When I was going through the hardest times of my life, it was the stories of other people’s tragedy’s and how they survived through it that gave me strength to carry on. And if I can share my story to help even a single person realize that they can make it through whatever life throws at them, then I’ve done my job.
Around two years ago my Mother died. And to this day it still hurts like it did those years ago and it will probably hurt until I leave this earth. No one tells you that. If you haven’t gone through it, you definitely don’t get it. I miss my mum everyday. She was my best friend, teacher, number one hero. She was always smiling, happy and so full of energy. Everyday when I came home from school we’d sit and talk for hours about anything and everything. And this isn’t looking back on my life with rose-tinted glasses, I was really really fortunate to have a really beautiful relationship with my Mother and was able to be open with her, which, unfortunately is not what most people have. She accepted me for who I was and always pushed me to be a better person. If I grew up to be even half the person she was I would be very proud of myself. Writing this down is just giving me a flood of tears, but you know what, these emotions are okay. It’s okay to feel these things and not to be ashamed of them.
The thing with grief is that it affects all people differently, from the relationship you had to the way they died. At first I felt very numb and empty inside, I really couldn’t believe that I lost my mum, even when I sat in the hospital and the nurse put her hand on my shoulder “you do know what’s going to happen right love, you do know your mum is dying” I didn’t want to believe it. But when the day came I felt numb. I didn’t want to go outside. I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to live. I was emotionally drained every. single. day. And I couldn’t keep up. When I went back to school I found it hard to concentrate on work or relate to other people’s conversations. Then I got mad and angry and the world became a very ugly dark place. I just kept getting flashbacks in my head and to put it frankly I was very depressed and suicidal at that time. I was beginning to hate the person that I’d become.
Sometimes you’ll get knocked down again and again even on your lowest moments. When I finally decided to get help and go to a doctor to see a psych, I wasn’t 18 yet so I had to see a school counselor. Unfortunately, I had a dodgy situation in which the teacher kept lying about arranging me an appointment, and when I was talking about it to another teacher she acted as if I’d never asked for one. I just found it very shocking how the school system in my college had no care for mental health, just grades. And the sad realization came to some friends also, they drifted from me when I needed them the most. So I bottled everything up, my entire self, I decided to shut myself out of this hell hole, I called earth.
Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away. Ismail Haniyeh
With that I let myself get sucked into a negative black hole. I would tell myself: I was so capable of archiving great things and now I’m a failure. I have no future. I messed up my entire life. And then I thought wow. I didn’t drop out of school when things got too overwhelming. I didn’t end my life. And I still came out with good grades and I got into one of the the worlds best art schools which I busted my ass working on my portfolio. No one can stop me from reaching my ultimate potential. Not to mention I love learning. “Stay in your head, you’re dead” – Tony Robbins
What ever we focus on will be the outcome. But at that time of bleak depressing grief in the winter months I really had to teach my mind in thinking. What is the right way to think because smashing my head against the wall to see my brain come out was not healthy… so I read a lot of articles on grief and dealing with what I was going through. There were horror stories of people losing entire families, their house, their job, their friends. Other places around the world suffering from famine, war and poverty. Holocaust survivor’s stories are what I would google when ever I started to let myself swim in a pity party and with all that came gratitude.
And then I started reading self help books so I could look through the world with different take. Instead of falling in the everlasting trap of self pity I began to ask myself these questions. What have I gained in this loss? How can I help others going through the same thing? Is laying in bed all day going to make my mum proud? How can I make my life better for others for the time I have left on this earth?
Now don’t get me wrong, it took me almost two years to get out of this mindset and there are still days I get when I just want to sit and cry. It’s a constant daily battle that one has to walk through. I’m also going to leave a care list of articles, links, videos and book recommendations that helped me and maybe might help you too. Let’s walk this road together.
- Life of pi – Yann Martel
- Anthony Robbins – Awaken the giant within
- The alchemist – Paulo Cohelo