Living this life I never signed up for is a challenge. Everyday is a challenge, getting out of bed, facing the daily chores, getting to and focusing on work, evening routines and eventually collapsing into bed each evening. Then the challenge is reissued the next day just as if someone had pressed the repeat button. Repeat, repeat and just for certainty press repeat again. If this in anyway sounds like a good recipe for depression then I believe that you to might have experienced this place that we call grief.

I however am extremely grateful that I am a competitive person, some refer to it as a type A personality. I believe that this has helped me to dig myself out of these deep dark places that depression has taken me. Sometimes I have had to dig to depths never before experienced.

Recently I have adopted a strategy of tackling these different aspects of each day as if they were a challenge to be beaten. Some are simple task such as getting the girls lunch boxes ready each day. I now see them as a challenge staring me in the face, a challenge that keeps telling me that I will fail, a challenge that is laughing at me. I now work systematically in the morning with the goal of defeating this challenge. When I hand over each lunch box I know that I am able to turn the tables on this challenge. I am now the one laughing and proclaiming that this challenge failed to beat me into submission.

Then there are more complex challenges as cooking a meal that comes close to Yolanda’s cooking. The other evening I made asparagus wrapped in bacon. For many this would be a simple easy dish to serve. However with my limited skill set I was so excited when both girls loved the meal and were asking for more.

I was able to stare down this challenge and feel proud of the meal.

Now don’t think that for one minute that this is the perfect solution. Some challenges do knock me down however I believe that the saying goes “It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down but rather how many times you get up.” I have had some challenges last for a few days however each time I get up to face them again and again I become better at putting the challenge in its corner.

Grief is the biggest challenge I have had to face in my life. With all its complexity and its unspoken trauma I now accept the challenge. What other choice do I have as I simply refuse to stay lying down and accepting defeat. Please don’t get me wrong this isn’t about being brave or courageous it is about survival in its simplest form.

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