I think its SUPER important to have a project when you lose a child. After my last post I was flooded with messages and love from so many people, and I just want you all to know how much it means to hear from you. I also was asked how I’m healing through home decorating, and I realized that I should probably explain. When Juliet died I was an Esthetician. Some people can go back to their jobs after a great loss, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t want to see anyone, I didn’t want anyone to ask me how I was doing, and I didn’t want to have to look anyone in the eye because I knew I would burst into tears.
Instead of going back to work I just laid in bed and cried. FOR MONTHS. In my mind moving into this house was going to be the answer to EVERYTHING.
- I was going to keep my mind busy by working on the house.
- I would finally be away from the house that Juliet shot herself in.
- It would give me a reason to be on Pinterest which made me happy.
We moved in and it kept me busy painting, but my daughter was still gone, and I was more depressed than ever. I thought the house would solve a lot for me, but the realization that it hadn’t made me even more depressed than before. Here’s the thing- While I believe strongly in having a project, you can’t actually start to heal until you get your mind right. I learned that the hard way. By hard way I mean that I let myself get so low that one night I drank several glasses of wine, swallowed a bunch of sleeping pills, and ended up in the hospital. TALK ABOUT A WAKE UP CALL.
Depression is a really scary thing. It can be deadly. It was for my daughter, and it almost was for me. But I had a family. While I was so depressed from my grief all I could think about was how they would be better off without me. I wasn’t fun anymore. I didn’t smile anymore. I didn’t get out of bed anymore. Who wants to be around someone like that? All I wanted was to be with Juliet because I missed her soooo much.
I realized while in the hospital what a huge toll my depression was taking on my family, and that I needed to figure it out or I would lose them. So I started taking an antidepressant that also helped with anxiety. I know that medication is not for everyone, but for me it changed my life. I was getting out of bed, showering, and even starting to smile for the first time in a really long time.
Back to having a project. Like I said before in order to heal you must first get your mind right and in order to do that, you have to be able to get out of bed. So step 1… check. I think it’s important to have a positive outlet. You have all these thoughts and feelings inside, and they can consume you like they did me. Its a scary place to be. By having a project you have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. You have something productive and positive to focus all that energy on. You also have something to concentrate on other than death, which isn’t exactly the best thing to focus on.
For me, my positive outlet is designing and decorating my house. Its something I absolutely love to do. It brings me joy, happiness, and a sense of pride… It also gives me something to talk about other than losing my child. For my friend Dan who recently lost his daughter to suicide, it’s a boat. He got a run down boat for next to nothing, and him and his other children are working on it together. When it is all done they are going to name it Elaina, after his daughter. Both of Juliet’s grandmothers started purple flower gardens because purple was her favorite color. My point is- find something you love and do it. A house, a boat, a camper, a car, a garden…. WHATEVER! In life you get back what you put into it. If you chose to lay in bed rather that helping yourself like I did then don’t expect life to get any better. Because it doesn’t. If you build, grow, create, or fix something then that positive energy will come back to you. Maybe not over night, but it will.
What has helped you get through tough times? Please leave a message in the comments section!