How Grief Affected My Blogging

I always thought my blog would be the written proof to the events that occurred in my life whilst my blog existed. I started The Diary of a Twenty Something with the aim of keeping a record of the past and the present, my thoughts, feelings and experiences and what was generally just running through my mind.

However, this year has been one of the most eventful for all manner of good and bad. It’s been overwhelming, and strangely, I haven’t been able to get the focus to sit down and document it. I had lots of ideas for blog posts that related to what was going on, that when it came to sitting down to write, it felt like I was getting ready to start an epic that I felt I couldn’t face it. For the bad parts, I guess writing about them made them more real and more difficult to process.

For a while it felt like I didn’t have time to write because of how busy I was. My life has been moving at a million miles an hour and the idea of finding time to document it became impossible. But then when my life came to a standstill, and the world seemed to stop, it was like a mental block and I couldn’t think of doing anything else other than dealing with what was going on.

At the end of January, we were just about to complete the purchase of our first home; a momentous task that took months and months of hard work and was everything we had been aiming and working towards since the start of our relationship. After 7 years together, we were about to make the biggest commitment to each other. And on the eve of getting the keys, I got a shocking phone call to say my Grandma – more alive and “with it” than anybody else I knew – had been found dead. She had died suddenly getting dressed for bed, of a suspected heart attack and it threw our entire family into shock. Just 6 days later, whilst in the midst of moving house and processing my own grief, my partner got a call to say his Grandma had passed away in her sleep – something he had been expecting, but nonetheless, was just as distressing. We were cocooned in grief – and we had to postpone the move so that he could fly home to bury his Grandmother.

A few days later, whilst entering the new house and alone, I fell into a 5 foot hatch that led under our house, was not secured properly and dislocated my shoulder. It was a pain I can only describe as hell and my shoulder had to be popped back into place after a bout of morphine and gas and air. With everything that happened in just the space of the week, I could feel myself spiralling downward. One morning, just sat at my desk at work alone, with my arm strung up and multiple feelings surrounding the loss of my grandmother, I burst into tears and felt like the unluckiest person in the world. I kept telling myself that thing couldn’t get any worse than this, and luckily, it didn’t. We were able to start to move forward, process our grief, and start putting some love into our new house. We surrounded ourselves with photos and memories, and kept busy.

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It’s only recently that we have started to feel some normality back in our lives. Within that time, with our losses, my accident and moving house, we weren’t able to stop and take a breather. We paid extra rent to give ourselves more time, and we have started to turn our new house into our home. And I love it. I definitely suffered trauma with the house after my accident – I had anxiety, didn’t feel safe in the house and hated living here because of it. However, time has passed, and I’m proud of my little home. It’s perfect for us, has the potential to be even more amazing and we can put our own stamp on it.

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As much as writing is an outlet for me, therapeutic to get the words off of my chest and into some physical form, I felt like I didn’t have the emotional capacity to put those feelings into words. My grandmother’s death was such a shock – something I didn’t expect for many more years to come. I didn’t expect that her passing would affect me as it did but I catch myself ofttimes just thinking about her and it makes me incredibly sad. Loss is so complex and different to each person. Where once I would have wrote about my grief, this time I didn’t have the urge I would to express my feelings. I don’t think I’ve quite come to terms with it – but it’s part of the slowly expanding delay on getting my blog back on track.

I’m quite honest with myself – I don’t know how I’ll get the drive back that I had this time last year when I started my blog. I had fire in my belly and the catharsis that comes with being honest about with with yourself with words. Blogging is such an open book, and I guess that I haven’t been honest with myself about how I’ve been feeling and so couldn’t be honest with anybody else. But I do hope to start some writing/how-to guides on some of the more positive aspects of my life in the past year which is where it all started.

But for now, I’m still processing, still figuring out, still working through the fallout of grief and trauma. My shoulder has almost fully recovered but will never be the same again. And whilst writing may help with the grief that comes with loss and change, I’m assuming that will come back with time. It’s funny how things change in an instant but takes time to get back to or build a new existence with these new experiences and the impact they have on your life. But I’m doing my best – and that’s all I can do.

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