Two weeks after I delivered my baby girl, I was scheduled for a postpartum appointment with my OB/GYN. Now, initially I thought it would be just a physical examination and I would be out of there in no time, but then I noticed…”The questions”. The questions that made me feel as if I was in an interview. It wasn’t until halfway through my visit that I realized that I was being evaluated psychologically.
I was okay at first, but then became disturbed at the fact that, I felt the evaluation was scripted. I felt that the provider had done this so many times that he literally wanted to make sure that I didn’t suffer from postpartum depression, clear me as being okay, so that he could move on to his next patient. Now, I understand, being that I am a healthcare professional myself, that it is proper protocol, but I expected more from the conversation. However, it didn’t work out that way. After he left the room, it was time for him to move on to the next patient. I felt stuck because I truly did want to talk with someone about my experience, but to someone who will listen.
Well I decided to go to family and friends. However, I would engage in casual conversations with family and friends, but I noticed that many of them wanted to talk about the loss, but didn’t quite know how to. So, I decided to ask them what made them so uncomfortable and what I found out was that many withheld from asking because they knew that it was a delicate topic and that most people wish not to speak on it. Granted that is definitely understandable, but for me personally, I found that holding in the pain, the hurt, and the heartache made me suffer from the thought of the loss even more. When I talked about it to people who actually “LISTENED” , it allowed me to have peace in my mind.
I remember I had a patient once who was an addict to prescription painkillers, who was having a hard time fighting his addiction. He was not working and he was not in the best condition hygiene wise. He had disappeared for almost a year and he came back one day and looked completely different. He was clean cut and had on a work uniform. He told me that he started going to a support group and the group was lead by a man who was once an addict himself, but had been clean for over 3 years now. This man had turned his pain into a tool to help not only himself, but others as well. That is what made me start Mara’J.
I often get people asking me how can I talk about my loss and be so comfortable? I find that talking about my loss with others helped me to ease the pain. Now everyone reacts and copes with loss differently and discussing it may not be for you. And that is okay! But find what will help you ease the pain. From reading a book to starting a garden or learning to sew or in my situation, learning to make bracelets. Find what brings you comfort and use it. I guarantee it will help you master your grief. How do you all cope with a loss, I would love to hear from you!
Dr. Renita Hill, PharmD, MBA