Feeling better

I’m not sure how many times I’ve used the word “better” but I know it does get used a lot on the forum usually as a description of how we want to feel. I suppose I’m thinking out loud but I wondered what would actually tell me that I was feeling better. How would I express that. How would I know. How would others know.
After a few days away in a different environment I think I feel a bit better but I suspect that as I get home tonight that may not be sustainable.
In effect I’m asking how we measure “betterness”. Is it physiological, psychological or both. I would be really interested to see what other people think.

I feel the same, we have been out of the country and so I have been reflecting and processing lots, at times it’s been painful. I have some sense of feeling better, but it’s still early days and I know going home will be tough, but equally I need to face it. It really is the cliche of waves, it feels okay then I remember her then I am back to stage one…

Perhaps:
When you can look at photos without tears every time.
When you can concentrate on something else for a while.
When you don’t feel a sense of dread every time you wake up.
When you find some mild enthusiasm for something.
When you do something because you enjoy it rather than to pass time.
Goodness, I suppose it is just tiny things.
I am 19 weeks in from losing my precious daughter and I don’t feel better or worse, just different. I am sometimes able to concentrate for a while but then it hits me again hard. It is tempting to stay with the grief to avoid the pain on returning to it.
I imagine the ‘hard hit’ will ease and this will be another step towards feeling ‘a bit better’.

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I think myself its when i stopped fighting with my emotions,the constant chatter in my head,i think ive come to some sort of acceptance if that makes sense,though it all still hurts like hell,i sort of accept i just cannot change it ,so im working more alongside it,hard to explain really x

It’s taken me a while to get back to this as I’ve been travelling home. Has a different person come home than the one that went away. Probably not.
I watched a comedy on TV the other night and I probably laughed more and longer than my hosts. Somehow I must have “lightened up” and I felt better for it.
I’ve looked at photos and smiled, and others and cried. One of my daughters sent a photo and it caught me unawares. I cried a little then recovered my composure.
I’ve been reading large chunks again of “It’s OK that you’re not OK” and I can make more sense of them now. I find the contributions by the Writing your Grief people to be quite powerful and thought provoking.
None of us stand still, we are all becoming. We always have been, little by little, bit by bit. We are shaped by our experiences and I wondered to what extent we would be able to shape what we become rather than let it happen. Also, to what extent can be resist it. I suppose I’m struggling with the idea as to what better will look like but it’s just maybe one point on the journey. The transformation will be incremental.
I think that sleeping is something that could show improvement. Probably quality and quantity.
Fitness and exercise are things I’m trying to work on. The more positive endorphins the better.
An improvement in eating presumably will have benefits.
As someone else mentioned the idea that we might have genuine enthusiasm and interest in things.
I think I’m beginning to understand myself and I think it’s really important to keep checking out with myself where I am at.
It’s a bit like when we made a mark on the wall each time we measured a child. It’s a means of looking back and measuring progress.

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Hi

Reading your post, yorkshirelad, I think you are doing well.

The fact you have time to consider feeling better and what it means is a big step forward from when we are consumed by the pain of grief.

I’ve always liked to know how I am doing at things too. Grades at school…etc…on and on. But life is more complicated than that. I feel grief is waves. One day I can cope, the next I go under. Over time though I hope that I will have built a stable life raft of my new life to get me over the waves whenever they hit me. I guess at the moment I am getting all the stuff together to make my raft and it sounds like you are too.

Good luck and keep posting.

Ann xx

I can’t stand the word better as how will we ever be better after losing a love? It’s just not going to happen. It’s been 3 months for me and honestly I feel the pain is worse than ever. If you look back on how you were reacting/coping initially to how you are now I think that will tell yourself how your learning to deal with the grief. But it’s permanent and will never be about better. I am very negative I am sorry but I feel it is the truth. X

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I agree completely. It’s not a word with a specific meaning in that it means different things to different people.
If we are ill we get ’ better’ but we will not get better from the effects of grief. We might get better at coping, or even managing. As time goes on we will probably become different.

Hi Chlo I must admit I can really identify with your post. I will never feel better either. I lost my husband on the 27th October and I definitely feel worse now than in the few weeks following. It’s as if I was numb and in denial at first but as things cleared everything has come crashing in on me and I can’t deal with it. Dawn x

I don’t know enough about the mechanics of how the brain works, and I’m not sure that anybody does, but there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that the brain reacts to particular stimuli and protects us from the full effects of deep trauma. This probably explains why we all feel numb and in a fog. It seems likely that the level of protection reduces bit by bit over time as we learn better how to cope.
Many of the intervention strategies or therapies are built around this easing.
I suppose we all hope to be able to deal with things gradually and in the longer term. I’m just hoping I can improve my ability to live on but realise that will take time.

Hi Yorkshirelad and All

I am convinced about the shock part and the numb feeling at the begining of a grief journey. It’s self preservation and grief let’s itself in little by little, sometimes in a huge dollop but not all at once.

I really feel it is a journey. It isn’t a destination to “better” but a journey full of ups and downs. My Aunt tells me it’s not falling over or dipping into a well of self pity and grief that is the problem. It is making sure that you get back up that counts and I really focus on that.

I know for a fact my parents would not want me to wallow indefinitely in grief. They would want me to live life to the full on their behalf. That doesn’t take the pain away, but I owe it to them not to waste my precious time on Earth.

Another wise friend who lost his only son many years ago told me that if he could ware black, be somber and hide away from life in grief, if for a second it would bring his son back, he would. But it wouldn’t so he has committed decades to doing good deeds for others instead. That is a lovely legacy for his son.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling everyone to just be positive. I’ve had screaming fits, sobbed until my eyes ache and been in some very black places over the last year or so but I’ve also had some good times too. That’s why I now see this grief journey as a journey.

Hope we all have enough fuel.

Love Ann xx

I agree Yorkshire lad, the brain must use some protective measure to prevent the deepest trauma then may gradually allow things to surface as we are more able to cope.
Saying that I have been going around in some sort of fog on autopilot, went to get something from the supermarket came out and couldn’t find my car keys, panic, I was like a being posessed!
Hunted in pockets, bag, retraced my steps, finally found them in a zipped compartment of my bag where I always put them! Why didn’t I check?
I felt such a fool, keep telling myself I am a capable and independent woman so why have I become a useless idiot with the death of my loved one.
He might have been shocked at my inability to cope with this deep grief.
Just have to work through it until perhaps one day I will look forward and not back.

I do things like that all the time. A long list of things in fact. I used to pass it off as a senior moment but now I convince myself it’s grief. Keys in pockets is a common one. Wallet another, especially if just left around in the home. I recognise the panic.

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