My Story: From Grief to Hope
Theresa Polley
March 8, 2021
May 8, 2024
My Journey

As we move into spring I feel possibility in the air and once again I have hope for the future.

Since 2020 things have felt challenging for me and I've heard from many women, I'm not alone. Maybe like me you've been struggling for a while, but feel like you can't take time to stop and process. I hear that a lot from women. When I carry the load of my struggles indefinitely, it takes a toll on my mental, emotional and physical health. I had to choose to stop the cycle to find relief.

I’ve been carrying a burden of stress, anxiety and grief since last year. Actually, if I’m honest, I’ve been carrying the burden since 2017 when Mason came into my life. That year, my ex and I agreed to raise Mason because our daughter was unable. The longer I carried the burden, the heavier it became. And I couldn’t put it down! I had a business to run. A 3 year old to care for. Bills to pay. Chores and responsibilities that seemed never ending.

You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. ~ Joy C. Bell

Allow Yourself to Let Go

Finally, in January I put down the burden. I took time to grieve, to reset, to rediscover me and through that process I found hope. Taking time for me meant no social interactions, whether virtual or in-person, and definitely no social media! While Mason was with my ex, I spent the weekend in my pajamas - journaling, crying and processing. I couldn’t find the energy to cook anything so I ended up eating cereal or cheese and crackers. I couldn’t contemplate the chores that needed to be done, let alone the home projects on my list. When Mason came home, I put on a happy face, got dressed and did the best I could.

A Tool for Healing

After my divorce in 2010, my therapist recommended a powerful exercise. In order to let go of all I was holding on to, I was to write a letter to say goodbye to hopes, dreams, plans and expectations that I had nurtured for years as part of a marriage. That exercise was powerful then, so I decided to try it again.

The exercise made me realize I've given up so much of who I was and what my life was before Mason. Yet part of me feels selfish for feeling sad about losing my life as it was. But I realized grieving for something that I lost, didn't take away from what I have know. I went from a single woman with adult children - living life on my terms - to a full time single mom. All of the things I took for granted were suddenly gone. It was a tough adjustment and incredibly isolating.

I couldn't be happier to have Mason in my life. He brings me so much joy every day. I honestly wouldn't change a thing. But I do miss my life as it was and the vision I had for my future which involved lots of traveling and adventure. My period of grieving allowed me to realize I didn't have to give up completely on my vision - I could undertake it with Mason for even more fun and adventure!

But I made it out of the tunnel and the sun is shining and hope is in the air. There are many things I still need to process from the last several years, but I feel better than I have in months.

I share this with you, because we are all struggling at some level, and I've heard from so many women over the years how powerful it is to hear another woman share her struggles and to realize you are not alone. Wherever you are and whatever you're going through, know that you are not alone.

Give Yourself Time and Space to Not Be Okay at a Retreat

Allow yourself the time and the space to not be okay - whatever that looks like and as often as you need to. Make caring for yourself a priority. You deserve it.

Join us for a weekend women’s retreat at Retreat in the Pines. We are located outside of Dallas-Fort Worth, designed to cultivate community, connection, and mind-body healing – just for women – in a serene, inclusive sanctuary.

Leave your worries at the gate, get comfy and enjoy: chef-prepared meals, gentle yoga, guided meditations and as much rest as you want. Find connection, clarity and exactly what you need. View All Our Retreats

This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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