A Time To Wallow

Foreword: This is probably the most self-serving post I have ever written, but I hope that it helps at least someone who may, like me, be going through a difficult time.

Thousands of movies, novels, and news stories show us that life is not always a fairy tale.  There are hiccups and bumps along this road and some of them can completely devastate you.  Everyone goes through hard times.  The most common theme is loss.  We lose family members, jobs, and spouses.  It’s painful and we may become unresponsive zombies in the wake of the overwhelming grief.  Tears are shed and hearts are broken during these periods of wallowing.  So, how do you deal with an emotional tailspin?  Here are some hopefully helpful tips to get you through the days where even breathing is difficult.

If they don’t work, there’s always tequila and cookie dough.

The Wonderland Registry (Jul)

For the Distraction:

Busy

It’s very easy to get caught up in a sea of sadness that finds you drifting alone in your own feelings.  You have to find a way to swim through the sadness rather than drowning in it.  One of the best ways to do this is to keep busy.  Throw yourself into your workouts, volunteer for a project at work, take someone up on their offer of a night out on the town, discover a new hobby.  There is a lot you can do to redirect your focus in a positive way.  You just have to get out and do it.

For Your Health:

Don't forget a cuddle buddy.

Don’t forget a cuddle buddy.

I cannot tell you how important sleep is when you’re upset about something. Things tend to look a little rosier in the morning after a proper night’s rest.  It can be difficult to silence the mind from replaying events and conversations, but sleep can help you do that.  Recently, I have suffered from nightly insomnia.  I can fall asleep no problem, but I wake in the middle of the night with a racing brain and an inability to put those thoughts—and my body—back to bed.  I have tried a variety of techniques to exhaust myself (working out daily, counting backward from 100 by 3’s, etc.), but night after night, I am awake at 2 or 3 or 4am as if my alarm clock has just chimed.  Any suggestions for staying asleep or if anyone knows how I can bribe Mr. Sandman would be greatly appreciated.

For the Support:

Grab your support system and hold on tight.

Grab your support system and hold on tight.

Friends and family are incredibly important in the healing process.  They offer a shoulder to cry on, a drinking buddy, and a voice of reason.  Rely on them.  Don’t be afraid to admit that you’re hurting; they have been there too.  Maybe not the exact situation you find yourself in, but through the onslaught of emotions you are going through.  We all need people that we can talk to who will listen and love you when your face looks like you’ve been in the ring with Mike Tyson and your floor is littered with tissues.  They will be there for you, you just need to reach out and accept the support.

For the Recovery:

Time1

When your emotions consume you and you feel like you will never be happy again (I liken it to a Dementor attack from the Harry Potter series), trust in one thing: time.  You are going to feel like shit and your heart will ache.  It’s normal and natural not to snap back to your happy self as soon as the moment is over.  If you can, you probably never cared in the first place.  They say “time heals all wounds” and it’s true.  It may not be overnight—in fact, that’s something you can count on—but the pain will dissipate and with time, all the hurt you feel today may be just a distant memory.

At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

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18 thoughts on “A Time To Wallow

  1. Howard geer says:

    I wish there was a way I could wash away your tears and put only your smile back on your face. I feel your grief and loss and can only send you my complete understanding and love. I only know that inspite of the apparent loss that its really your spirit clearing your path
    I love you so much And yes it’s true time heals all wounds. You are helping me to know that
    Dad

  2. Amanda Lannon says:

    Hi Jessica, So sad for you, but please know it is okay to look inward or to wallow, especially if you remember that it is not a place to stay. Be kind to yourself my blogging friend. Sometimes some days are harder than other’s and having a good outpouring of your inner pain is necessary, sometimes it is right to be self serving in order to come through. Sometimes being “strong” can be detrimental for it can build walls that harden the heart. Be gentle on yourself and yes, time heals. Time softens the pain, makes it more bearable and you will get there along with the love and support you have around you. God Bless you Jessica.

    • Jessica says:

      Amanda, I can’t thank you enough. I’m slowing crawling out of the wallowing and your words and support added to the shining light at the end of the long, dark tunnel. xoxo

  3. Prithi Srikumar says:

    Hey Jessica, sounds like you are having a tough period. I hope things get better soon… And no its not really that self oriented. Its a great post! So many people will find comfort through the tips you have mentioned. Hang in there!

    One thing I do when I can’t sleep, is just tell myself “Its ok if I dont sleep, I will just lie down and rest my body and mind. That is good enough.” And think peaceful thoughts. I find its often the stress of wanting to go to sleep that actually prevents it. When I dont force it, many a times I find myself falling asleep… It will probably help you go back to sleep if you wake up in the middle as well. you could give it a try…

    • Jessica says:

      Things are getting better every day, Prithi. Thank you. I do hope others will benefit from the tips as well.

      That is a great suggestion for getting back to sleep and I will definitely try it the next time I wake in the middle of the night.

  4. Suze says:

    I really liked this post. My mother passed away when I was a kid and 4 years ago my father turned his back on me. I felt like I lost everything but all of the things you mentioned helped me getting through the hard times.

    • Jessica says:

      Oh, Suze. I can’t even imagine losing my mom. What a strong woman you are! I’m glad you thought the tips were helpful. I wish I had written them when you needed them the most.

      • Suze says:

        You know how they say time heals all wounds? It’s not true. Time is a great teacher though. I learned to accept her death as time went by.
        I once read a beautiful poem saying “The dead are not truly dead until we forget about them.”
        I made it one of my mottos.
        My mom lives on in every song I play, every picture I paint, every tear I cry and every smile I smile. 🙂

  5. wordsurfer says:

    I’m so sorry. I’m sending you a virtual hug. As for the sleeplessness… it doesn’t happen very often for me, but usually one of two things work: reading a book you know very well and love, something you can just sink into without having to switch your brain on, something that feels very comfortable. I usually get drowsy again after a while and I can hide away from the ugly, scary thoughts inside the story.
    The other option might only work for me because I have this contrary streak: get up and behave as if the night is over. Deny your brain the option of going back to sleep. Open your computer, write something, start cleaning the kitchen or tidying your desk and as soon as your brain realizes that it’s not allowed to go back to sleep, that’s really all it wants to do. At least, that’s how it works for me.
    Sending all my love!

    • Jessica says:

      I warmly accept your virtual hug. 🙂 Thank you. xoxo

      I usually fall asleep while reading, but I never considered reading something familiar to lull me back to sleep. That is an excellent tip! I haven’t had the guts to act like the night is still over… too afraid I’ll be up for hours and finally get tired when the alarm is about to go off.

  6. Ashley says:

    Great post Jessica, and I don’t think it’s self-serving! So many people have these experiences, and talking about your own experiences serves to help others as well as taking a weight off of you.

    You may have already tried this, but drinking a cup of tea (one without caffeine, of course) and reading for a while usually helps me calm down and makes me drowsy. Maybe it would work for you too!

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Ashley. If anything, I’ve always tried to be real on this blog. My life is not always sunshine and roses and I think readers benefit when they know other people have gone through hard times. It makes them relate all the easier and may make them feel a little better about whatever it is they are going through.

      Tea is a great suggestion. I’ll need to pick up some decaf at the store soon. Reading usually does the trick for me too, unless the book is a real page-turner. 😉

  7. filbio says:

    So sorry to hear about your loss and what you are going through. Sometimes things in life are tough to get through, and you make some very valid points here. It’s not self serving, as we all go through it and experience the same pains. As you said, give it time.

Don't let me do all the blogging, join in the conversation. Otherwise, I just feel like I'm talking to myself...

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