Each one of us will experience and express our grief uniquely and in our own time
Whenever we receive difficult news, we go through a psychological process to adjust to the change…
Whether it’s the loss or terminal sickness of a loved one or a forced change of life circumstances, adapting to the new normal can be incredibly difficult and even isolating.
Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.
It is a normal and natural emotional reaction to loss or change of any kind.
Grief is neither a pathological condition nor a personality disorder, but when undergoing the various stages grief encompasses, you may feel as if you are not the same person you once were. You may find yourself bewildered with next steps or just barely coping with all of the various feelings grief produces.
SYMPTOMS OF GRIEF
Shock & Denial
You may find yourself denying the new reality of this loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This can last for a few weeks.
Pain & Guilt
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with suffering and unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and at times almost unbearable, hiding or avoidance of this pain can lease to escapism through other less desirable methods such as alcohol or drugs.
Feelings of regret and remorse may surface and life can feel chaotic and scary.
Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame on someone else. It’s important to recognize that if not controlled, permanent damage to active relationships can occur. This is a stage for the release of bottled-up emotion.
You may rail against fate, questioning “Why me?” You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair (“I will never drink again if you just bring him back”)
Depression, reflection, loneliness
Just when everyone around you starts to tell you that you should be getting on with your life, you can experience a long period of sad reflection. This is a normal stage of grief, so allow yourself to work through the process. Encouragement from others, while well-meaning, can divert you from dealing with this stage and becoming stuck.
During this time, the true magnitude of your loss may impact you, and it can lead to depressive feelings. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflecting on the things you once used to do and maintaining your focus on past memories. You may experience feelings of emptiness or despair.
As you start to adjust to your new norm, life finally becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your “depression” begins to lift slightly.
As you feel more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself focused more on the present and seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by your new life. You will start to work on practical and financial problems reconstructing yourself and your life as it now is.
Acceptance and Optimism
During this final stage, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled person you were prior to this loss, but you will find a way forward.
Looking forward to and actually planning your new normal for the future comes easier. Eventually, you will be able to think about that chapter in your life without pain; sadness – yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some optimism for your future and rediscover the joy in living life.
As you navigate through these various stages, it’s easy to become “stuck”.
If you find this happening to you, hypnosis can be a safe and natural alternative to assist you with overcoming these barriers.