Resilience, the way to bounce back from a dark place...
Regardless of how happy we learnt or have chosen to be, we are all facing moments, periods or spells of sadness, sorrow and melancholy, without naming the strongest emotions. Being a human involves experiencing life. And what I mean by that is life in its purest form, when we confront it passionately, full on, encountering a wide range of sensations and feelings.
Happiness is a beautiful state of mind and spirit, and as far as we can train, practice or even force upon ourselves its powerful influence, we cannot control certain external circumstances. We are unable to control some illnesses, accidents or death, and yet, they forever surround us.
Those happenings prompt us to react and manifest our feelings, which are not necessarily beautiful or welcomed by others or even us. Despite our lack of control over them, we are totally in charge of our reactions to them.
The moment I actually understood the simple rule of life and took responsibility for what I experience, everything has suddenly changed for me and became easier and more tolerable.
As I already mentioned in my earlier posts, the establishment of the Happiness Club derived from some very unhappy and dark places of my life, when I very consciously decided that I had enough of it and closed the chapter of all life’s dramas and traumas, leaving them behind me.
Let me tell you something. If I hadn’t experienced all those life hurdles, loses, illnesses, violence and deaths along my journey, I wouldn’t be where I currently am. Why is that? Because I would not understand what the opposites are. I am probably now repeating myself, but how could one understand hot without experiencing cold?
Now I would like to tell you a story about bouncing back. This is a real story and it happened not that long ago, just over a month ago, on Sunday 16th of August at 10.00 in the morning. This was also a reason why I didn’t post on my blog for a while, as I was preoccupied with an illness of someone very special to my heart. My best friend, companion, my baby and a best dog of 14 years, my little yorkie, Kobi.
I had Kobi, since she was 6 weeks old, she was tiny, vulnerable and the size of my palm. I got her on Valentines Day from my ex-boyfriend in 2002. She used to love driving with me, sometimes sitting on my lap, sometimes just balancing on the back window shelve. I loved watching her trying to stay stable whilst taking turns and braking. And she had the heart of a German shepherd rather than a little dog.
My Kobi was fearless, encouraging, loving and only those who were privileged to meet her know exactly what I am talking about. She was travelling Europe with me, on planes, trains, cars and even on a bicycle ( as she was so small I could carry her in my rucksack). I was taking her literally everywhere, I was choosing restaurants and cafes that were dogs friendly, as Kobi was terribly sociable and enjoyed meeting new people as much as myself.
Her love was unconditional, even though she found it difficult to adapt to new people in my life at first. She would often express her possessiveness and disappointments by biting their ankles. She was so funny and entertaining, and a proper little madam. She was the biggest constant in my life so far. I’ve never been with anyone for as long as 14 years, and despite all those people coming and going in my life, Kobi was always there for me.
Now, after all those years of being a healthy and joyful dog and making so many people around happy, she got poorly. Her heart was struggling and after a year filled with the highest dose of medications, it came to the point that she suffered from kidney and heart failure. This had taken place suddenly, her condition changed over one night and she became severely ill. It was so hard to watch Kobi not being able to enjoy all those things she always did, not being able to eat her favourite chicken breast and play with her squeaky toys.
She stayed in hospital for 3 days, where she was on a drip to flush her system from toxins, but also she was on a lot of strong painkillers and downers, to be able to cope. After leaving the hospital, she was a bit better, slightly more alert, but not herself any more…
On the 16th of August I had to make one of the hardest decisions in my life and let her go. I was accompanied by my friend, who used to look after Kobi when I was at work, as my husband was away. We were both feeling numb, whilst driving down to the vet knowing what was going to happen soon. The radio was playing a song that will forever remind me of this moment. Seeing my darling baby in her little comfy bed on my friend’s lap, looking up at me like she knew was heart-breaking. And I am certain she knew; she always understood everything. Not only was she bilingual, as she came from Poland and needed to learn English, but she also had emotional intelligence.
We didn’t talk with my friend. We listened to the vet, who checked Kobi’s blood and came back with results coming off the chart. Then Kobi just leaped into my arms and put her head between my face and a shoulder sticking into me so hard, but calmly. Oh, this moment was so hard, so very hard. I knew I could possibly keep her alive in the hospital under the drip for another day or two, as without the hospital assistance she was unable to drink or eat. I couldn’t do it to her, I didn’t want her to suffer more.
I was holding my baby, who was cuddling up to me and I kissed her goodbye, whilst the doctor was helping her towards peace. Her little heart just stopped…I put her little body into her little bed and breathed deeply…
For the next 48 hours I was really going through massive emotional ups and downs, trying to compose myself but breaking into tears whilst driving and seeing her toys and pictures. It was getting to the point that I was feeling really unwell, more so that I didn’t have any support from my family, who distanced themselves from me due to a difference in our core (beliefs) values some months ago.
Now, I knew I have to bounce back from this state of magnificent sadness. I repeated the same thing I have done when I reached a similar extension of pain, when I lost contact with my close family not that long ago. I literally forced myself out of this painful condition. How?
I reasoned with my inner self. I started from gratitude. I asked myself what am I grateful for? I felt so thankful for being able to have Kobi for 14 years in my life, for the love and unconditional acceptance she shared with me, for all those silly and happy moments we spent together. I was feeling lucky. Not everyone was so blessed to have someone so special like Kobi in their lives, and I was!
I decided to cherish all the memories and beautiful moments of having her instead of dwelling in my misery of losing her. Nothing in our lives is permanent. Not even us. People come and go to teach us or learn from us. Kobi was a person and I loved her and I will never forget her, but I decided to let her go and stop suffering over an inevitable loss.
Kobi has since been cremated and I took her with me to some places, she was always forbidden to go (like the cinema and certain restaurants;-) when she was in a different form...
Dealing with change is a very hard thing to do. Especially if it comes to confronting the loss of someone we don’t want to go, regardless of the way of their departure. However, we can choose how hard that would be. We are in charge of how long we choose to suffer and to what extent we will feel miserable. Its up to us, no one else can change our state of mind.
I chose to be happy again after the 48 hours, despite of what others may think of me. This is not important. I decided to be happy through gratitude, giving, connecting, exercising, finding purpose and direction, accepting the inevitable, choosing positive emotions and trying new things. This is the way I BOUNCED BACK.
Hope you enjoyed the read.
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