Winter Wonderings

Winter started off so wonderful, a new flame to provide warmth and shelter

Everything seemed bring and new

It was a first for everything and every moment was magical

But with every delicate flower that blossomed within that new budding love

…There was a risk for it to be crushed

It cannot withstand the howling wind, rain, and storms that it brought

With that the glimmer of warmth of winter was gone .. and once again…

The nights feel cold once again, and once again you realise you are truly, truly, all alone

Grief

Somebody once said something along the lines of, “It is better to have loved and lost, rather have never loved”. I believe strongly in this statement, as we would never have realised how much someone or something meant to us until it is gone. This post will examine a few different aspects of the subject of grief.

I still remember the first time I experienced grief and loss. I was in the week before my final exams in my last year of high school and I was just about to attend a maths tutorial class when I got the phone call. My mother had found my dog, ‘Coffee’ lying on the ground and vomiting in the morning. They rushed to take him to the emergency vet and hopefully they would be able to save him. A few hours later, after the class had finished, I received a text message…Coffee had to be put down, the snail poison he had accidentally ingested had gone throughout his whole body, and there was nothing they could do about it. I took the bus home, and while walking towards my home…the reality became clearer and clearer…he was gone…he really was gone… There would be no one waiting for me when I get home…no one to accompany me on my walks around the neighbourhood…no one to hug and talk to. As I walked into the backyard where his body lay in a box, I broke down in tears and overwhelming sadness washed over me. I didn’t know what true grief was until that day…so many feelings washed over me…Regret. Why hadn’t I gone with them to the vet? I could have caught a taxi…who cares about how much it costs? Money cannot turn back time. Why did I care so much about attending some stupid course that probably won’t be beneficial at all…especially since all I could think of was of Coffee during that time. I questioned myself, did I ever get to say ” I love you” to my dog and appreciate him for all he did for me? All the times we spent together…my first-ever best-friend.

In saying that, after the passing of my beloved dog, who had been part of my family for over a decade of my life…I did fall into some sort of depression, (not that I knew what that was back then)…I did not feel like studying, could not concentrate on whatever I did, and I would tear up when the feelings of grief became so strong that it overwhelmed me. Even now, writing this blog makes me relive those feelings of sadness to me. Grief makes you afraid to love again, because the fear of losing a loved one again is one that is hard to forget, no matter how hard you try.

Grief is a powerful and overwhelming feeling, it is not pleasant, but it is somehow necessary to teach us to appreciate what we have. It is an inevitable part of life, unfortunately. However, prolonged grief can, unfortunately, lead to mental illnesses like depression.

 

 

Can you remember the first time you felt grief?


 

How to build Resilience

 

So today I want to talk about resilience… this was a topic brought up in my class earlier this week…

How do we even define resilience?

Why do some people seem more resilient than others? 

How can we develop this resilience?

These are all valid questions that one may have..because I think we all sort of know what resilience looks like…and it can look very different to different people and that’s okay.

For me personally, I would define resilience as someone or something that does not give up even though they are being knocked down time and time again, or they fail again and again…or they seem to be losing, but they do not lose hope. The picture that comes into mind is two people playing a singles game of badminton, there is one player that is clearly better than the other, yet the weaker player are not phased… they are focused, they are not giving up in the face of the competition before them. Despite everyone around them knowing that this is a hopeless battle, they do not admit defeat and do not surrender with out giving the game their best shot. To these people I applaud them..for their bravery of even daring to try. So many times I don’t even want to try at something that looks too difficult or that it would make me look bad…

So why is it that some people seem more resilient than others? Examining those around me…I think of my younger brother, the youngest in the family and the one whom I feel does not have much resilience in the face of adversity yet. At the moment he is looking for a job, but he has not gotten even one interview. Has he given up? Sort of. From all the rejection letters and non responses, he instead spends him time continuing to play games or go out with friends instead of job hunting. He says, it’s the course that I studied-it’s a dead end that leads to no jobs. Sure that may be true, but who said it is the degree that gets you a job? I believe resilience is developed with age, experience and life experiences…and for him whose only every worked one job in his life…which was given to him on a plate…he has narrow view of the working world and what it takes to fight for the hob you want. The world is often a very unfair and unjust world and sometimes we feel like we have to fight our way into opportunities…

How, then can someone develop resilience? If it is so important, then shouldn’t we all work hard to get it? I think it comes in the face of adversity…and also as I learnt in class, it also depends on what else is going in your life at the same time. I believe I am usually a resilient person…I have gone through many trials, tests and set backs…and I have grown stronger through them. However, there is one such dark time in my life, where so many things went wrong at the same time and my world crumbled down…until there was no resilience left in me at all. I lost my job, my relationship broke down and I was diagnosed with a medical diagnosis.   Everything that could possibly be taken from me was taken from me and I was faced with medical costs…no jobs and a lack of insight for my future. At the time, I really had no strength to go on. You know what helped me regain my resilience again? It was the people around me…the family, the doctors, the counsellors and people that I thought would have never been there for me who helped me through. Sometimes we need help to become resilient again. You have to start rebuilding your new normal. You have to write down, reflect and remember what lessons you learnt at that time and remind yourself, you don’t want to be down there again.

I don’t think there is a formula for resilience. But like exercise we can do our best to practice it regularly and when times of adversity come, we can flex those resilience muscles which can hopefully help us through.

Sooo I finally finished my exam… I have spent a lot of my free time this year studying for said exam and now that it is finished…I honestly feel a bit of loss at what to do. Sure I have million things I need to do..But yeah settling into this ‘New Normal’ is both scary yet exhilarating. Isn’t it funny how you only work up a list of all these things you need to do when you don’t have the time to do it? When you do have time, you feel like procrastinating…? Only me? Never mind then!