Grief is a very real thing. People think it’s just grieving the death of somebody, but it actually isn’t limited to just that. It could be grieving the loss of a friendship, a relationship, a person that was once your best friend only to become a stranger…

People cope with grief in very different ways… I used to be the type that would seek my own type of revenge, or send myself down an even worse spiral because I thought/felt that was what I deserved. It’s kind of like punishing yourself and feeling guilt/resentment towards yourself…

However, the older and wiser I’ve gotten, the more I’ve become numb to the pain. I know it sounds really weird, but I genuinely do believe I’ve experienced enough letdowns, heartache and grief to now be at the stage where nothing could ever phase me. Of course I have my bouts of depression and anxiety, feelings crop up, but I’m human, like the rest of you.

I was told I was “abnormal” because I “refused to let people see me in depressive state”, or grief-stricken. But, the truth was, I spent years (from as early as I can remember) hiding behind a smile and laugh, that it was all I knew when I was in a group of people, around friends etc.

As soon as I was told this though (by one of my closest friends at the time) I started second-guessing myself. I felt like I was being fake, even though it was never the intention – nor something I could control. However, I knew things needed to change either way.

Since then, I’ve actually become unable to hide my true feelings – and if I’m depressed, I can’t control who sees it or when it happens. I guess, I owe that to my close friend.

One thing I’ve noticed though is there’s no longer a trigger for my grief or depression, at least – I don’t notice it anyway. As I’ve said, I’ve almost become immune, so I don’t really know where it comes from. It’s just there. When it is, I just get on with it. I can’t even force it out. It just stays and then goes. (Like me on occasions when I’ve been treated unfairly or made to feel undervalued, it was just a lethal concoction of naivety mixed with strong feelings that kept me coming back. Now, regardless of how strong my feelings are, I need to think of my future and mental health.)

I’ve lost enough people and failed at enough projects/relationships/friendships to actually no longer care. Whether that’s detriment to my future, I don’t know. But I do know this: I used to care so much for people/things that in hindsight literally didn’t even care about me (I now prefer it this way, because I can no longer get hurt).

I have removed all factors that could’ve lead to disappointment, I’d had enough. Frankly, all that matters in life is knowing how hard we tried with certain things and people. There is nothing and/or no one that can tell us otherwise. Regardless of what their version of events is, we know ours and that’s what will get us through. All that really matters is our own version. If they want to know, they can ask. If they don’t ask, they don’t care. Neither will we, in time.

It’s liberating to know that when/if people needed me, I was always ready and willing to there. But, when I needed them… Where the fuck were they? Or, better still – in my triumphs, where were they? Exactly.

Grief is very real. Take all the time you need to move on. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re grieving wrong, or you’re not grieving enough… Sometimes, people might even tell you you’re grieving too much. There’s a middle finger for that. Raise it up, raise it loud.

Signs that you’re grieving:

Uncontrollable emotions – feelings of depression

Panic attacks

Heart-wrenching physical pain

Low mood

Lack of ability to do daily tasks

Things to do when grieving

Sit it out, don’t force it out

Talk to someone when you’re ready – a stranger or someone you trust

Surround yourself with positive people that will elevate you and make you feel good

Signs you’re over grieving

You no longer talk or think about the situation that caused you grief / if you do, it no longer triggers an emotional reaction