Give Yourself Time To Grieve

Give Yourself Time To Grieve

There is life after death.

Losing someone is extremely difficult. There is no guide on how to overcome grief. If there was life after death, it would be a lot easier. However, it is not that easy. There is not a nice package to stuff all your emotions in. In all reality, you must let them outside of that box and allow grief to take it place.

It is said there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, what if, depression and acceptance. They are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. Just keep in mind everyone grieves differently, but it helps to know you are not the only one experimenting these feelings.

Denial is the first stage of grief. This maybe that stage where you are trying to be strong for your family or other loved ones. You almost seem numb to the pain you are feeling. Everything around you seems to be a daze. It is a mixture of shock and denial. As crazy as it sounds there is a little grace in denial. It helps you cope from the beginning. As an individual, who has loss someone close, I remember telling myself my sister was gone somewhere, but of course not that type of gone during this stage.

Once the numbness fades a sense of anger begins to take over. I experienced all types of anger. I was angry at God for taking my sister. I wanted him to heal her on Earth. I was angry with the doctors for not saving her. I was angry at my friends that did not show during the time, I needed them the most. My heart became angry. However, I believe that is okay. I believe it is necessary to express those emotions of anger. Do not feel guilty for this. We are human and it is part of this process.

During the "what if" stage you may blame yourself. We just want life the way it was before. We begin to question everything: What if we would have seen the signs of suicide? What if we had the tumor sooner? What if we hadn't had that surgery? What if they took swimming lessons/ What if I told them they could not go out that night? What if we had gone to church more? The list is endless. There is nothing you could have done differently, no matter what could of happened. Unfortunately, no matter how much our heart denies it, it was their time to go.

After evaluating everything that has happened you may begin to feel empty. You have no hope or desire to do anything. You would rather withdrawal from life and grieve. As someone who has faced and overcame depression, I know the negative stigma associated with being depressed. However, it is important that we face depression. It is natural to face this when losing a loved one. I do ask if you are experiencing any thoughts of hurting yourself in any way please contact your doctor or The National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

The final stage is acceptance. However, this does not mean everything is alright and you have moved on. Honestly you may never feel "alright" again. There is a whole that will forever remain in your heart. This stage is accepting the reality that you will face life without your loved one physically being there with you. This is becoming the new permanent reality. You have to try and live in this new world. This does not mean you will not have bad days. It has been almost three years and I still have bad days. However, it means you will also have good days. That is OK. Do not feel guilty for that either. I can assure you, your loved one would want you to rejoice in life.

"We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time."

Cover Image Credit: Crosswalk

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.


Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.

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Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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