Thursday, June 20, 2013

Changing Direction Series Part IV - Working through the change

Let's start today by the definition of work as a noun and as a verb.  I got this from Goggle definitions and it is perfect and found here .

Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.
Be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result, esp. in one's job; do work

Please go back and read the above definition for work about three more times.  I want your to grasp the meaning and the concept of the word work.  It is a word we hear often but to really work through the changing of direction we need to completely understand the full meaning.

Activity involved in mental effort is where we will start.  The Changing Direction Series so far has been preparing you for the mental activity; getting ready to actually start doing the physical activity in changing directions.  To be engaged in a physical or mental activity to achieve a purpose.

If you have read my stories which I hope by now that you have you can see I have been just about as low as I could be after the death of my son.  No Mother expects to burying their children or as people would tell me, "Do you know you are living my worst nightmare."  Duh, yes I know I am living that nightmare you don't need to remind me.  It is one of the ultimate unexpecteds in life.  At one point I couldn't laugh, leave my home, just barely functioning, all I felt was the "black hole" sucking me in deeper and deeper with no way out.

The day I got into my car to go to work, was one block from my house and I was lost.  I didn't know where I was.  The day I was so scared not knowing how to get home to my safety net.  The day I had to call a friend to come to get me even though it was difficult to tell her where I was because I truly didn't know.  After she got me and my car home I breathed a sigh of relief to be in my comfort zone.  This was the day I decided I had to work on me to change and to get better.  I didn't know how that was possibly going to happen but I knew it needed too.

If you can say to yourself I really can't live this way anymore then it is time to work on changing directions and making the change work for you.  If you have cried an ocean of tears, slept days away, didn't want to take care of the remaining children, if you just wanted to spend your day grieving then I am telling you it is time for you to start working through the change.

Hopefully you have been journaling since the change in your life happened.  It doesn't matter if you are a writer or not just write something everyday.  This is a wonderful start.

The following is how I worked through the change in my life almost two years after.  What I did may not be what works for you but deep inside something is speaking to you about what you should do to help yourself.  We have to help ourselves work through the change.  Nobody else is feeling the emotions that you have or the wear on you physically.  You will know when it is time to work and when you know don't fight that urge to do something to help yourself.

I feel at times we become comfortable in our current state of grief, depression, hopelessness, etc.  We have been here for so long now it just make sense to stay in the state of mind.  You accept that this is how life is suppose to be from now on.  I say "Wake up, look around you, you know better."  This is scary when the horrid life we are living becomes easier to live than trying to work yourself out of it.

My solution was to finally seek professional help.  All my life I thought counseling was for the weak at heart.  Well guess what?  I was the weak at heart because it was broken and aching I had to seek a way to soothe it.  If we have the flu we take aspirin, etc so why shouldn't we want something for this pain?

I started seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist at the same time.  I figured I was going at this head on like a train rushing down the tracks.  No holding back, I needed help.

The very first thing the psychologist wanted to do was to put me on meds.   Wait a minute.....those are for weak minded people.  Again, Well guess what?  I was weak minded if I couldn't go out of my house and when I did I may get lost.  My mind was weak.  This was one of the hardest parts for me to accept.  I had always been a strong person, I was the one all my friends came to for their problems.  Now I had the problems.  Decisively with no going back I agreed to medication.  Inside I was shaking at the thought of taking medicine.  I hated to take any kind of pill now to take medication daily was just against my grain of thoughts.

I started taking the medication and for the first week all I did was sleep.  I thought now this can't be right, I can't sleep all day long.  A friend of mine said, "Take them at night."  Huh, well I never thought of that.  So I took my meds at night and after about three weeks I started to feel a change in direction coming on.

Interest came about my house, my yard, my friends and family.  The feeling was so breathtaking and I felt some fresh air come into my being.  I could take a deep breath and it felt delightful.  Feelings that I hadn't experienced for two years were coming back to me.  

I had made another change in direction in my life.  I was changing before my eyes and I could feel it coming on.  Let's not forget that my heart was still broken, I still cried for Dustin, I was still grieving in my heart.  I was coping better and able to start to live my new "abnormal" normal (Lisa Church) life.

It took about six months before I was completely ready to go out with friends and the first time was still extremely difficult but I did it.  I laughed for the first time that the laughter felt good, healing and fun.  The thought of what people thought if they saw me laugh didn't even enter my mind.  I think they were relieved to finally see me laugh again.

For my to  work through my change of directions it was to seek counseling and to give in to medication to help me through.

Now for your change in direction what is going to work for you?
  • talk to a pastor
  • talk to a friend
  • do some of the homework options daily
  • seek counseling
  • start medication
  • meditation
  • exercise
  • self help books
  • design a website
  • blog about it
What worked for me may not work for you.  You know deep inside what will help you work through your change.  The ticket is deciding to do something about it and be willing to work both mentally and physically through your change.  Don't sit in your life now and do nothing and expect a change.   Albert Einstein quoted "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results."  I am not saying anyone is insane however at one point in my life I felt like I was.  The concept of doing the same thing day in and day out and expecting that the pain, the hermit like condition will just magically disappear will not be effective.  You have to work mentally and physically towards your healing and new direction in life.

Today I can say I go anyplace that I want.  I shop, laugh, I live BUT I still grieve for Dustin.  I still cry for him, sometimes I scream how unfair it is for him not to be here.  All of those feeling still exist the difference is the choices I made to assist me has allowed me to  start living my "abnormal" normal (Lisa Church) life.

What choices are you going to make?  What work are you going to do to get through this change in your life?

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
"Together we can make it."