Grief takes it’s own path

     I wanted to start this post by telling you that I have had a hard time writing this week. This has nothing to do with writers block or anything even in the near vicinity of such. This has to do with my thoughts and me this week. I started this blog as a form of therapy for myself and never expected much more from it other than that. I have since gained readers of my work and have felt a responsibility to those that follow this blog. In one way it lifts my spirits to know that others would take the time to read my stories. When I hear that one of my family members enjoyed something I wrote it is one thing but when a stranger enjoys something I write, it becomes so much more. I start believing in myself and feel the need to continue putting my thoughts into print for you.

Man sitting at a desk with a laptop open
This is my therapy

     When I started this blog, I was in a bad state mentally. I felt a certain despair that I couldn’t even explain to myself, let alone anybody else. I became disabled from an accident that I had while working in the mines. I sustained nerve damage that put me out of work for good. For someone like me, this was a devastating thing to happen, not because of the injury but because of not being able to work anymore. I have held a job in some form or another since I was seventeen years of age. Well, that is untrue I suppose. Seventeen was when I worked for a place that I started paying taxes. I was much younger doing jobs for cash. Whether it was mowing lawns, hauling hay, working on cars in my dad’s shop or working in my mom’s grocery store. So when I got hurt, I felt unwanted and unneeded, even though this was not true in anyway, shape or form. My wife and children still needed me to take care of things around our little farm.

     I went into a deep depression and tried to hide it the best that I could. Once i started writing, it seemed to help more then all the drugs the VA has me on. However,  sometimes it still catches up to me and it’s very hard to shake. That’s what has been going on with me this week. I haven’t been able to sleep and the little bit of sleep that I have gotten has been very restless. I have opened my blog many times this week wanting to sit down and write but without the full focus that I always use when I write. I knew I needed to write not just for me but for you as well. I have finally been able to sit down and do what needs to be done. I want to thank each and every one of you for spending some of your precious time reading my words.

Without having an outlet for my brain to focus on, my depression would become widespread. It is because of you, my readers, that I feel I have a purpose outside of my home again. Thank you for reading. Now that I have gotten that out of my brain and down in print, it’s time to give all of you one of my post that you expect and I feel the need to write each week. I hope you enjoy this post and relay it to your friends. I call this “Grief takes its own path”. Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and join me in the little journey that I have written for you this week.

     When someone passes on to the great beyond, they leave others behind to grieve. All people grieve in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Some people find themselves breaking down in a pool of tears. Others will never show any signs of even caring for the person that has just been laid to rest. There will be some that will shut down and not want to talk about it, while others want to tell everyone they run into how they are feeling.

Men with umbrellas attending a funeral

     There’s not a particular path to grieving. No one can say, this is the way it’s supposed to be. There are people out there that will try to tell the world how to grieve but they are speaking way above their heads when they do. If someone says that you are supposed to grieve a certain way, they are totally wrong. This is a misconception and should not be forced on others. If you feel the need to bawl your eyes out or not shed a tear at all, that is completely normal for you in this situation. Just because a person doesn’t cry at a funeral, doesn’t mean they are not grieving. Maybe this person will cry later by themselves in the closet. Maybe this person feels that if they cry, they have somehow hurt their memories of the person laid to rest. This is a individual decision of everyone of us. Sometimes it hits in a way that we have no control over.

     I beseech you not to hold it against a person just because they don’t grieve the same way as you. The ones that truly have a problem are the ones that fake a certain kind of grieving just to make others feel secure. This is a terrible way to be and in my book, just a big lie. You be who you are and don’t change just to make others around you happy.

       The path of grief comes in many ways and  alot of the time will surprise the person themselves when it happens. Case in point, I have known many close people to me that have passed on. Some have caused me to break down in tears. Some have caused me to go into more of a state of shock, showing little to no emotion at all. There has even been cases that have caused me to show no evidence of emotion for weeks and then break down in tears. In all these cases, my grief showed up naturally in very different ways and yet it didn’t mean that one person meant more to me than the others. I had absolutely no control to how my grieving process would come or if it would show up at all.

