Are You Ready?
Having someone help searching for your family is a blessing, but it’s not an easy process.
A lot can happen. Patience is needed.
Different Emotions can show up, such as:
loneliness and isolation
the urge for answers
feeling in between worlds
grief but not actually being able to grieve
inability to bring closure
misunderstanding by others
intrusive recall of what happened (trauma)
All of this impacts one physical, emotional and social life.
How to cope with all this?
• Try to eat regularly and be kind for yourself. Eat food which you like and can bring comfort.
• Try to ensure you get enough sleep.
• Try to create a ritual that helps you to relax.
• Avoid medications which can lead to addiction.
• Allow yourself to rest.
• Assure yourself you can’t do more than what you are doing already.
• Hold the vision, trust Arun & Anjali and the process
• Hope but don’t expect.
• Exercise can help maintain mood.
• Feel good in your own skin.
Acknowledge what you are feeling and reach out for support. This can include talking to someone you trust about what you are going through (other crib mates, friends, family members, or a counsellor/therapist).
• Ask for space if you need it.
• Write down your thoughts and feelings if you’re not much of a talker.
• Give yourself permission to take a break, once and a while, from the search. Breaks can help you to cope in the long run.
Thinking about it, all day every day, won’t help.
Be kind to yourself.
Think about what helped you to relax as a kid.
Live in the present and try to develop routines: keep a diary/journal, an Instagram account or a photo album in which you collect one thing that made you smile that day. It can help you to stay focused and see happiness in the little things.
If you are working, try to do your work in the best way possible. This brings a certain satisfaction.
Alcohol or drugs won’t help resolve how you are feeling.
And finally, if you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope, ask someone who you trust to help with the communication aspect of the search. It would give you a valuable break.
To use my own example, I asked my partner at a certain point to do the communication regarding the search. He would only update me about the search on Friday evenings.
In this way I could manage to go to work every day. And only on Fridays I would ask “what news?” If there was any news, I had the weekend to process it.
I was able to avoid the search overwhelming my daily life, and when there was news it was given in a “good moment” – on a Friday evening in my own little apartment.
Also, if someone else supports you, it can help to keep healthy boundaries.
Someone else can maintain a necessary distance, while you are way too involved and the balance can get lost.
But choose wisely in who can help you with this.
Thanks to Anujsa for this valuable material.