When you wake up and begin your day, do you ever just lay there quietly and think to yourself, “What do I need today? ” or “Am I getting what I need?”. Perhaps this is one of those tough days during a loss or any type of recovery that you don’t feel is going well or your coping skills have taken a flush. Who is in charge of getting what you need? Of course you know the answer to that – You Are!
First step is always the same – ask the question of yourself. WHAT DO I NEED RIGHT NOW? AND WHO CAN HELP ME TO GET WHAT I NEED, (IF IT IS GOING TO TAKE MORE THAN JUST ME?) One of the hardest coping skills toward Letting Go is learning to identify your resources and then use them; not easy for the self-reliant, and I-can-do-it-all-myself people. Trust me when I tell you, not admitting when you can’t do it alone and trying it anyway, is a crash and burn set-up waiting to happen. Part of the best recoveries involve using trusted “others” who are waiting to support us, just as we are able, at times, to support them. There will surely come the day(s) when it is time to cash in and lean on someone else for a little while. It involves trust and honesty – with them and with ourselves. Here are some steps to doing it:
1. Recognize when you are getting into water over your head for even the most simple of tasks. Please don’t say to yourself, “it is too small to burden someone else with”, or “I can just do it faster alone”. Give it over for just a few minutes or a few hours – everyone benefits, especially you. And if you require some peaceful time on your own, ask another to hold the fort while you breathe somewhere else for a little reprieve. The benefits of returning to life with a clearer more balanced outlook is immeasurable.
2. Ask someone to not make your decisions for you. In the course of healing, many good-minded friends and family sort of take over in some situations. If it doesn’t matter at the time, fine. But if you feel like you are loosing your grip on the daily process, request kindly that they stand back and give you head room. This can be done gently, but firmly.
3. Confusing day or tough plan? Ask someone you trust to come sit and have some tea with you. Run your thoughts and worries by them and ask for their opinion. Notice, I didn’t say provide your solution. What might they do in your situation that would help you make a better choice? The quiet session, the tea and the trusted conversation will always help.
4. If a conflict is looming, bring it to the table with the individual(s) involved, with kindness and love. You needn’t ever bury your right to a free voice just because it’s easier to avoid it. On any given day it might be necessary for you to clear the air in order to maintain your independence and healing, but remember to maintain the bridge if it is an important one. Buried anger is harmful to our body and spirit, not to mention our emotional well-being.
5. When you find what it is you are needing at any point, when you act on that need by supplying yourself with the resources to accomplish it, when you see how successful you are at keeping your balance and spirit in the situation you would like to resolve…..congratulate yourself for putting yourself first and staying healthy. One success leads to many more on our journey and they are worth celebrating.
So, when you wake up in the morning, plan your day around what you need, then set about getting there.
Excerpt from Let GO and Let LOVE: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, published by CreateSpace, $12.87, paperback and e-book available 09/2015.
CONTACT: Gabrielle Doucet firstname.lastname@example.org