Moving forward past my miscarriage has not been easy. Grief swiftly can turn into depression, and being a mental health professional I knew I had to search for recovery with true intent. For me that meant that I nourished my soul like fuel to the body in order to repair and recenter. This concept was challenging because I also wanted to spend time being sad because lost is a true emotion. I believe that there are times we ask women to be strong, push harder, and get back up again too quickly. We expect to be okay right after we have been hurt because we have been raised to believe that we can get through anything. And yes "getting though it all" is absolutely true, but it forces us to numb out feelings so we can quickly recover. So I sat in silence and cried my heart out. I slept, I refused to eat, and often times I forced my anger on my husband. I blamed myself, and wanted to stay hidden. But when did I know I had to let go....
In understanding grief, research has broke it down into 7 stages. Please note that we all go through the grief process in our own time, and slide in and out of the stages in our own way. But the feelings of pain and guilt can keep you under, so it is important to turn those hurtful feelings into hope to live out your life in the way it is intended to be.
SHOCK & DENIAL- You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief.
PAIN & GUILT- It's important to experience your pain fully. Do this healthy, don't turn to liquor or drugs or bad habits.
ANGER & BARGAINING- This is where it felt good to displace my feelings on my husband. Thankfully he knew and still supported me through it. Remember that others may not be so sympathetic. You don't want to make permanent damage from temporary feelings.
DEPRESSION, REFLECTION, LONELINESS- During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.
THE UPWARD TURN- This is when the storm is beginning to clear, feelings begin to shift to more calmness.
RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH- You made it! Take what you have experienced and work through it.
ACCEPTANCE & HOPE- This is when you learn to except the testimony that God has placed in you. You have a new fond hope and perspective on life that makes your life more meaningful.
Redemption is given to those who believe. So know that it is absolutely okay to be down, but balance it out with the belief that you will see the light again. There are a few things I did purposely to get myself through the grief process. I share this with you in hopes that it can get you out of your darkness as well.
Quiet the noise- I immediately logged off of all my social media platforms. I called it a cleanse for no specific period of time. Just to be honest I felt some type of way when I would see women celebrating a birth, or being pregnant. I had to accept that I wasn't ready to celebrate anyone else and needed to walk away from that. I also wanted to take time out for me without putting effort into viewing others. It was my time to make me a priority.
Write- As soon as I miscarried I picked up my computer and begin to write. Part of this is a way to acknowledge your feelings and thoughts, but also it helps process emotions in a different way in the brain by putting words to them.
Keep up on healthy habits- I had drifted away from working out. A week after I miscarried I went to my local YMCA and grabbed a membership. Working out is known to release feel good endorphin's, and lower stress.
Accept condolences- This was tough. I am not a woman who looks for those around me to help, I try to work through life with my little circle. After sharing my story, I immediately received a vast amount of support and encouragement. Women sharing similar experiences who have got through the storm. Friends bringing flowers, affirmations and blessing being received. It just felt good to be loved. Be okay with being vulnerable and needy. That's what your tribe is there for.
Be present- this was part of my cleanse. Once I begin to pay close attention to my own children and life around me, I begin to see the beauty of it all. I was able to appreciate some of the little moments that I've missed before.
Be spiritual- Believe in the notion that "all things happen for a reason" "God does not give us more than we can bare" "The Lord is my strength and my shield" "By the Grace of God, I am what I am" "Be strong, be brave, be fearless. You are never alone".
I would like to conclude by thanking each and every person who believed more than I did that I would be okay. For those who listened to me, allowed me to cry, and picked me up when I had nothing left. Thank you for loving me past my pain.
For any Mama who is still suffering from grieving and/or can't get past it please call a local mental health professional, local churches, or other parenting resources.