After avoiding the internet, my next tip is to TAKE THE TIME TO GRIEVE.
Grieving is not only related to death. Often times, we have to grieve what we pictured or what we thought might be. A therapist once told me that in order to deal with a new difficult situation in life, you must grieve the future or outcome you'd envisioned before you can move forward.
In college, I read an article titled My Trip to Holland. It was written by a mother who had a child with a disability and she likened it to planning a trip to Italy and your plane landing in Holland where they speak a different language and require different gear than she'd packed. Holland isn't bad, but she had to let Italy go to allow herself to accept Holland. I wrote about my trip to Holland last year.
I pictured a life with a healthy husband and three healthy children. I pictured a life with "normal" complications and stressers. I pictured a life where we would be financially stable. I pictured a life where we would only visit a doctor's office a few times a year.
My life is not how I pictured and I've had to grieve. I do not think that anyone wants anything to be wrong with a loved one, especially a child, but it happens sometimes. I am the type of person who wants to figure out what's wrong and deal with it in the best way I can.
How long does it take you to grieve? I can't really answer that. Each situation is very different. I've personally handled each diagnosis differently. It is important to remember that grieving is a process but it is a very important step to take when dealing with a loved one who has been diagnosed with a disability or illness.
If this tip was helpful, check out the other posts in the series: Our Story, Internet