My world had felt unstable and surreal when I realised my Mum, my best friend, was going to die. Plus, I was going to be responsible for my ageing Dad who was showing signs of early dementia.
Only a week later I was given the devastating news that my ex husband (of 32 years) had passed away. He was 61.
This second loss shook me to the core. The two people who knew me better than anybody in the world were gone within a week of each other.
I felt abandoned and isolated. But, I had to be strong for my kids and my Dad who had lost his life partner of 60 years.
I have suffered from depression since I was 17 years old. My parents were always supportive. My husband too. I had bouts when my kids were little when I really didn't want to live. Although I manage it well, it's always there in the background of my thoughts that at any moment I could begin the downhill descent into darkness.
My eldest son is an ordained Buddhist of The Western Buddhist Order. He encouraged me to meditate and practice mindfulness, and to remember that the more we push negative feelings away, the stronger they become. If we embrace a difficult feeling, it weakens and diminishes. We are able to manage our feelings more easily and accept reality.
It took me several months to learn to contain the sad thoughts and accept them without falling apart. To accept that life is not perfect. That everything changes and nothing stays the same. That we all suffer from the challenges of life. Everyone suffers. While it's not much comfort when we are in the depths of despair to know that there are others worse off than ourselves, it IS comforting to know that we are not alone.
I know that life will never be the same. I will, however, endeavor to make the best of it because I know there will be many more challenges along the way. It is our perception of them and the way we decide to respond and react to them that will affect our happiness.
If you're having a low day, it's ok. It will pass. Accept that it is part of who you are. Let it be. Allow it in.
My Mum always used to say to me, "Tomorrow is another day".
A Moodscoper who should take the test more often and not just read the blogs!
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