How do we stop the pain?

Some use drug therapy, some abuse drugs. Some go through psychoanalysis and therapy, some talk to those around them, and others keep it inside. Some turn to spirituality as an escape and as a way to hand things over and ease the pain. Some suppress the feeling, shutting off and shutting down. It’s like holding a beach ball filled with air underwater. With enough effort and concentration you can do it for a while, but eventually you will forget and the ball will pop to the surface.

Some acknowledge the pain and that IT is not inevitable. We were not born to suffer and neither were our loved ones. We have to make clear and distinct lines between our grief and our life. Yes, I know our lives have changed. Yes, I know that sounds absolutely impossible at times.

Each thing that happens to us and around us – or in other words – everything we experience only means exactly what we let it mean. It takes on the definition that we give it. It holds the power that we fuel it with. It becomes negative or positive through our own thinking.

Yes, I know what you are thinking. Suicide is negative. Suicide is powerful, sad, and full of so many complex emotions that it is hard NOT to give it a negative meaning in our lives. It is hard to not suffer after the loss. I understand. I am there also.

Instead, what I am getting to is the ability to improve our own lives using our grief.

In the packages I send out from our website, I include a journal. I find journaling or writing anywhere to be important in our process. It is personal, emotional, and extremely honest.

Try it for a week or two. 5 or 10 minutes at a time to start – Don’t suppress pain or self medicate. Experience it fully and ask what meaning did I give to cause SOME of what I am feeling. This does not imply that the suicide of our loved one is our fault, instead this is to ask ourselves what have we “talked ourselves into” surrounding the circumstances and the death. What irrational and illogical meanings are we placing on the loss and on ourselves? For some it could be the type of thinking that keeps us stuck in a certain place on this journey.

Build on it.

Keep writing. Keep noting anything that gives you mental pain or suffering. What power have we given to it. Why? Can we see the separation from events as they happen and then the stuff we pile on top of it to make it even harder on ourselves?

It may seem confusing. But really the bottom line is identifying where we can start to see a break in grief and life. Understanding that grief carries over into everything we do and how to cope with it in the future.

It is an exercise in surviving, building hope into new meanings for our new life.

Leslie Beery
The Surviving Project