Sunday, 13 April 2014

All the world's a stage

The five stages of grief usually experienced with a major loss are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

They don't have to happen in that order either and often stages will be repeated if they are not dealt with properly.

When I go through a big life change that I have no control over, these are the steps that I traverse.

People go on about acceptance as if it is something that you just decide on but that is not the case. Healthy human beings are supposed to feel feelings and not repress them.

I don't mean suppressed because suppression is consciously stopping yourself from feeling something. Repression is a form of denial where you don't even accept the thought or feeling exists.

Not dealing with emotions is what leaves people in a state of subconscious turmoil and dissatisfaction.

Acceptance is the end goal but it can sneak in earlier on as a form of closure at each stage.

My recent big loss has seen my journey to acceptance occur with severe peaks of each feeling that subside and leave me feeling the longed for closure.

I experienced denial first. I didn't even take the situation seriously because I didn't even entertain the idea it was happening. That lasted about 3 days.

Once I did entertain the idea, depression hit. I'm great at dealing with depression though since that is what my tool belt was built for. That didn't last too long - maybe a week.

Bargaining wasn't really a big part of me coping this time. I knew there was no point to it. I don't believe in asking someone else to fix something and I was aware of how little I would achieve so I tried a couple of times and then wrote that off. Total time was about four hours. Nothing takes less than half a working day.

Then came anger. Anger is something I've stopped suppressing now. For years, I let others be angry with me and I was always sorry. Then I would feel anger and not express it because I thought that made me a psycho bitch. I don't think that anymore. People are allowed to be angry. Emotions are fine as long as you aren't stuck on one for a long time. Even constant non-stop happiness without a peppering of other feelings is considered unhealthy. We are feeling creatures so we must feel.

In this case, I felt angry and not at myself. I expressed this in a burst of communication that lasted less than five minutes and then I felt better. Who knows how the receiver felt but to be honest, I don't much care.

And I don't much care because I have finally got my closure. I was treated horrendously. I took it as maturely as I could and showed compassion and understanding. But to achieve closure and move forward, I need to feel all those stages. Even anger. The one stage I still struggle to accept the good in but conceptually do comprehend.

Now, it is that time. Time to go on with life as I was contently doing two months ago before his all happened.

Now, I can and I am proud of myself for that.

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