Three weeks before my wife and I were to give birth to our first child — a daughter, I lost my job.
They said that when you hit rock bottom, the only way is up.
It wasn’t true for me.
Three weeks after I lost my job, I lost my daughter the day that she was born.
Losing a loved one is probably the most painful feeling any human being will ever experience.
Life can sometimes be so tough on us that we’re pushed to the point where we just want to drop everything.
Just like when you lose a person really important to you.
We all know that it will happen.
But nothing prepares us for it.
And when that day comes, the only person who can really help you get back on your feet is yourself.
It’s not that I’m saying that my wife, family, and friends had nothing to do with my recovery.
What I’m saying is that no matter how much these people help you, your recovery is all up to you.
It was almost a month after we lost Sandy, our daughter when I looked at my wife sleeping with tears that have dried up. She was in so much pain because we’ve waited for so long for this child to come and just when we were about to bring her to this world, we lost her.
Bills were coming in. The fridge was close to empty. And there was no income to support us.
That’s when it hit me.
The world won’t stop for you. It won’t wait for you to recover.
I lost my child. I can’t afford to lose anyone else.
And in that moment, I decided that I had to get back on my feet.
Here are 5 things that I did that helped me recover faster and made me live a better life.
1. I started writing.
Writing has been my number one form of therapy after that ill-fated day.
I got to express every thought when I started to write.
It has helped me release all my anger and sadness.
I wrote from the heart and didn’t worry about grammar errors. I just wrote as if the delete button didn’t exist and that no one would read it.
2. I took walks and got myself some sunlight.
Have you noticed that when you are all holed up and you haven’t stepped foot outside, you feel sluggish, more anxious, and at times grumpy?
Stepping out of the house has worked wonders for me. There was another benefit aside from sun light — it was seeing people again.
People I didn’t know greeting and smiling. It was difficult to constantly avoid them leaving me no choice but to smile back and exchange good mornings.
And because of that, I started to feel better.
3. I started talking to people.
I joined my wife attend craft classes that I had no interest in. It somehow was a good idea to keep her busy and go out of the house.
The only reason I was there was to accompany her and be there whenever someone would ask “Do you have kids already?”.
I would hold her hand as she cried and answer for her holding back my own tears.
This happened almost every time we attended classes.
But somehow it helped me.
I don’t know if telling it over and over numbed my feelings or if it was similar to writing where I started to express my feelings.
4. I started listening to podcasts and audiobooks.
I deliberately picked podcasts and audiobook that had nothing to do with grieving and everything to do with business.
It kept me busy and at the same time helped me develop a different mindset.
A mindset similar to successful entrepreneurs who used their failures as lessons.
I started to see my experience as a life lesson instead of a curse.
A chance to tell people, who are going through difficult times and are thinking of putting an end to their lives, that this is not permanent. They will get through this as long as they don’t give in.
5. I tell my wife things that I’m grateful for every day.
One of the harder things to do when you’re grieving is to be grateful. It’s illogical. I had to be really intentional to do it but later on, it became natural.
I started to appreciate so many things that I used to neglect. And this gave way to more opportunities that were way better when I was working.
These 5 things helped me get up and become even stronger after what I thought was the end of everything.
My wife I and now have 5 sources of income and still get to spend most of our time together.
We are also 6 months pregnant and are waiting for the birth of our next daughter.
If you are going through rough times right now, for whatever reasons, let my story inspire you that you will get through it.
Be strong because there are people who need you.
Originally published at medium.com