Working Through the Hard Times
Author: Rachael Hill
It's been a while since I wrote my last blog…not because I didn't have anything to share, but because I found myself in a place I didn't know how to get out of. Our move last summer took a lot more out of me than I had anticipated and I just wasn't handling it well. I found myself doing all the things I said I would never do. I laid on the couch all day, I gained weight, and I lost all motivation. Ultimately, I just wasn't adjusting well.
So what do we do when those times roll in that we don't know how to get out of? It's almost scary how those feelings can so quickly spiral out of control to the point where before you know it, you're so down that you're not sure how you will get up again. Then what? For me, there was a point when I realized it was becoming unhealthy and I knew I had to make some changes.
First, I started exercising again. I enlisted a friend and we started going to the gym together. Before moving I worked as a group fitness instructor, and I don't think I ever realized how important that was for me. It was one hour where I didn't have to think about what was going on in my life. One hour to focus on my class and without even realizing it, focus on me. Exercising can be a huge energy booster, but the hard part is getting yourself going. The key is finding something you enjoy, or someone you enjoy doing it with.
I have found that being around people is a huge booster for me as well. It can be hard to make myself do this though because often times when I am feeling really down, I honestly don't want to be around people at all. On the flip side, I know that people are a huge factor in keeping me uplifted, so it's a bit of a double-edged sword. That was one of the hardest things with this move in that I didn't know anyone here. I met people, but it takes a while to go from "acquaintances" to "friends," and that has been tough for me. Civilian life is different than military life. Not good or bad…just different.
Finally, having something on the calendar to look forward to is a huge asset. We have done a lot of traveling since my husband died, but after our move (which included driving 4,300 miles in sixteen days) I was done travelling. What I didn't realize though was that without having something on the calendar, I didn't feel like I had a whole lot to look forward to. I felt like I was just going through the motions of each day and it wasn't really getting me anywhere. These trips give me something to be excited about. It doesn't even have to be anything big, but just something fun to look forward to and to work towards.
I think we all go through these down periods at times, don't we? Something happens that throws our lives out of sync and sometimes it's hard to get everything back. Since losing my husband, I have found that it is often easier for things to get thrown off and harder to get myself back together again. Harder, but not impossible. It just takes a little more effort on my part to be aware of what is going on and to realize the steps that I need to take to get myself back on track. Grief is hard. Living this life without my husband is hard. It's hard and can take a lot of work at times, but I know that the work is worth it in order to continue living the way I want to live, which is to simply be happy.