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Monday, October 27, 2014

Grief Triggers

So, here in Central Florida a celebration called “Biketoberfest” just ended.  If you are not familiar, thousands of motorcycle riders roll into the Daytona Beach area for an extended weekend of sun, beaches, entertainment and bikes, bikes and more bikes!

In the past I would be excited for this time of year!  Yeah! It is Biketoberfest.  Now, I stay home and off the roads because it is Biketoberfest.

Well, I miscalculated and decided to plan a road trip to Atlanta in the middle of this huge event.  Driving extra cautiously and at the same time trying to tune them all out.  They would breeze by me with not a care in the world.   They were all enjoying the ride, the moment, the weather and the comradery.  With every mile another trigger is pulled (boom) another memory, another heartache.  It did not matter the type of bike, the color of the bike, the sound of the bike, the speed of the bike or the description of the rider (s).  It was one hit after another.  A couple passes by and I can she her arms wrapped around his waist and those where my arms.  If I close my eyes and still feel that closeness, that bond, and then I remember I will never have that experience again in my life.  I felt angry, anxious and sad all in one moment.  Talk about feeling crazy! I say this to provide one small glimpse into grief.  The triggers are different for everyone but for every person that has experienced a major loss they do exist.  They can be small reminders, but just like that they can put you into a deep grieving space where you are distracted from what you were doing and suddenly find yourself in that space where nothing else matters but your pain.  I believe as humans we crave connections/bonds with each other.  The death of a loved one does not diminish that desire, I believe it actually intensifies it.  We want what we cannot have.  It is as if the trigger finds a way to get that connection back. 

I am learning as a go and I am trying to give myself permission to be okay with my emotions.  Looking through "grateful" lenses is one of the most difficult challenges I have. 

My question now is how do to be thankful for the experiences that keep that bond without being tortured.....

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ah-Hah Moments

Walking this road, I have discovered much and I have had many “ah-hah moments” 

When I think back to my happiest times, some go back to my childhood, some go back to motherhood but most go back to my life with Tim.  Flashes so vivid I could hear laughter, see colors, feel the air and recall my thoughts of the pure content I felt being in that single moment.    So now I think, what happens now?  I actually have thoughts of “never again”.   As of this moment this feeling is fueled by anger, sadness and fear.  Yes fear.  I have actual feelings of fear.  I never expected this one.  If confuses me.

Anxiety and fear have become a part of the “new” me.  It is a feeling that is very foreign to me.    My fear is not scary movie , ax murderer fear.  My fear is what if something else happens?  Why open my word up?  So that it can be crushed again?  Accidents DO happen, and honestly I will not survive another blow to my heart, my world, my life.   This has truly altered who I am. 

Okay.   So now I have recognized where I am at.  I have identified why.

THE CAUSE:  Why you suffer from anxiety, panic and fear of being abandoned? 

At some time, you experienced an event that you interpreted as abandonment and made you very afraid. When the event occurred, the brain chemicals produced by anxiety synthesized into proteins and were stored in the emotional brain (amygdala).  Now, whenever you encounter something that "reminds" you of that traumatic event, these proteins are "disturbed," and you experience the same feelings now that you did then - panic attacks, anxiety, fear, terror of being unloved or left alone.

I share this so that if you OR someone you know has experience a loss, please know that they will likely not be the same person prior to this loss.  From the inside out it changes you.  It is not as easy as telling someone to “let it go", “move on with your life” or “get over it”.  

For me, I understand where I am right now even if no else does.  I am trying!