How I'm Dealing with Grief and Depression

How to Deal With Grief

I’ve experienced grief before, but mainly as a child. I’ve also experienced depression before. It lingers constantly above me like a rain cloud. Some days will be fine, I’ll laugh and see things clearly. On other days, my thoughts will be persistent, my mood will darken and that rain cloud will have grown into an inky, swirling storm.

In January, I received the most unexpected news. My father was in hospital, unconscious in the intensive care unit. It was thought best that I make my way there as soon as I could. After the worst 48 hours, he passed away.

It still doesn’t feel real. How could something so unexpected, so totally out of the blue happen to someone so laid-back and dependable? It seemed incomprehensible. I couldn’t get my head around it.

While I was asking myself how the universe thought it was OK for this happen, I carried on. I was moving on. It took a few days to realise this was happening and when I realised I couldn’t work out why. Grief was something that broke you down completely, wasn’t it? Why hadn’t I fallen apart by now?

I still felt that unearthly emptiness. I wasn’t sleeping properly. I burst into tears at the drop of a hat. I was irritable and it was as if someone had taken the colour out my life. But I was used to all of this. These are the hallmarks of depression. Had I slipped back into a depressive episode? Or was this normal, just grief doing its thing?

I became preoccupied with working out exactly why I was experiencing each and every emotion. But it turns out that trying to do this, whilst experiencing a tirade of intense feelings will eventually come to a head. I just needed to accept these feelings.

I’ve learnt to deal with grief in the same way I do with depression. I’m working my way through ALL the self-care lists on Pinterest. I’ve reached out for professional help, I’m exercising more and I’m totally OK with spending an afternoon in my pyjamas watching Frozen if I need to!

2 comments

  1. Catherine, that's a lovely article and it strikes a chord with me. It's well known that after the loss of my Father I too took a nose dive and struggled for some time to separate anxiety from depression from grief. Grief will run its course ( go with it) and affects different people in different ways at different times but you'll never stop grieving (and that's as it should be) it just becomes less frequent. We're thinking of you. You're not alone.

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  2. ....and I wrote a letter to him. It helped.

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