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They say you can never prepare yourself for the death of someone close to you. I can vouch for that first hand, as it’s just happened to me.  My father passed away just 10 days ago from end stage alcoholism. Even though it’s been on the cards for over 5 years, I thought I could mentally prepare for it and get some of my grieving done along the way. Unfortunately, grief doesn’t work like that, as I’ve found out the hard way.

Anyone who has experienced alcoholism with any family members, will understand the emotions and relationships change with them and there’s not much you can do about it. Alcohol is nearly always the winner and there’s nothing else that will ever come close racing against it, family included.

I guess I’m writing this as a way of grieving and self-therapy, as it’s the first time I have journaled or written about it. I’ve talked and talked about his death a lot over the last few days. I’m quite an open person when it comes to feelings with the people who are closest to me and fully understand the importance of that when it comes to dealing with emotions and coming out the other side unscathed.

The emotional rollercoaster of the last week is like nothing I have ever experienced. Sadness, anger, resentment, relief, pain, love, fear and that’s just to start with…

Trying to get your head around things that you don’t understand and quite frankly confuse the crap out of you. These emotions drain you of all motivation, energy, drive and I really haven’t been on the ball with anything these last few days. I’ve learned to accept these feelings and that it’s par for the course.

You question

‘How should I feel?’

‘Why am I feeling this way?’

‘What should I be doing with myself?’

‘Should I be keeping busy?’

When you add it all up and analyse it, there’s no set way you should be feeling, but I suppose you just gotta roll with the punches and not fight the grieving process.

Thankfully, my wife Caroline, my friends and family, have all been amazing, dragging me out for cups of coffee, workouts and dips in the sea to clear my head. I will always be grateful for that.

However, the one constant through all this has been exercise.  No matter what, that’s my go to, to feel ok again. I’ve trained most days. I’m not going to say they have been the most productive workouts and I certainly haven’t broken any records but working out is an outlet I can’t get from anything else.

The feel-good endorphins, getting a sweat on, heart rate up, the clearing your mind of ‘things’ for a little while, forgetting what you have to do in the next few days, like organising funerals etc. just for an hour or so is something that has without a doubt helped me process things far more efficiently than without it.

You just can’t beat that feeling, well for me anyway!

On the other hand,

My diet has been terrible… I haven’t cared, I know, but that’s the truth.

I have been eating food in line with my emotions (i.e. feel good food, well you feel good for a while then feel crap again after) but am fully aware of that. I’ve had a few days of watching TV and eating rubbish food as that’s all I’ve felt I can manage. It shows the effect grief has, as I don’t really watch much TV and I don’t eat rubbish either.

I also know this will pass and get easier, so I’m not too worried about it.

But needless to say…

Weight on – Check ✅

Inflammation – Check ✅

Bloated – Check ✅

Lethargic – ✅

Tired – Check ✅

The one over-riding feeling I have had over the last ten days or so, that has been pretty consistent, has been a surreal one. You know that out of body experience where you just don’t believe this is happening to you or it’s happening to someone else?

Maybe some denial, paired with the shock factor?

I have been doing some studying over the last week on grief and how other people have come to terms with losing people who are, or once were, close to them.

One thing is pretty clear, you need to make time to grieve and not brush it under the carpet. Let it happen naturally and don’t fight it. It needs to be dealt with at some stage, whether It be today, 6 weeks or 6 years, if not now, it will rear its ugly head and will need to be revisited down the line.

There’s no time like the present.

I have come to the conclusion like with most things, that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to grieving and getting over it. But as I always I’ll take bits out of things that I think will work for me and run with it.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Back at it

Yours in fitness

Damian

Dalkey Fitpro

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