Last night I got to thinking about 4.5 years ago and comparing it to now. I was amazed at the change I see.
Four and a half years ago, about the time I met Chris, I was in a very dark place. I was suffering from Double Depression. I was suicidal and I was a self-injurer (which was very separate from the suicidal bit). I am not proud to admit this, but am not ashamed either. It happens, people need to realize that most of the time, it's NOT just a cry for attention. I was very sick mentally. I will not go into an awareness rant here, but if you want to know more about it, email me. What it boiled down to was I did not know how to handle my stress and emotions.
Since then, what I've been through is so much worse. In the last four years, I've four losses and a lot of financial stress. Nothing every compares to losing your children. Yet, somehow, mentally, I'm so much better off. I'm not at all suicidal and I do not self-injure (and haven't since Aug 30, 2006!) though I do think about it from time to time.
I think part of why I don't give in to those thoughts is because I won't let myself forget how awful that time of my life was and how truly addicting self-injury is. I won't let myself forget the pain...not the physical pain-that was nothing...but the emotional pain. I do NOT want to be like that again. Therefore, I do everything I can to not allow my brain to go down that path.
One thing I've had to learn in order to be successful with this is how to better handle stress. Sometimes, I get crabby and take it out on others(just ask Chris!), this is the best way to handle it, and I hope to improve there. The most effective I've found is talking about it. I vent on FaceBook, I vent in chats, I post here. I do whatever it takes.
A few weeks ago, I had a slip up where I was not effectively handling my grief. I could feel myself getting very close to where I was just over four years ago. It scared the crap out of me. I realized that I needed help and fast. In order to obtain this help, I started by talking to my best friend, Traci. She was amazing and just listened and encouraged me to talk to Chris. The problem was I still couldn't say out loud that I needed help. So we decided I should post on a private forum for women that have had multiple losses. Doing so gave me the courage to talk to Chris...sort of. I still couldn't say it so I emailed him what I had posted on the board.
Of course, he was amazing, as always. We decided that I would look for a support group locally and he would look into our insurance benefits. In my search I found TCF. I do not have a local chapter but they have a nightly chat online. I have attended many times and plan to continue going back. I have also made an effort to blog more regularly. These two things alone have made a huge difference. I am actually feeling more "normal" than I have in a long time. It's amazing what a difference a few years can make!