People standing by a casket while the pastor reads from the Bible

     Some people can show their emotions of a person passing, the same way every time. When this happens, it makes me wonder if they are true to their grief or if they are pulling off the big fake for others to witness. Maybe that is how grief really does show up for them. Once again I can say, the only person that knows for sure if you are truly showing your grief or if you are faking, is you. Just remember not to judge others on their grieving process because you don’t know what they feel in their heart. Only they know what’s going on with themselves.

I guess the reason this subject came up in the depths of my brain is because I have known so many that have died in the last month or so. Let me throw this out there just incase any of you attend my funeral. When the time comes, I want you guys to throw a big party. You have plenty of time to cry later. By the way, I’m planning on being around for a long time yet. Take care my friends. Thanks for reading and giving me the feeling of being needed. Remembe, we are all in this together.

Surrounded yet alone

Depression is very real. It comes from all directions, in many different ways and with many different levels. Others that pay attention to their friends and family, can see when depression is starting but many times, the person with the symptoms, don’t know it’s coming or even real. They just feel like it’s just a bad day, need better or more sleep or need to eat better. There are all kinds of things for this person to blame it on. The best way for this person to feel like something is wrong is when he or she is surrounded by people that love and care for them, yet they still feel alone.

Everyone at one time or another have dealt with some form of depression. Sometimes it is a chemical imbalance and that is why I believe it shows up in teenagers so frequently. Their whole body including their brains have chemicals changing so much during those years. After women have their babies, it can show up. Once again a great chemical change has happened. When it shows up in later years, it sometimes makes a difference what that person has gone through in their life. This last one is where I fit in. I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist but I do understand depression. I suffer from depression and there are times I feel like it is taking over. Most of the time, depression can be helped with  medication and having people around that care about you is also of great help.

Not all depression shows up with the “poor Ole me” syndrome. Actually, most of the time the people that are showing the “poor Ole me” syndrome are just trying to get attention. When real depression hits, it can’t be explained by the person having it because it is unexplainable. This can show up in eating habits, changing of speech, worry without cause, sleep disorders and many other things. Of course the worst is self destruction. It takes people that really know you, to be able to pick up on it.

Man laying on mattress looking depressed

The hardest part about dealing with someone that has depression is convincing them to talk to a doctor. This is a real tricky health issue that is very hard for you to believe you have. I had myself convinced that I was just having bad days and all would be fine if I just kept plugging along. It didn’t matter that it was day after day after day. If at anytime, I laughed about anything, then I was convinced that I was okay. I didn’t want to believe it and I put my family through alot because I wouldn’t believe anything was wrong.

If you are dealing with someone that you believe may have depression, be very careful how and when you bring it to their attention. Don’t bring it up when they are really upset. Bring it up when things are calm and make sure to back off if they argue with you about it. Just show them that you care and want them to know that you see a difference in their behavior. Then back off and let that sink in. It’s almost like dealing with an alcoholic or someone that is hooked on drugs. The person that has the problem has to see it for themselves and just telling them they have a problem usually doesn’t work. It takes finesse and kindness and a strong will to help someone with depression.

After the depressed person decides to get help, the battle is very near an end. Even though this person may have issues for the rest of their life, they will be able to see who they are and want to change for the better. There are many different drugs to help with depression and it may take quite sometime to find the right prescription that helps. Once found though, it is like a new beginning.

For those of you that feel you may suffer from depression, don’t ignore it. Seek help and I promise, you will be glad you did. I’m not saying that you won’t have trouble with it even after you get help, but the understanding of it is the greatest feeling in the world. You too can feel better and function like yourself again. I got help and I have learned how and when it is going to come upon me. This has been my greatest accomplishment to date. Don’t ignore when your body and mind are telling you that you need help. Be well my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.