Mother’s Day is approaching like it does every year. I’m not one to watch the calendar or count down the days; it just happens. Something inside me just remembers the familiar smell of past family dinners, the Mother’s Day cards written in crayon, and of course my attempts at breakfast in bed. I chuckle a little now thinking about my mom eating those extra crunchy eggs. It is usually inevitable that I also remember my life pre-mom.
Before I was adopted, there were no crunchy eggs in bed or hand drawn cards. Life was not good. Yet, I thought I had experienced everything I could go through in life, until my mom passed away 5 years ago. Blood never defined us, but most certainly she was and still is my mom.
Mother’s Day does not always mean happy memories for everyone. Grief ebbs and flows. Maybe you never knew your mother, or what you did know was a memory you would rather forget. Perhaps, losing her was a pain to great.
If this applies to you, take care of yourself this week. Take really good care of yourself. As a therapist, my toolkit is filled with tips on mindfulness and meditation, but sometimes you need quieter silence than meditating.
So I’m not providing regular therapy tips. Not this week. This week I want you to validate yourself. I want you to take yourself on a date, even if that’s just takeout and a good movie. If you need to cry, cry – but eat a triple chocolate cake after. After all, chocolate increases dopamine release. In moderation, I’d bet chocolate followed by a walk in the great outdoors is not all that bad for you. Whatever you decide to do, attend to your soul scars this week.
Do whatever comes to mind, as long as it is healthy. Talk to someone who loves you, and pamper yourself. I like to think about it like this, surviving something as profound as loss makes you incredibly strong. Not weak.
Being a survivor is incredible. Thriving in life after you’ve survived is what you deserve. If you find yourself surviving but not yet thriving, I encourage you to find a therapist who you can trust and can process with.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself.