Stormy Days are the toughest. They take energy and all good things and turn them around. Stormy Days will be the darkest days, and anything we can do ahead of them, to make them leave more quickly or take less from us, the better.
If Stormy Days go on without any improvement, no matter how small or fleeting, you may need to seek professional help.
I have found that my Stormy Days can sometimes be predicted. Rather like those happy weather presenters, I can feel the clouds forming out to sea, and the big arrows heading my way. This isn’t always the case, but when it is I am working on using the prep time to help me.
Ideas might be to book an hour off work to meet a friend. Doing the food shopping or something I find difficult in advance, to take off some stress. Making sure I drink plenty of water and take any medication or supplements properly. Maybe finding a few relaxing things and putting them all together in a bag, ready immediately when I feel the need. This could also include biscuits.
I’ve also seen a bit of a pattern in my thoughts during Stormy Days. This is useful, if a little disconcerting, as I can work on managing those thoughts better. It’s also an opportunity to highlight to those around us, what might be said or done, and how they can best support us (and themselves).
At my worst I believe that my family would be better off with a new mum/wife. I can’t do the things with them and for them that I used to, and that I want to. There are places I can’t visit, activities I can’t bear, and I’m not the personality I was.
I think about getting a little flat, where I can deal with all my pain, and they could have a lovely new mum/wife. One full of joy and energy. We could visit and create a new sort of family, I want that for them. On Stormy Days, this all makes perfect sense to me. It feels rational and sensible. I can literally picture this successful hybrid way of being.
When the feelings pass, and I can’t imagine being away from my children for more than a school day – I wonder what I was thinking. I would not be so calm and serene if another woman kissed my kids good night (especially Mr Lyons!). The person I envisaged feels quite differently once the storm has passed.
It has helped to express all that though, to help those around me, and me, to cope.
The best news, is that the storms don’t last forever. I try to remind myself of that with a few well placed fridge magnets and postcards around the house and car. Getting to know your patterns and rhythms can be very useful. Give it a try.
Make sure you have resources around you, ready for the Stormy Days. A box with phone numbers or a book/film you love. A place you can go to feel safe. A friend who will check in on you.
Download a few of our Daily Planners – ready to help you and your household with the essentials. S
Seek professional help when you feel able. This could be a GP appointment, a free phone line to a charity, a therapist of some kind that makes sense to you. The first place I check for specialist support is The Good Grief Trust, and umbrella for all bereavement organisations.