Thursday, July 7, 2016

Complicated grief and the book cover

I have touched on the subjects before that I am going to talk about today. The thoughts on this blog are strictly my own and anyone that reads this has a right to disagree with them. There are two areas I have talked about that I am going to list out. 

1. There is a stigma in America regarding mental health. People don't like to discuss mental health, people don't like to discuss grief, and many issues in modern day society are still swept under the rug. 

2. Special needs parents are not superhero's. We are simply parents that have been faced with a tragic situation that do what we can to properly care for our children to the best of our abilities. We still fall, we still cry, and we still need help sometimes. 

I switched from seeing the counselor I was going to when Jude was ill to a certified grief doctor. Today we had a very good discussion and I am very in tune with the  level of care this individual provides. He said if grief lasts longer than 6 months the official diagnosis is complicated grief. He believes he is already seeing some of this in me and has started treating me for it. So what is complicated grief? It is not depression although that can sometimes present with it. Depression is a clinical situation that presents in the brain. Complicated Grief is someone who is having issues with the natural healing process. 

"The main symptoms of complicated grief are yearning, longing and frequent thoughts of the person who died. They typically retain a strong interest in a deceased loved one and experience positive emotions when they think about that person; all of their negative emotions are sharply focused on the circumstances or consequences of the death."

The doctor was very kind and has also lost a special needs child. He explained that putting a limitation on grief when it's a child or a partner is rather ridiculous. He knows you never get over the grief but there is a way to help change your thoughts to help you process the situation in a healthy manner. 

"Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve."
~Dr. Earl A. Grollman 

After an evaluation he discovered I was having bad days laced with sporadic good days which he said is big positive. It shows my mind has the capability of being able to move forward. So we did some exercises to help with this process. One included finding out the feeling I miss most that I experienced with Jude and reconnecting to that feeling. Oddly enough that feeling was comfort. I missed being able to comfort him and the comfort he brought me when I held him in my arms after a long day at work. My worry about him was eased as soon as I walked through the door and held him in my arms. 

I have no doubt my husband is knee deep in complicated grief and is having a very difficult time with it. Maybe I can show him some of the techniques I am learning. I realize none of this will ever bring Jude back but I do realize Jude wouldn't want us upset or angry. I keep repeating this to myself as I walk through this difficult path. I know in time my blog will once again discuss happy moments and amazing memories but this just takes some time to process. 

Why do I talk about all this? My inner most personal experiences? Because I promised to do it for Jude. From the start of this blog I promised to be open and honest. People need to know it's okay to seek help, it's normal to feel despair, and it's okay to cry. 

On a good note I have the cover of Jude's book and the website we will be working with. It will be fine tuned with a book trailer and more in the upcoming future but you can see the cover now. I am proud that Jude will spread so much happiness through his smile and stroke awareness to others.

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