this. 

Alter Ego: Then why?

Me: I am not sure why. 

Alter Ego: Then why bring everybody else down? Who wants to read this crap?  No one wants to be dragged into your grief about your dead child. Who wants to hear about that? This is your journey not theirs. 

Me: They don’t have to read it. It’s not a required reading assignment 

Alter Ego: You know people are going to feel forced or obliged to reach Read more...