Tayler A Rich| Blogger & Grace, Coffee, And Empty Cups podcast host
For me, blogging felt like a way to cope and process my feelings. So that I could read it back to myself and begin to work through my emotions. As I have said many times before, I don’t claim to be anything that I am not. When I say that my grief-coping mechanisms were unhealthy and that it took time for me to come around to the idea of writing out how I feel, I’m not kidding.
I isolated myself from everyone else on the inside, outwardly I was my own version of fine. If I could just hold it all together in public and wait until I was alone then everything was okay. Obviously, it wasn’t, but that’s what I told myself to push through outings and visitors. Once alone, I would drink a bottle of wine, binge donuts, and paint my walls. I renovated the whole house that summer trying to fill the void. The big Mila-sized hole in my life that ached without ceasing.
I realize not everyone has been through the tragedy of suddenly losing their three year old. I also realize that my trauma isn’t the only trauma that can bring on these kinds of emotions. As mothers and as women, so many of us struggle with anxiety, depression, and ptsd. The causes don’t make the mental distress any more or less important. What is imperative, is that we acknowledge that it’s real and that there is something out there that will help. It just takes stepping out of the mind set that nothing can cushion the blow.
I know not everyone is comfortable with medication. I had never been one to even take Tylenol for a headache. I wanted to be strong and I felt like admitting I needed something to aid the anxiety showed weakness that I was trying so hard to mask. The day I showed up to my doctors appointment, I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I ended up breaking down in tears, and through actual sobs managed to depict how deep into a depression I had sank.
I came on and off of a few different meds until we found a prescription that was a fit. It took weeks to begin to get back to myself, and I hated that I needed pills to feel somewhat normal again. In the spirit of transparency and the fact that no one is perfect. I can honestly say that at this moment, I am not on the Zoloft that I once was on to keep my mind at bay. I made the choice to keep my pregnancy medication free in the third trimester when I was told it would be “mellowing out” my son. Then I breastfed him until he was one year old and haven’t gotten a new prescription.
I get it that that is hardly helpful, but I won’t lie and tell you I am taking a magic pill to make everything better. I have come a long way in the past year and a half. It has taken ending my marriage, moving states, and facing my demons head on. Nothing about divorce or custody sharing is easy, but for me it was necessary. I began blogging before the end of my marriage to work through the death of my daughter. I quickly realized that as cathartic as it was for me, I could use her story and mine to help other women.
Blogging about Mila Rose has become not only a way to keep her memory living on. It has also become my own form of therapy and my way to contribute to the very unfortunate group of mothers who share the same tragedy in their own losses. Recently though, I have felt the calling to use my experiences from the past few years of grieving and self improvement to encourage and be there for other women in general.
Now I totally get that not everyone enjoys writing a blog or talking their crap out in a voice memo turned podcast attempt. You likely have your own coping mechanisms that help you thrive, or you may still be looking for yours. You may love going to to therapy or having a friendly shoulder to cry on. Personally I have to work my grief and feelings out for myself before I am willing to talk to others about it at all.
Everyone grieves differently. Everyone processes their trauma in a personal way that others maybe don’t understand. We are owed that individuality in how we process things based on our past life experiences without guilt. Nothing is a quick fix when it comes to mental illness. There are good days and bad days, so you have to be patient with yourself and learn how to express what you need from those who are closest to you even if it’s space to process what you feel.
One thing I want you to reflect on, are you giving yourself the same grace you would give your best friend? Truly. If your very best friend unloaded her anxious feelings, her darkest depression fueled thoughts on you-would you be as hard on her as you are being on yourself? Or would you comfort her and seek out help to the best of your abilities?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Tayler A Rich