How to fight depression – Don’t overcome; just feel it

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I am not one for research but recently I experienced something not a lot of my friends have had to experience: the loss of my mom. This forced me to move outside the norm and seek advice elsewhere. I found so many articles about, “How to cope with loss” and, “How do you accept the loss of a loved one?” Sadly, none of these articles or published medical journals helped me. I did not find any article helpful, nor was I comforted by the contents … And, I know why.

Mother with 3 children

My mom battled Multiple Myeloma, a bone cancer, for years. She had multiple spinal surgeries and bone marrow transplants, and this past December, our Lord saw fit to call her home. There is nothing about that day I don’t remember. I was actually literally driving to the airport when my dad called to tell me that she was gone.

3 adult women; feel it

My mom was effortlessly elegant, magnanimous, and regal. She had the heart of a saint and the presence of an angel. Although 1,500 miles separated us, my mom and I could not have been closer. I learned all life’s lessons through her teachings. Her perspective, though always positive, never weeded out the bad. She knew the value of a broken heart, adversity, pain, and failure. So even now, in her death, she is teaching me.

extended family; feel it

I am no longer searching for answers and am certainly not looking for sympathy from anyone. I am refusing to cope, accept, or overcome this loss. I am going to feel it. I navigate each day as it comes. I don’t want to overcome, accept, or deal with her loss. I want to feel it. Every sharp, physical pain. The inability to breathe when I think about life without her smile.

When someone asks me, “How are you doing?” I have no shame in saying, “Miserable,” because I am! Some days are much easier than others, but each time the sunsets and rises and I can’t call her is like another tiny knife in my heart. And when I am honest with people about how I feel, they don’t know how to respond. That is so scary to me. Why are we conditioned this way? Life is not a highlight reel. It’s not an Instagram feed.

wedding picture

The fundamental problem with loving deeply is that we expose ourselves to hurting deeply. The strength to carry the burden of loss was given to us by the very same love. My mom’s love made me strong enough to love fiercely. And that means I will also have to feel the loss equally fiercely … for a while. Like an open wound, it will heal, but the scar will always be there. And scars show wisdom. So, in the future, when I find myself facing adversity (because it inevitably will come again, such is life), I will be armed.

And my advice to you is to do what you need. There is no guide or handbook when it comes to grief. No perfect answer. Listen to your heart. Don’t suck it up. Don’t shut down or lock people out. Feel everything and love hard. For the source of the pain is also the answer.

And seriously, please reach out if you ever need a friend. I am here for you. We can feel it and get through it together!

All my love,

Nichole Garcia

More from Nichole: Don’t Call it Body Positivity

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Nichole is a thirty-something wife and mother currently living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She was however, born and raised in Texas and lived there until her early 20s. Nichole was a Combat Medic in the US Army and met a boy in her Advanced Training. They were inseparable from the day they met and she moved to the Midwest for love. Their story is a crazy one but it’s theirs and simply because of that, it’s obvs her favorite! Nichole considers herself a Jack of Many Trades, yet Master of None. She works full time in corporate marketing and has a photography business. She loves to take pretty pictures (Squid Photography) and share love through a warm meal. Her schedule is always full and it makes her a little crazy sometimes but she covets all the relationships that have arisen from the chaos. Nichole’s biggest and greatest accomplishment was receiving the title of “Mother”. She and her husband, Jeremy, were triply blessed with handsome boys! Peyton John Michael, their oldest is 14, a high school freshman, and probably smarter than her! Middle son, Piercen Rush is 10, in 4th grade and has the kindest heart! Their youngest Sir Pennington Matthews is 8 going on 18, he is loud and crazy! She claims her house is always a mess, they are always coming or going and she and her husband barely talk about anything in the “Adult” category but she absolutely LOVES her life! And can’t wait to share it with you!

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for this article. My son ended his life September 19, 2020 and an atomic bomb went off in my life. It’s been 6 months and I have people telling me to “get on with life” and “time to get back to you”, etc. I will never be the same and each day is a constant battle of what I could have, should have, would have done differently and if I could have saved him.

    • Cathy, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My father committed suicide 3 years ago and even though I understand why he did it, it doesn’t stop the pain. It never will. I can’t imagine the pain I’d feel if I lost one of my children to suicide. People mean well, but it’s not helpful. I hope you are seeing a grief counselor to help you. Sending hugs.

    • Oh Cathy,
      I don’t know that specific pain, no one knows what to say and sometimes I wish they would just say that. There is no right or wrong way. Just do what’s right for you! And thinking of things you could have done is part of the process but you have to forgive yourself of that because in almost all cases there isn’t anything that can be done. Reaching out for help is hard for anyone but especially those who need it most. All my love and prayers to you and your family!!!! If there is anything you need we are here for you!

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