If you are anything like me, then you may have a thousand thoughts and ideas running through your mind constantly. From appointments for the kids, to what is being made for dinner, to how much cleaning needs to be done and more. My mind is constantly running.
- But what happens when bad news is thrown in the mix?
- How do you shift your gears from the norm to the curve ball that was just thrown at you?
It’s easy to get stuck and be clueless about how to move forward. It may even feel surreal. Those are the moments when it may seem a bit difficult to snap yourself back to reality. Sometimes the overload of the news can be a bit much to handle and our brain wants to shut down. Our emotions may go into overdrive and your body may seem to have forgotten how to function.
This is where having outlets become very important. Outlets can be people that you can share news with. It can be a journal where you can express how you are feeling without judgement. For some, it may be their therapist/counselor/social worker to help them work through the feelings and the adjustments that may be needed. Hospitals tend to have a social worker on site or a counselor that is able to help you digest the information. Talking it out can be very helpful.
Set the expectation…
- Inform who you are sharing news with that you are looking for support
- This is when words of encouragement can make a difference
- Let them know you just need to vent and are not looking to answer questions
- Depending on your spiritual beliefs, this can be a space where you are looking for someone to pray for you or with you.
My Pink Journal
My pink journal came with me the night we rushed the baby to the emergency room. That is where I kept my notes about how he had been doing the last two days. I had temp checks, diaper checks, and behavior changes listed. But before 9/13/20, I had feelings of the pandemic, pregnancy, post partum and more. It was a journal that I would dabble in here and there with things I was going through or just notes about my highs and lows. I didn’t journal daily due to being busy, but it was always nice to have those moments to sit down and just reflect.
Where is my journal?
In the emergency room department we were bombarded with questions after questions. I had to grab my journal to give them the details that they needed to help come up with a cause. In the midst of them working on the baby and answering questions, I found myself being still. I was present , but I wasn’t present. I was in shock, but I knew I had to be present. It felt like I was watching a movie, but it was really my life unfolding before me.
Once things settled down some, we were moved upstairs to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) floor. I sat in the waiting room with my journal and all I could do was stare at the pages. I needed to unload, but I wasn’t entirely sure where to start. So I decided to write how I felt in the room. I started to write how angry, sad and lost I was. As I started from there, the words kept flowing and the tears followed. Let me tell you, it helped me so much. It helped me to release what was building inside of me.
I am grateful to have written down my feelings during those first few weeks in the hospital. The memories that would flood back don’t hurt as much because of the healing God has done for me. Its been amazing to see the progress in my notes of how far he has come. It has allowed me to be more comfortable with sharing this experience with people like you. It helps a lot with bringing some of the more vague memories together as well.
My pink journal holds the intimate details of the hardest time in my life and today I can read it without weeping. Today I can read it and be grateful for his life knowing that he is healed. Today I can read it and know how much of a miracle baby, my son really is.
Write, write, write…
Documenting the journey may seem hard at first, but it’s worth giving it a try.
- Get a journal (there’s different types, so find one you like)
- Set aside 10-15 mins a day to write in it
- Write your highs and lows
- The goal is to get into the habit of placing those feelings, thoughts and ideas in a place where your mind has some space to think freely giving you a chance to be more present in those critical moments.