I am a Sweetheart to One and a Mommy to Four Loveable Babes, one of which is smiling down on us from Heaven. I am learning to dance in the rain. Come with me on my journey as I make the most out of Life's mud puddles.

Put on your rain boots. Great adventure lies ahead.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Coping Mechanisms

As a rule of thumb, I try to be open and honest about our Walk with Grief (and what a walk it has been). And so, I will address aspects that I would not choose to disclose otherwise. Like the ways - healthy or not - that we have coped.

Overall, I believe we have made healthy choices in our Grieving. Though many approached me about taking anti-depressants following Bennett's death, I personally made the choice to walk through this heartache unencumbered. I thought it would be unfair to "numb" myself while the rest of my family walked through very difficult and tender feelings unmedicated. Though not a party, I wanted us all to be on the same page of our grieving. It may not be fun but we are in this together.

(While saying this, I do not judge anyone who has made another choice. Everyone does what is best for them and what is "right" for one may not be "right" for another. We just made the choice that felt best for our family. Period.)

So food has become my drug.

Everything has been a trigger for me. The extreme loss of losing Bennett, the anger and frustration of being investigated for his death, the inexplicable experience of packing up my Boy's belongs that he would never use again in this life, the stress of a kitchen remodel two months following his death in preparation for putting our home on the market and the unbelievable strain of showing a home at a moment's notice when I felt barely functional myself. All this on top of dealing with the deep and open wounds each member of my family is dealing with. This has been the most trying period of my life. Hands down.

While I do not binge, I mindlessly eat, grabbing a handful of this there and taking a bite of something there. And at the end of the day, I can't even remember what I consumed. And so - in five months - I have gained nearly 10 pounds. TEN POUNDS. And ten pounds I couldn't afford to gain.

And so it's time to get my rear in gear. It's time to cut back and rev it up. In our adversity, my Spirit has grown and I am learning so much. Grief has excavated a depth in my soul that I just cannot describe. Only the Lord knows fully what is happening within me. I am more compassionate, understanding and tender than I have ever been. And yet my body is tired and weak.

So it is time for my body to reflect my Spirit. I need the strength mindful and nourishing eating provide. I need to move more and sit less. And I need to sleep more ; something that is really hard to do when dealing with anxiety that is triggered during the night. But He has made me a promise. If I treat my body like a temple, I will be given "wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint."

I will change. I will. And the Lord will help me. Instead of turning to external sources for comfort, I will turn to Him. And He will fill the abyss in my soul that even the best chocolate can't touch.


  1. When we were waiting for Lily's diagnosis, I have never had a stronger desire than I did in those moments to take something, anything, that would dull the pain. But I knew it wouldn't help and so I was able to resist, but how strong that temptation was!
    I can also relate to your body going through the ups and downs. I was surprised at how long it has taken for things to return to some kind of normal after my last pregnancy, but I realized that it was not just being postpartum, but it was also being incredibly stressed as well.
    Thanks for being so honest.

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  3. Thanks for being so honest about the tough stuff! I can't imagine the emotions you deal with on a daily basis. You still looked beautiful and classy when I saw you recently! I know I feel a lot better when I get enough sleep and a little exercise, so I hope you can what you need! Hugs!
    Jenny B.

  4. You are one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out.

  5. I didn't comment when I saw this yesterday because I was rushed, but when I was driving somewhere I thought, "Go back and comment because well, comments are wonderful." (Don't you love how I think about you on my drives? heehee)

    Here are my thoughts: You should NOT beat yourself up about any weight gain. 10 pounds? Pshh. What you have gone through and will continue to go through deserves any and all guilt cancellation. If you feel it is time to physically move forward, than I know you will be successful. But holy cow woman! You need to give yourself a break and some self-love. Eating food is easy. Not exercising is easy. But losing your son is NOT easy, and with that comes the need for the opposite to fill some space. I don't really believe in justifying negative actions, but in this case it was not negative. Not making the best food choices while dealing with your tremendous loss should not be something to be sad about. Your are moving forward...and with that movement physical efforts will have their time. But if it's not in the time you had planned, remember that it is OKAY.

    Many many hugs, my friend. And if I lived near you I would bring you a chocolate cake. And we would eat it together..happily...because sometimes it is okay to do just that.

  6. I appreciate you sharing this, Amanda. And also your closing comments about turning to the Lord for comfort instead of seeking outside sources. It's so good to be reminded where true peace comes from. Food is also my coping drug and along my journey I often reflect on the words, "And he said unto them: He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled." May all our souls be "filled"!

  7. I know losing my house in a fire is nothing to compare to losing your son...in fact that was how I coped with our devastating fire, knowing that my family was ok. That being said, it was the biggest trial I have ever been through. . .I am still fighting to lose the 30 pounds I gained in the 8 months following our fire. Keep with it sister! It is what it is, and you are aware, something I didn't realize at the time. You can do it. . .it's okay to turn to food occasionally, but exercise gives you GREAT endorphines!

  8. I like what Carrie said. And...shopping was my substitute for a little while. They were all on sale, but once, within two days, I bought 6 pairs of shoes. All on sale of course, but the crazy thing is, I'm not really a 'shoe girl.'

    At the beginning, you do something, -anything-, that works for you. But kudos to you for recognizing that this is NOT working for you and having the courage to move forward in a healthier way - both emotionally and physically. Love ya.

  9. I would have to agree with my sister Brittany (the first comment) When I was in high school I had my emotional pains and looked for anything to physically manifest my emotions because I didn't have the tools to do it my self at the time. That was my addiction and it took me 5 years to fully break the habit. I want to share with you, when I was in high school my best friend passed away and I know one thing their family did together (and I would go with them) was work out, play a sport together because the mom felt that running and exercise would release natural endorphins. Just an idea in case you would like to try something new with your family too. As for making the choice of not using medication I personally am proud of you because it doesn't resolve the problem, or what you are feeling it is still really there. One of my favorite talks from Hinckley is about trials. I can't remember it word for word so bare with me... but Heavenly Father gives us trials, and he expects us to roll up our sleeves, square our shoulders, wipe our brow and take the next step forward. And that is exactly what I think you are doing!!! Keep up the good work, the positive attitude because you will be the rock to your children and they will live as you do. You are and will be their greatest example! I am sorry so sorry for the heart ache, the heart break!!! Know that we are appreciated and valued by so many who don't even know you! Your example will mean a lot to many people.

  10. You are BEAUTIFUL Amanda! EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL!!! We love you and I am cheering you on in your quest for health and putting the Lord's test to the promise. I am with you in the quest... to overcome my body's weakness lately I too am beginning (Again) my quest to nourish my body with healthy foods, exercise regularly, and trying the early to bed and early to rise... hoping for rest. Our bodies are temples and your spirit and blessings from heaven does shine from you!! You radiate!

    As for the plan... You can do it! We can do it!!! Go get 'em girl!!! ... BTW did I mention you are BEAUTIFUL? Cause you are!!! :)


Thank you for being a part of my journey. I appreciate your supportive and healing comments. Here's to a Promise of Sunshine!