It has been a while since I have posted anything and the truth is; this is a good thing.
However, with that said, June is PTSD awareness month and I want to take a moment to talk about my struggle and constant need for resilience, as I know there are so many out there battling a story that many of us may know nothing about.
I have been swamped and although I stop multiple times a day with the thought, “I need to write about this,” I have had to set my priorities, and right now my education is on the top of that list, with a close second being Scott and his girls, and a very close third being FMR. 😉
Of course, Scott knows he’s first, but he has made it very easy for me to focus heavily on my schooling. I have big plans, and big plans take a ton of work and dedication.
Yesterday I read a post from a gal in a mutual widow’s group on Facebook. It brought me straight to tears but also reminded me why I am doing what I am doing. She is very early on in her grief; less than a month in fact, and she is in that period of shock and insurmountable pain, with the never ending thoughts that her life will NEVER be the same.
The truth is, her life will NEVER be the same, but it will okay.
As soon as I read things like that I am instantly in tears. I remember back to those early days. The days where I would howl from the upstairs bedroom of my parent’s place and my Mother, Aunts, Cousins, and Father would come barging in trying to offer me some sort of refuge from the pain. It was so hard for them to bear witness. I know this because I remember the looks on their faces. The look of helplessness, the look of sheer horror and the look of complete sadness.
I have mentioned a million times in my blog how grateful I am that I had constant support from friends, family, and strangers and I know damn well that this is not the case for everyone.
As I study and read about stress, trauma, and coping, I remember the reasons why I am so passionate about this profession. It’s so funny because I have always been interested in this field and had only made an effort to explore the idea of a career change just months before Nick died. We were so excited for our future endeavors.
Sixteen months later and I am finally on the road to the career I should have explored many many years ago. Regrets? Hell no. Had I made any different decisions before now, I never would have met Nick, and my life would have been very different.
As I sit here and study, I am constantly reminded how my story is going to shape who I am as a psychologist. My story is going to help me to provide my clients with a genuine approach, and I will always remember where I came from and how hard it was to endure what I had to endure.
I read an article the other day about how grief never really goes away, and it will always remain a weight that you carry, the only change is, you learn an effective way to carry it.
I knew this.
I have always known this, but it has become more and more apparent to me as my life becomes “normal” again. Let me explain.
Issues with part of Nick’s family came up a few weeks ago again. Something that could have turned my recovery into a downhill spiral but didn’t because I have a little bit of insight on this life and this thing called grief.
Their lack of peace does not mean I can not be peaceful.
When I first received the voicemail, I had a brief panic attack, but with some mindful thinking and the help of my parents (once again), I managed to recover. However, it didn’t stop me from going back to that place of absolute betrayal. My heart once again hurt so badly for Nick and I had to remind myself over and over again that this was not my fault.
Last week, in the middle of my studying, I received a text message from Jennie. She noticed an article published by Global News where they used one of Nicks gorgeous photos as the article attachment. This may not have been a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but they used the photo in relation to criminal behavior. Not only was I furious but I was instantly brought back to those early days of phone calls, Facebook messages, and news reports.
I had seen so many avalanche victims faces on the news over the years, but this time it was Nick up there on my T.V screen. Nick’s face under the words Avalanche fatality. I was the fiancée they were referring to, and Nick was the dead snowmobiler.
One reckless move by a Global News employee almost changed my entire day from a productive one to a “written off” one. Luckily because I have gained some insight on this journey of grief, and Jennie is an amazing friend, I knew that this did not have to interfere with my day and I was going to be okay.
Just an update, the lady I spoke to with Global assured me that Nick’s photos would never be used again, as they were only meant for his story in the first place. She was very kind and understanding as to why I was mortified and although I still don’t particularly like the media, she restored some of my faith in humanity. 😉
Yesterday I was reading my textbook, and I was immersed in what I was learning. Classical conditioning was the topic and the next thing I knew I was reading an example of a boy who was buried briefly by snow by a small avalanche, and who now, as an adult, is afraid of snow.
One simple example brought me into a fifteen-minute long day dream of how Nick might have coped with being buried, had he come back alive. There was someone who was also buried that day that came back alive, and I think of him and his recovery on a daily basis.
Well shit, there goes my concentration
Honestly, I have moments like this all the time. Unpacking my stuff in my new place and having conversations with Scott about where to put pictures of Nick and me. Seriously though, think about how difficult this is for both of us. I love Nick, and he was my fiancé, and I want his pictures in my home. Scott, of course, had no issues with this, but I know deep down this has got to be fucking weird for him.
I will not deny this and neither should anyone else.
This journey of grief is one beautiful messed up adventure, and I honestly have so much respect, love, and admiration for anyone who has not only walked through this as a result of losing someone they love deeply, but also for those people who “choose” to be a part of it.
I haven’t written in a while because I have been very busy enjoying my “new normal.” I am so passionate about my studies and the development of FMR, and I can not wait to be able to help those who have walked in the same shoes I have walked in and some who have been dealt cards even more severe than mine.
I can not wait to look someone in the eyes and tell them, “This is excruciating hell right now, but I promise, it CAN and WILL be okay again.”
I apologize for my lack of involvement on social media lately, and I apologize if I don’t always respond to text messages. I have had to make a conscious effort to put away my phone and focus.
Every day I am reminded how lucky I am, and every day I think about all of those people out there who haven’t been dealt the most favorable cards. Today I want to send out a big virtual hug to those struggling and remind everyone that the darkest times in your life can produce the most beautiful days in your future.
Please know there are people out there who love you and YOU can get through this. Never give up.