You know what I just did? I got into a bath, with a bag of chip and cold beer. At 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I looked at pictures of my baby boy who I was supposed to outlive and I cried. And now I write, because writing has become a huge ally in this battle.
When you’re learning to live with grief – and the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that you’ll never be an expert on the subject – you keep living as normally as possible. I get up and make my coffee. I get my kids dressed and watch cartoons. I grocery shop and try to keep ahead of the never ending laundry (I’m sure you can all relate to that one). Mostly it works. Nights, when I stop “doing” are usually the toughest. But today that was a no go. I cried driving my big boy to school. Not really sure why. I ran into a mom in the hallway who I know through a mutual friend. She too lost a baby, 5 years ago. Just seeing her made me cry again. I stood in the middle of the hallway in Rykers school and I cried. I haven’t really stopped since. Everything and nothing has set me off.
And as I stood in the kitchen getting dinner into the crock pot, I thought to my self “why am I fighting this?” So I threw in the towel on adulting today and climbed into a bath with some comfort food and a cold drink. And guess what? That’s ok. It’s ok to just allow yourself to be sad. Why do we try to fight it? If the infamous “be gentle with yourself” results in an extra basket of laundry and some dishes to do tomorrow, I’ll take it.
Self care is so important. If you don’t allow yourself self care, in whatever form it needs to be, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Self care can range from therapy and medication to chips in the bath. Don’t underestimate the importance and necessity of them. Without healthy self care, unhealthy habits can easily form. I think that hole that we can fall into is a lot easier to climb out of if you’ve allowed yourself to chip away at it. All the mini self cares along the way help to make us a long and steep staircase up.
There’s no shame in allowing yourself to just be sad or mad or tired sometimes. Maybe if we allow them their time, then we can start to recognize if those times are intensifying or we need to up our self care game. Take care of yourself friends, you are so important.