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The Importance of Grieving

Loss of a loved one

When we lose someone whether from death or the end of a relationship, it is important to allow yourself to feel all of the emotions related to that loss. These emotions can feel like despair, disorientation, rejection, loneliness, sadness, pain, and anger. If you avoid your emotions, they will not go away. They will haunt you. And, as a result of avoiding emotional grieving, it can negatively impact your life including relationships, future relationships, goals, and plans.

It is never too late to grieve

It is never too late to grieve a loss. This week’s guest post is a beautiful example of the author using letter writing to grieve the loss of his grandmother who died several years ago. Thank you for reading and please don’t forget to comment and share. You never know, you may be helping somebody!

By Nathan Conrad

Dear Grandma,

Let me start by saying that I miss you so much. It was times like these that I relied on you the most. You were always there to listen. I wish you didn’t have to go the way you did. You deserved to go quietly and peacefully in your sleep.

I know how scared you were. And, to be honest, I was scared for you too. But, I was strong, I was strong for you and for mom too. I was by your side the whole time putting on a strong face, but my heart was breaking. I wasn’t ready to lose you and neither was mom.

You were so much more…

You were much more than just a grandma, you were one of my closest friends. I wish I would have spent more time with you, but we both know how my job [first responder] was.

That day, the day you died, changed me. The ambulance was no longer a calling. It became just a “job.” Every time I had to ride with a patient in the back, it took me back to that day, and, would break my heart all over again.

There wasn’t enough whiskey…

There wasn’t enough whiskey or that other “junk” to fill the void you left, but I sure tried. I know why you left the hard choices that day up to me. I was just as stubborn as you and you know I would follow your wishes to the letter. And we both know that mom could not have handled the guilt.

I miss you every day. I miss our talks, our music, especially Elvis and Willie. No one could make a bacon and egg sandwich like you, and no one ever will.

I was the one…

I wanted you to know, that I was the one who put your ashes in the grave and I wrapped your urn in your favorite blanket.

I am two months sober now

I am sure you know that I have gotten myself into trouble. You were right about my loser friends. I want you to know that I am two months sober now and I am learning what is important now. I am going to try my best to be a better son and grandson to take care of my family like you took care of us.

You still have the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known and I am trying my best to be like you. I hope I will get to see you again one day, but for now, your spirit will always be with me.

I Love you, love, your favorite grandson

For more information on counseling, please contact me, Catherine Cleveland at (585) 432-0313 or email me at clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com.

Is Your Worrying Affecting Your Wellbeing?

Are you someone who thinks and worries about what may or may not happen in the near future? Are you worrying to the point of perpetuating a problem that doesn’t actually exist in the present moment?

Here is a common example of what I mean:

“I am worried that my partner is going to leave me.” 

The problem… 

If someone is going to leave you, there is nothing you can do to control their thoughts (and sometimes their behavior). 

However, if they are not going to leave you, and you are obsessing about it in your mind, you will act accordingly. 

For example, you may follow them, check their phone, constantly text them, ask them accusing questions, accuse them outright, forbid them from social engagements, or seeing friends and family without you, and so on.

If you have ever been on the receiving end of these untrusting behaviors, you know what it feels like. It is draining, exhausting, and distressing to the point that you want to get away from it any way you can. And when you try to get away from the accusations, the accusations get worse.

What is happening? 

If you are the accuser, you are making up scenarios that do not exist in the present moment. And then you are acting on your mentally constructed future scenarios as if they are actually happening in the present moment. Keep in mind, there are a lot of people who do these behaviors and are not even aware of it.

If your partner is really going to leave you, you have two choices. 1) you can accept it and move on; or 2) try to get a person who doesn’t want to be with you to stay. 

Why would we try to get someone to stay who does not want to? Maybe because we are afraid to be alone and maybe we are trying to make them be someone they are not? When we try to control other people’s behaviors, it only prevents us from focusing on your own issues.

Remember, worrying is your anxiety (that has an underlying cause) that is experienced as a physical symptom in your body, leaving you, at times feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even physically ill.

Here is another example:

“Why would I do that if you could get [psychologically] hurt?”

When you are always worried about getting hurt and acting as if you would get hurt, you might not have the life that you desire. This is a depressing behavior that could lead to a depressive disorder. It also limits your human potential and sense of joy.

So, if you construct and act on future (that does not exist) negative scenarios, ask yourself this question:

“What are the real, present moment, intrapersonal issues that I am trying to avoid?” 

Are you interested in reading more articles on mental health and wellbeing? Click now on the Wisdom Room. For more information about Catherine Cleveland go to Why Consider me as Your Counselor. Click here to register on your secure portal and make your appointment today!

And as always, thank you for reading!

Tip #3: Watch out for the “but”

Here is an excellent thought experiment:

Paying attention to every time you hear someone say the word “but.” But, typically negates (cancels out) everything that is said before it.

“I don’t mean to be cruel, but… 

You guessed it, the next thing that is said is going to be, at the least, insulting.

“I am not normally sarcastic, but…”

The real meaning:  Oh, yes, they are!

“I really don’t drink much, but I like to have a drink now and then.”

The real meaning:  Hmmm, it would be interesting to see how much they really drink…

“I love you, but I need my alone time.”

The real meaning:  I don’t love you or love you enough

“I would really like to see you but…”

The real meaning: I don’t want to see you

Of course, there are times when but does not negate. It depends if there is a follow-up question or statement:

“I would really like to see you, but I can’t this week. Can I schedule for next week?”

If you find that you are a “but” user, there are a few things you can do:

1)   Do not make the judgment statement in the first place. Judgments are likely a reflection on you and your self-worth. If you notice that you are a “but” user when making a statement to someone else, what you are doing is deflecting (an emotion defense mechanism) your attention from your internal struggles. 

“I really want to see a counselor, but…”

The real meaning: I am afraid and really don’t want to see myself for who I really am.

2)   If “but” is not a negation, sometimes replacing “but” with “and” can sound better to the receiver:

“I think you did a great job, but there is room for improvement.”

“I think you did a great job and there is room for improvement.”

“I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but I would like to discuss it more.”

“I agree with a lot of what you are saying, and I would like to discuss it more.”

I hope you enjoy this thought experiment. Remember, it is essential to practice any mindfulness exercise with compassion toward yourself and others, and without judgment.

Take that next step today! Contact me, Catherine Cleveland, for you in office or online mental health counseling appointment! (585) 432-0313 clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com or, make set up your appointment on line