When you experience life altering change I am the first to advocate - you need therapy, with a qualified, experienced therapist. But I also believe therapy exists outside of the office. Some of my most healing experiences have happened when I have sought out opportunities for less than traditional therapy.
The flip metaphor
A harsh reality of widowhood is financial hardship. Not all widows have life insurance policies to help us get by. So a lot of us, particularly those in the "young widow" category, need to get creative in generating extra income. I chose house flipping. But it wasn't just the $$ I was looking for. I couldn't think of a better therapy for me.
When you flip a house you take something that is neglected and rundown, you smash a bunch of the old shit and then you rebuild and make it something beautiful again. Can you say "story of a healing suicide widow?"
I have yet to meet a suicide widow without serious anger issues. There is no better anger therapy than smashing shit - especially if it involves a sledgehammer. ROARRRR!!! Any form of grief will tear you down, strip you of a lot of what once was and force you to rebuild. When you rebuild you get to choose what you keep from the pre-loss version of you, what you shine up and make look new again and what you discard and opt for new. And in the end, there is a beautiful version of you.
I look for multiple ways in my flip projects to take something that once was, change it in some way and build it into something unique and beautiful. And each time I do it I honour my grief and healing process. I reflect and I heal a little more.
Here's a before and after of the front entrance in my most recent flip. The old wood was saved from the home while we were in demolition mode. Cleaned up, transformed, given new purpose. Given a Round Two.
It's not just me...phew!
Looking for therapy out of an office is not just something I needed. A quick search and you will find a lot of resources for creative grief therapy. I consider myself fortunate to be able to flip houses. You may opt for something that has a little less commitment of time and resources. The key, in my humble opinion, is to find something that let's you reflect on the grief, and more importantly, the healing process. Think about what that could be for you...
Painting? Taking a blank canvas and transforming it into a thing of beauty.
Woodworking? You start with a lump of wood and make it into something useful.
Knitting? Borders on meditative, I've dappled in this as well.
Singing or songwriting? Putting words together to share with the world!
Baking? Please send me a PM and I'll give you my address, I like chocolate.
Obviously not an exhaustive list. Are you doing something already for out of office therapy that helps heal your grief wounds?
I started on the first Thursday after I launched this page and plan to continue to post about #therapyiseverywhere or a particular #therapymoment. Below is a picture of a double whammy #therapymoment. I needed to get a floor installed, but I also needed sleep. My amazing-badass-suicide-widow-sister told me I had an hour to get it done or she would take my Fitbit from me. So I hauled ass and got it done. Sweat therapy and flip therapy in one amazing hour.
I would love if you join me in posting about your #therapymoment. Find your therapy and tell us about it, who knows, maybe it will help someone in need.
I am Michelle. Above all I am a mother of four incredible little beings. I am a certified Personal Trainer and Healthy Eating Coach, an educator and a real estate investor. I am a coach who also participates fully as a fitness enthusiast, a runner, and a swimmer. I speak from the heart and have no filter left to tolerate bull shit.