When I write, I aspire to teach something. I post about things I’ve studied or learned through experience. I prefer to share posts with bullet points and step-by-step lists.
I started this Rock Star Life blog because I saw that vision. High standards in every aspect of life. Mind-blowing achievement. Discipline and passion and larger-than-life and sexy and successful and fun. All mixed together in some sort of chaotic synergy.
But then grief hit. Even harder than before.
My mom has had Alzheimer’s for more than 5 years now. A couple weeks ago, she ended up in the hospital, and since then, we’ve had to place her in a nursing home. This next phase has been so much harder than I expected, especially after all this time. And I haven’t coped with it well.
In the last 2 weeks, I’ve gained 5 pounds. I’ve been binge-eating, especially sweets. Eating fast food. I’ve even gone through the drive-thru a couple times. I’ve spent hours watching movies. Buried myself in a book. Avoided friends or talking about it. Haven’t even journaled really.
You see, healthy coping strategies require facing the grief. And right now, I just want to make it go away.
But I know something about handling stress. I can tell you confidently that these strategies I’m using don’t work. They don’t make the grieving go away. Avoiding doesn’t get you anywhere. When it’s time to face reality again, it only hurts worse because of the damage these behaviors cause.
So, I’m committing publicly, to anyone who stumbles across this blog, that for the next 8 weeks, I won’t do that. I won’t eat to avoid feeling. In fact, no sweets at all for the next 8 weeks. No fast food. And no binging.
When I feel sad, I will journal, call a friend, cry, take a walk, or use the stress management tools I’ve learned. When I’m overwhelmed and need to turn off the thoughts and feelings for a while, I will go for a walk/run, or go to the gym.
And I will write about it. I will share this journey with you. Because I need to learn from this. Because I can use the accountability. And, most importantly, because I know I’m not alone.
The stressors in your life may be different. Your “soft addictions,” your unhealthy ways of coping, may be different. Regardless, facing reality, and finding joy in the midst of pain… These are lessons we all need to learn. I hope you’ll journey with me.
What was the most stressful period of your life? How did you try to cope?