It is so important to remember that we do not follow linear timelines.
As part of my ongoing studies, over this past year, I have been learning more about mental health, and gaining experience in counselling skills. This has been enlightening and such an interesting subject to delve into.
As part of my training, I have been looking into how we heal, learn, and grow. Grief plays a huge part of our lives and we are all touched by this subject one way or another. It is important to acknowledge that grief is felt in many ways and there is no 'one size fits all' for the timeline of healing.
Grief is also not just the obvious initial thing we think of. Losing a loved one is one of the most painful things we can experience but we must also realise we are effect by other losses.
The loss of a job, business, health, relationships, and friendships, amongst other things, can all give us the feelings of grief.
It is important to acknowledge those feelings, allowing and accepting can ease the situation. Lean into the grief. As anyone who has lost someone dear will tell you, there's nothing worse than a 'chin up' approach at times when you feel loss.
To truly feel is to truly heal.
Yes, we need to be positive. Yes, it is great to have coping mechanisms and push ourselves at times, to go for that walk, breathe in the fresh air, and try to find a sense of peace. But we cannot bypass parts of the process, we cannot jump from one place to another, we have to make the journey. For it is along that journey that the healing takes place, the learning, the leaning into the emotions, and then we reach our destination, forever changed, but with a fresh pair of eyes and a new way of being.
If that journey involves one step forward and two back, that's OK. If some days you feel like you're there and others not so much, that's fine too. Be kind to yourself, celebrate your good days and be oh so gentle on the grey days.
Remember our feelings are what make us human.
As for all the new announcements with lock down lifting, places re opening, and life returning to 'normal' remember that there is no timeline for that either.
Some people will be thrilled to go away on holiday, meet up with others, and get back to a social life. For others they may be cautious, fearful, and grieving. Grieving a loved one, a job loss, or anything else that may have altered for them over this past year.
So, with this in mind, find your own timeline of how you wish to handle this. There is no right or wrong. Do not feel pressured or in a hurry to slip back to whatever normal will look like for you. This is your journey and can and will be done in your own time.
Also, only return to what you want to, when and if you do. This is a perfect time for you to re-evaluate things, truly be honest with yourself about what you want to re-introduce into your life.
Take your time to return to what you want to, when you want to, not because a date says you can. Take it all one step at a time.
"I can't see a way through," said the boy
"Can you see your next step?" said the horse.
"just take that," said the horse.
From The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy.