Liz Newman

@liznewman | contributor
Lover of the written word. Our stories and experiences bring us together. And it helps to feel less alone in the chaos.
Community Voices

A grief poetry book with writing prompts to help others navigating seasons of loss.

<p>A grief poetry book with writing prompts to help others navigating seasons of loss.</p>
Liz Newman

How Celebrating 'Little' Victories Breaks Shame Around Mental Health

Last week, I decided to run an errand I had been putting off for a while. I made plans the night before I would go in the morning. That way, I wouldn’t have any time to stress about it or put it off any longer. When morning came, I got dressed, headed out and got it done. When I was driving home afterward, I was filled with relief and joy I finally got out and accomplished this task that’s been sitting on my to-do list for far too long. Immediately after that, I heard a voice in my head say, “Why are you acting like this is a big deal? You’re doing something that you probably should have done a few weeks ago. Compared to others, you’ve barely gotten anything done today.” Shame started to bubble up in my heart and I felt myself start to deflate with its weight. But, the truth is I was very grateful to have gotten out of the house. I had been battling anxiety and depression and daily tasks felt huge and overwhelming. This felt like an answered prayer, a reprieve, a merciful reminder our mental health journeys often have moments of hope that find us in the pain. The more that I thought about it, the more I realized that shame has a habit of showing up at times like this. And, doesn’t it happen this way for other hurting hearts, too? When we are on the brink of vulnerably opening up to someone or even to ourselves? When we are struggling, we are often silent about it. But, I realized being vocal about our victories is a great way to hold onto hope and let go of the shame that tries so hard to set up shop in our hearts. The “little things” are not little at all when you’re struggling. The “little things” are glimmers of grace coming to greet you on your weary journey. So, friend, I just want to encourage you. If you are in the valley of pain, loss, anxiety or depression, little victories are still victories. As a matter of fact, they’re not little at all. They’re simply victories. And there’s no shame in celebrating them, in letting them remind you of the faithfulness that can find you even in your darkest seasons. We can celebrate them together. So, I want you to think back. Whether you’ve been in a dark night of the soul or have had a stressful day, name a victory you’ve had recently. Maybe you found the strength to open your Bible for the first time since your heart was broken. Maybe you made the jump and scheduled your first counseling session. Maybe you put on your makeup today after weeks of not feeling up to it. Maybe you found yourself genuinely smiling despite the sadness you’ve felt to your core. Maybe it’s the prayer you were finally able to pray after months of feeling far from God. Maybe it’s the coffee date where you confided in a friend about your struggles. These victories are worth sharing. These victories are worth celebrating. And these victories deeply matter, just like you. You can follow Liz’s journey on her Facebook.

Liz Newman

How Celebrating 'Little' Victories Breaks Shame Around Mental Health

Last week, I decided to run an errand I had been putting off for a while. I made plans the night before I would go in the morning. That way, I wouldn’t have any time to stress about it or put it off any longer. When morning came, I got dressed, headed out and got it done. When I was driving home afterward, I was filled with relief and joy I finally got out and accomplished this task that’s been sitting on my to-do list for far too long. Immediately after that, I heard a voice in my head say, “Why are you acting like this is a big deal? You’re doing something that you probably should have done a few weeks ago. Compared to others, you’ve barely gotten anything done today.” Shame started to bubble up in my heart and I felt myself start to deflate with its weight. But, the truth is I was very grateful to have gotten out of the house. I had been battling anxiety and depression and daily tasks felt huge and overwhelming. This felt like an answered prayer, a reprieve, a merciful reminder our mental health journeys often have moments of hope that find us in the pain. The more that I thought about it, the more I realized that shame has a habit of showing up at times like this. And, doesn’t it happen this way for other hurting hearts, too? When we are on the brink of vulnerably opening up to someone or even to ourselves? When we are struggling, we are often silent about it. But, I realized being vocal about our victories is a great way to hold onto hope and let go of the shame that tries so hard to set up shop in our hearts. The “little things” are not little at all when you’re struggling. The “little things” are glimmers of grace coming to greet you on your weary journey. So, friend, I just want to encourage you. If you are in the valley of pain, loss, anxiety or depression, little victories are still victories. As a matter of fact, they’re not little at all. They’re simply victories. And there’s no shame in celebrating them, in letting them remind you of the faithfulness that can find you even in your darkest seasons. We can celebrate them together. So, I want you to think back. Whether you’ve been in a dark night of the soul or have had a stressful day, name a victory you’ve had recently. Maybe you found the strength to open your Bible for the first time since your heart was broken. Maybe you made the jump and scheduled your first counseling session. Maybe you put on your makeup today after weeks of not feeling up to it. Maybe you found yourself genuinely smiling despite the sadness you’ve felt to your core. Maybe it’s the prayer you were finally able to pray after months of feeling far from God. Maybe it’s the coffee date where you confided in a friend about your struggles. These victories are worth sharing. These victories are worth celebrating. And these victories deeply matter, just like you. You can follow Liz’s journey on her Facebook.

Liz Newman

Feeling the Pain and Finding Grace in Grieving

Grief is an ever-evolving, all-consuming soul journey. After you lose someone, you are hit with an immediate wave of loss. Then, as days turn into weeks, it ebbs and flows a little more. You try and convince yourself that healing should be linear, but it never is. The grief comes to visit in more obvious moments like big milestones or anniversaries. But then it also comes barging in on a seemingly ordinary day, demanding your full attention. For me, learning to let the grief in has been a daily challenge. There are days I would rather ignore it, but when I do, it always finds a way to sneak into my thoughts anyway. There are other days when I try and schedule it in so I acknowledge it on my own terms and dismiss it on my own timeline. But neither of these options has been a healing way to greet this season. One day, I was looking forward to a full social schedule. But grief had other plans for me. I internally went back and forth for hours, trying to decide if I should just put on a brave face or if it would be OK to say “I just can’t today.” The implications of the latter scared me and filled me with shame. What if I let people down? Shouldn’t I be better by now? How long will I feel this way and live in the uncertainty of how grief will find me today? I called my mom and I crumbled. I told her I just didn’t have it in me today. I started trying to justify why it was just too heavy today in hopes it sounded like a reasonable excuse for rescheduling on a friend. I started going over apologies in my head as I thought of the people I was potentially letting down. But right there, in that spiral, she said something that resonated with me so deeply it stopped me in my tracks. “Honey, it’s OK. Some days, you just can’t ‘do normal’ when your heart is broken.” Those words were exactly the grace I needed in that moment. Because with grief, there are days when you feel capable of a full day and you laugh loudly and run at a sprint. But, there are also some days when the grief wins out. There are some days where the immensity of what you’re feeling cannot be pushed to another day, cannot be sidelined until after your schedule permits it to return. Some days, you just don’t have the mental capacity to do “normal.” And that’s OK. When we get to that vulnerable place where our reserves are depleted and our hearts are heavy, there is so much grace there. There’s grace when we reach out for help or vulnerably confide in a friend. There’s grace for canceled coffee dates and a change of plans. There’s grace in the supportive words of those we love, in the sustaining faithfulness of our Heavenly Father, and in the power of lifting up our cares in prayer to a God who fights for us when our hearts are worn down and weary. Grief looks different from day to day. But there is an immense comfort to be found in the grace that meets us there every step of the way. Remember that grief, pain and loss are all components of a very personal journey with rough terrain and bad days. I hope you allow yourself the space to feel your pain differently day to day and experience the loss fully in your own way. And, I hope you give yourself the same grace my mom gave to me. If you’re feeling broken and ashamed, lost and weary, remind yourself: “Some days, you just can’t do normal when your heart is broken.” And, that’s more than OK.

Liz Newman

Feeling the Pain and Finding Grace in Grieving

Grief is an ever-evolving, all-consuming soul journey. After you lose someone, you are hit with an immediate wave of loss. Then, as days turn into weeks, it ebbs and flows a little more. You try and convince yourself that healing should be linear, but it never is. The grief comes to visit in more obvious moments like big milestones or anniversaries. But then it also comes barging in on a seemingly ordinary day, demanding your full attention. For me, learning to let the grief in has been a daily challenge. There are days I would rather ignore it, but when I do, it always finds a way to sneak into my thoughts anyway. There are other days when I try and schedule it in so I acknowledge it on my own terms and dismiss it on my own timeline. But neither of these options has been a healing way to greet this season. One day, I was looking forward to a full social schedule. But grief had other plans for me. I internally went back and forth for hours, trying to decide if I should just put on a brave face or if it would be OK to say “I just can’t today.” The implications of the latter scared me and filled me with shame. What if I let people down? Shouldn’t I be better by now? How long will I feel this way and live in the uncertainty of how grief will find me today? I called my mom and I crumbled. I told her I just didn’t have it in me today. I started trying to justify why it was just too heavy today in hopes it sounded like a reasonable excuse for rescheduling on a friend. I started going over apologies in my head as I thought of the people I was potentially letting down. But right there, in that spiral, she said something that resonated with me so deeply it stopped me in my tracks. “Honey, it’s OK. Some days, you just can’t ‘do normal’ when your heart is broken.” Those words were exactly the grace I needed in that moment. Because with grief, there are days when you feel capable of a full day and you laugh loudly and run at a sprint. But, there are also some days when the grief wins out. There are some days where the immensity of what you’re feeling cannot be pushed to another day, cannot be sidelined until after your schedule permits it to return. Some days, you just don’t have the mental capacity to do “normal.” And that’s OK. When we get to that vulnerable place where our reserves are depleted and our hearts are heavy, there is so much grace there. There’s grace when we reach out for help or vulnerably confide in a friend. There’s grace for canceled coffee dates and a change of plans. There’s grace in the supportive words of those we love, in the sustaining faithfulness of our Heavenly Father, and in the power of lifting up our cares in prayer to a God who fights for us when our hearts are worn down and weary. Grief looks different from day to day. But there is an immense comfort to be found in the grace that meets us there every step of the way. Remember that grief, pain and loss are all components of a very personal journey with rough terrain and bad days. I hope you allow yourself the space to feel your pain differently day to day and experience the loss fully in your own way. And, I hope you give yourself the same grace my mom gave to me. If you’re feeling broken and ashamed, lost and weary, remind yourself: “Some days, you just can’t do normal when your heart is broken.” And, that’s more than OK.

Liz Newman

Feeling the Pain and Finding Grace in Grieving

Grief is an ever-evolving, all-consuming soul journey. After you lose someone, you are hit with an immediate wave of loss. Then, as days turn into weeks, it ebbs and flows a little more. You try and convince yourself that healing should be linear, but it never is. The grief comes to visit in more obvious moments like big milestones or anniversaries. But then it also comes barging in on a seemingly ordinary day, demanding your full attention. For me, learning to let the grief in has been a daily challenge. There are days I would rather ignore it, but when I do, it always finds a way to sneak into my thoughts anyway. There are other days when I try and schedule it in so I acknowledge it on my own terms and dismiss it on my own timeline. But neither of these options has been a healing way to greet this season. One day, I was looking forward to a full social schedule. But grief had other plans for me. I internally went back and forth for hours, trying to decide if I should just put on a brave face or if it would be OK to say “I just can’t today.” The implications of the latter scared me and filled me with shame. What if I let people down? Shouldn’t I be better by now? How long will I feel this way and live in the uncertainty of how grief will find me today? I called my mom and I crumbled. I told her I just didn’t have it in me today. I started trying to justify why it was just too heavy today in hopes it sounded like a reasonable excuse for rescheduling on a friend. I started going over apologies in my head as I thought of the people I was potentially letting down. But right there, in that spiral, she said something that resonated with me so deeply it stopped me in my tracks. “Honey, it’s OK. Some days, you just can’t ‘do normal’ when your heart is broken.” Those words were exactly the grace I needed in that moment. Because with grief, there are days when you feel capable of a full day and you laugh loudly and run at a sprint. But, there are also some days when the grief wins out. There are some days where the immensity of what you’re feeling cannot be pushed to another day, cannot be sidelined until after your schedule permits it to return. Some days, you just don’t have the mental capacity to do “normal.” And that’s OK. When we get to that vulnerable place where our reserves are depleted and our hearts are heavy, there is so much grace there. There’s grace when we reach out for help or vulnerably confide in a friend. There’s grace for canceled coffee dates and a change of plans. There’s grace in the supportive words of those we love, in the sustaining faithfulness of our Heavenly Father, and in the power of lifting up our cares in prayer to a God who fights for us when our hearts are worn down and weary. Grief looks different from day to day. But there is an immense comfort to be found in the grace that meets us there every step of the way. Remember that grief, pain and loss are all components of a very personal journey with rough terrain and bad days. I hope you allow yourself the space to feel your pain differently day to day and experience the loss fully in your own way. And, I hope you give yourself the same grace my mom gave to me. If you’re feeling broken and ashamed, lost and weary, remind yourself: “Some days, you just can’t do normal when your heart is broken.” And, that’s more than OK.

Liz Newman

Feeling the Pain and Finding Grace in Grieving

Grief is an ever-evolving, all-consuming soul journey. After you lose someone, you are hit with an immediate wave of loss. Then, as days turn into weeks, it ebbs and flows a little more. You try and convince yourself that healing should be linear, but it never is. The grief comes to visit in more obvious moments like big milestones or anniversaries. But then it also comes barging in on a seemingly ordinary day, demanding your full attention. For me, learning to let the grief in has been a daily challenge. There are days I would rather ignore it, but when I do, it always finds a way to sneak into my thoughts anyway. There are other days when I try and schedule it in so I acknowledge it on my own terms and dismiss it on my own timeline. But neither of these options has been a healing way to greet this season. One day, I was looking forward to a full social schedule. But grief had other plans for me. I internally went back and forth for hours, trying to decide if I should just put on a brave face or if it would be OK to say “I just can’t today.” The implications of the latter scared me and filled me with shame. What if I let people down? Shouldn’t I be better by now? How long will I feel this way and live in the uncertainty of how grief will find me today? I called my mom and I crumbled. I told her I just didn’t have it in me today. I started trying to justify why it was just too heavy today in hopes it sounded like a reasonable excuse for rescheduling on a friend. I started going over apologies in my head as I thought of the people I was potentially letting down. But right there, in that spiral, she said something that resonated with me so deeply it stopped me in my tracks. “Honey, it’s OK. Some days, you just can’t ‘do normal’ when your heart is broken.” Those words were exactly the grace I needed in that moment. Because with grief, there are days when you feel capable of a full day and you laugh loudly and run at a sprint. But, there are also some days when the grief wins out. There are some days where the immensity of what you’re feeling cannot be pushed to another day, cannot be sidelined until after your schedule permits it to return. Some days, you just don’t have the mental capacity to do “normal.” And that’s OK. When we get to that vulnerable place where our reserves are depleted and our hearts are heavy, there is so much grace there. There’s grace when we reach out for help or vulnerably confide in a friend. There’s grace for canceled coffee dates and a change of plans. There’s grace in the supportive words of those we love, in the sustaining faithfulness of our Heavenly Father, and in the power of lifting up our cares in prayer to a God who fights for us when our hearts are worn down and weary. Grief looks different from day to day. But there is an immense comfort to be found in the grace that meets us there every step of the way. Remember that grief, pain and loss are all components of a very personal journey with rough terrain and bad days. I hope you allow yourself the space to feel your pain differently day to day and experience the loss fully in your own way. And, I hope you give yourself the same grace my mom gave to me. If you’re feeling broken and ashamed, lost and weary, remind yourself: “Some days, you just can’t do normal when your heart is broken.” And, that’s more than OK.

Liz Newman

How Celebrating 'Little' Victories Breaks Shame Around Mental Health

Last week, I decided to run an errand I had been putting off for a while. I made plans the night before I would go in the morning. That way, I wouldn’t have any time to stress about it or put it off any longer. When morning came, I got dressed, headed out and got it done. When I was driving home afterward, I was filled with relief and joy I finally got out and accomplished this task that’s been sitting on my to-do list for far too long. Immediately after that, I heard a voice in my head say, “Why are you acting like this is a big deal? You’re doing something that you probably should have done a few weeks ago. Compared to others, you’ve barely gotten anything done today.” Shame started to bubble up in my heart and I felt myself start to deflate with its weight. But, the truth is I was very grateful to have gotten out of the house. I had been battling anxiety and depression and daily tasks felt huge and overwhelming. This felt like an answered prayer, a reprieve, a merciful reminder our mental health journeys often have moments of hope that find us in the pain. The more that I thought about it, the more I realized that shame has a habit of showing up at times like this. And, doesn’t it happen this way for other hurting hearts, too? When we are on the brink of vulnerably opening up to someone or even to ourselves? When we are struggling, we are often silent about it. But, I realized being vocal about our victories is a great way to hold onto hope and let go of the shame that tries so hard to set up shop in our hearts. The “little things” are not little at all when you’re struggling. The “little things” are glimmers of grace coming to greet you on your weary journey. So, friend, I just want to encourage you. If you are in the valley of pain, loss, anxiety or depression, little victories are still victories. As a matter of fact, they’re not little at all. They’re simply victories. And there’s no shame in celebrating them, in letting them remind you of the faithfulness that can find you even in your darkest seasons. We can celebrate them together. So, I want you to think back. Whether you’ve been in a dark night of the soul or have had a stressful day, name a victory you’ve had recently. Maybe you found the strength to open your Bible for the first time since your heart was broken. Maybe you made the jump and scheduled your first counseling session. Maybe you put on your makeup today after weeks of not feeling up to it. Maybe you found yourself genuinely smiling despite the sadness you’ve felt to your core. Maybe it’s the prayer you were finally able to pray after months of feeling far from God. Maybe it’s the coffee date where you confided in a friend about your struggles. These victories are worth sharing. These victories are worth celebrating. And these victories deeply matter, just like you. You can follow Liz’s journey on her Facebook.

Liz Newman

How Celebrating 'Little' Victories Breaks Shame Around Mental Health

Last week, I decided to run an errand I had been putting off for a while. I made plans the night before I would go in the morning. That way, I wouldn’t have any time to stress about it or put it off any longer. When morning came, I got dressed, headed out and got it done. When I was driving home afterward, I was filled with relief and joy I finally got out and accomplished this task that’s been sitting on my to-do list for far too long. Immediately after that, I heard a voice in my head say, “Why are you acting like this is a big deal? You’re doing something that you probably should have done a few weeks ago. Compared to others, you’ve barely gotten anything done today.” Shame started to bubble up in my heart and I felt myself start to deflate with its weight. But, the truth is I was very grateful to have gotten out of the house. I had been battling anxiety and depression and daily tasks felt huge and overwhelming. This felt like an answered prayer, a reprieve, a merciful reminder our mental health journeys often have moments of hope that find us in the pain. The more that I thought about it, the more I realized that shame has a habit of showing up at times like this. And, doesn’t it happen this way for other hurting hearts, too? When we are on the brink of vulnerably opening up to someone or even to ourselves? When we are struggling, we are often silent about it. But, I realized being vocal about our victories is a great way to hold onto hope and let go of the shame that tries so hard to set up shop in our hearts. The “little things” are not little at all when you’re struggling. The “little things” are glimmers of grace coming to greet you on your weary journey. So, friend, I just want to encourage you. If you are in the valley of pain, loss, anxiety or depression, little victories are still victories. As a matter of fact, they’re not little at all. They’re simply victories. And there’s no shame in celebrating them, in letting them remind you of the faithfulness that can find you even in your darkest seasons. We can celebrate them together. So, I want you to think back. Whether you’ve been in a dark night of the soul or have had a stressful day, name a victory you’ve had recently. Maybe you found the strength to open your Bible for the first time since your heart was broken. Maybe you made the jump and scheduled your first counseling session. Maybe you put on your makeup today after weeks of not feeling up to it. Maybe you found yourself genuinely smiling despite the sadness you’ve felt to your core. Maybe it’s the prayer you were finally able to pray after months of feeling far from God. Maybe it’s the coffee date where you confided in a friend about your struggles. These victories are worth sharing. These victories are worth celebrating. And these victories deeply matter, just like you. You can follow Liz’s journey on her Facebook.

Liz Newman

How Celebrating 'Little' Victories Breaks Shame Around Mental Health

Last week, I decided to run an errand I had been putting off for a while. I made plans the night before I would go in the morning. That way, I wouldn’t have any time to stress about it or put it off any longer. When morning came, I got dressed, headed out and got it done. When I was driving home afterward, I was filled with relief and joy I finally got out and accomplished this task that’s been sitting on my to-do list for far too long. Immediately after that, I heard a voice in my head say, “Why are you acting like this is a big deal? You’re doing something that you probably should have done a few weeks ago. Compared to others, you’ve barely gotten anything done today.” Shame started to bubble up in my heart and I felt myself start to deflate with its weight. But, the truth is I was very grateful to have gotten out of the house. I had been battling anxiety and depression and daily tasks felt huge and overwhelming. This felt like an answered prayer, a reprieve, a merciful reminder our mental health journeys often have moments of hope that find us in the pain. The more that I thought about it, the more I realized that shame has a habit of showing up at times like this. And, doesn’t it happen this way for other hurting hearts, too? When we are on the brink of vulnerably opening up to someone or even to ourselves? When we are struggling, we are often silent about it. But, I realized being vocal about our victories is a great way to hold onto hope and let go of the shame that tries so hard to set up shop in our hearts. The “little things” are not little at all when you’re struggling. The “little things” are glimmers of grace coming to greet you on your weary journey. So, friend, I just want to encourage you. If you are in the valley of pain, loss, anxiety or depression, little victories are still victories. As a matter of fact, they’re not little at all. They’re simply victories. And there’s no shame in celebrating them, in letting them remind you of the faithfulness that can find you even in your darkest seasons. We can celebrate them together. So, I want you to think back. Whether you’ve been in a dark night of the soul or have had a stressful day, name a victory you’ve had recently. Maybe you found the strength to open your Bible for the first time since your heart was broken. Maybe you made the jump and scheduled your first counseling session. Maybe you put on your makeup today after weeks of not feeling up to it. Maybe you found yourself genuinely smiling despite the sadness you’ve felt to your core. Maybe it’s the prayer you were finally able to pray after months of feeling far from God. Maybe it’s the coffee date where you confided in a friend about your struggles. These victories are worth sharing. These victories are worth celebrating. And these victories deeply matter, just like you. You can follow Liz’s journey on her Facebook.