Self care? What's that?

I originally started working on this post awhile back. I wasn’t sure where it was going or if it served a purpose. A lot has changed since then. With the current climate that we’re in, I think it is important to reflect on self care.

By this I mean, what does self care look like to an individual, and what does depressive and destructive behavior look like. A lot of us are going to begin the grieving process. Whether it be over family members lost to COVID-19, the loss of employment, or the loss of our social lives.

When I began my grieving process, I was not only grieving the loss of the love of my life, but I also was beginning to grieve my old life. Nothing would ever be the same, and adjusting to that reality is still challenging.

During the first week, following Omar’s death, I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I took the week off of work, it was too easy for me to explode into tears. I don’t mean streaks of tears running down my face, but instead tears flooding my eyes accompanied by nonstop wailing. When I would begin to cry, it was almost like the grief and sadness possessed me. I can honestly say that I had never felt like this or cried like this before. I was overwhelmed by my feelings and my pain. Everything was so unbearable that I sometimes felt like my mind went blank or my conscious went numb.

I didn’t know how to handle these feelings. I didn’t even think it was possible.

As I write this, I am having a hard time trying to remember what I even did the week that lead to the funeral. When I try and recall those devastating days, I can only see black and grey.

I would go to sleep, hoping something would have changed when I woke up. Instead, I would have nightmares about the incident, and I would wake up to a panic or heartache. I had to wake up to another day of pain. I had to spend another day crying and wondering why this happened. It was a nonstop cycle of torture.

I was overwhelmed by my pain and my sadness. I either had no appetite at all or I would engulf myself with food. Showering was hard, getting out of bed was hard, and even existing was hard. The weight of the pain and sadness were taking a toll on my body and my mind.

My social life had become nonexistent, and it sometimes felt like I had forgot how to interact with people. All I knew was my couch, my bathtub, Pink Moscato, and my playlist full of sad songs.

It’s fair to say that I had no regard for my well being. It was what it was.

I was a zombie. I would wake up. Change my clothes, brush my teeth and go to work. All done mindlessly.

It becomes a challenge to take care of yourself, when you have no regard for your body or your health. When your soul is consumed with sadness, it’s hard to see that life can one day be good again.

You know what? It’s okay to be sad, and it’s O.K to mope around! Our perspective of life is no longer the same after grief, after sudden life changes, and it never will be. It’s almost as if our bodies are going into shock to help us adapt, but we don’t know how the fuck to do that. There are no rules or advice columns that can tell us how to individually handle our problems. It’s a bunch of trial and error. Going back and forth from drowning ourselves in alcohol, to hiding away from reality into slumber. Many of us, if possible, may even consume ourselves in work so that there is no time to reflect on our problems or our feelings. I’ve been there, and I know it looks different for everyone.

Just know that it’s okay.

It’s okay for the moment, but you can’t stay stuck or hiding from your feelings forever. There will come a time for you to start doing something. I can’t tell you what. For me, it was traveling, going out with friends, and doing things I had always wanted to do. I even began to use exercise as a source of motivation to just care about my body. Maybe it’s skin care that will encourage you to wake up a little earlier to wash your face, or maybe it’ll be going vegan to get you to go into a grocery and actually pay attention to what you’re putting into your body.

There’s always going to be some sadness with you. It’s okay. Learn from it, remember it, grow from it.

Everything that has happened to you, is already in the past. There’s nothing you can do to change anything. You can look back and remember, maybe even reminisce a little bit. Just know, it’ll never be like that again. You have everything to look forward to.

Even if it’s just another day.

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