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Dealing with Grief (Part 2)

The day my dad died, I wrote a post on this blog. It was my way of coping. I wrote about how his death made me question where I was going to end up: spiraling into depression, or managing to survive and grow stronger.

Now, almost 7 months later, I feel like it's time for a Part 2 post -- sort of an update of where I think I'm ending up.

I'm happy to say that I've been working hard to make grief and mourning into a catalyst for positive change:

  • I stopped drinking last summer. I still remember the last drink I took. This was about a month after my dad died. It was a sip of rum at around 3 or 4pm. There weren't any mixers in the fridge, so I had it on the rocks. It burned my throat. I remember thinking, "What am I doing? My dad and grandfather both died from esophageal cancer, and I can literally feel this stuff tearing up my throat." After almost a decade of daily drinking (and about a month of heavy, depression-induced drinking), I set the bottle aside and haven't had a sip of alcohol since. I keep the half-empty bottle in my shower next to my shampoo as a reminder.
  • I joined a gym. Not drinking at night makes it a lot easier to wake up in the morning and work out before going to the office. I've been lifting weights and doing cardio pretty much every day for the last few months.
  • I've lost about 10 pounds. This is just a natural effect of the above two items. I feel healthy. And most of the time, I feel happy. I do still get sad when stuff reminds me of my dad, but I have enough positive stuff going on in my life that I'm not getting pulled down by the sadness. It passes.

Anyway, I guess this Part 2 post is a restatement of what I was pondering in Part 1:

We don't always get to choose our feelings. But we do (sometimes) get to choose how our feelings affect us.