Grief but no one died?
How is THAT possible? I’ve written about grief in a few of my social media posts, but in case you missed it. I’ll break down grief real nice and simple.
Grief = Loss
Loss = something you had but don’t anymore, or something you can never have.
Bereaved? THAT involves death. We’re talking greif today so back to grief.
Now that I’ve defined it very loosely, is it possible that you have experienced grief when no one died? A common theme that I’ve heard from those who have experienced divorce is that it felt akin to death. THAT is grief. No one died but there is MASS destruction in your head, heart and soul.
Grief can be caused by role changes and/or radical changes in thoughts about SELF or others. Married/Divorced, Loved/Unloved, Employed/Unemployed. Homeowner/Homeless.
Emotions that are often associated with grief include: despair, immense sorrow, hopelessness. ICKY STICKY FEELS right?!!? I don’t like those feels and do most anything to avoid them!
Behaviors that look like grief include: Crying, withdrawing, easily frustrated, isolating, engaging in unhealthy and possibly self-destructive ways of numbing pain through process (gambling, exercising, spending, sex, work, porn) and substance addictions (smoking, drinking, using whatever). Not taking care of yourSELF. Eating too little or too much. Oversleeping or insomnia. I could go on…
THINK extremes here. You are not behaving like YOU.
Has it been a while since something like that has happened?
Is it happening right now?
During the holiday season? Ugh
What we ALL have in common is suffering. It’s part of our human condition. What we don’t get to do is skip it.
What do you think happens when someone doesn’t do anything when experiencing sustained grief? Left festering and untreated?
Depression is what happens. Anxiety happens. More SELF-destructive behaviors and dysregulation continue AND escalate. It doesn’t get better, it progresses. THAT is pathology, dis-ease and dis-order. It’s really a FACT OF LIFE!
How many people do you know who have thoroughly processed all grief and continually seek SELF-actualization?
I know few. Very few who do this.
We all have an organic and ever changing state of our own mental health. Same goes for our physical, emotional and spiritual health. It’s cool to perpetually work on ALL of these parts of our humanity because the world we live in is ever changing. Lots of adjustments need to be made to maintain balance. Awareness of those adjustments is the first step to change!
No one operates at optimum performance at all times in all ways. THAT is why it’s good to work on all areas of your health and quit trying to make everyone (including yourSELF) think that you are OK. Of course you are OK, doing better than you have in the past, doing better than this other person’s life, you’re functioning, etc…
For some reason, folks don’t enter into therapy until extreme dis-ease and dis-order has gone down. Why is that? Are we all so overbooked that we don’t have an hour to have someone help you tune out the nonsense and tune into what’s really important? Is it really such a faux pas to go see a therapist that even you don’t want to think of yourSELF as a person who goes to therapy?
I think that folks should attend to their physical bodies on a regular basis. Guess what? I also think everyone should go to therapy on a regular basis. Not just when there is a “problem.” That is a pathological approach to therapy. No thanks, because I’m not down with that.
Does not everyone want and need mental, emotional, physical and spiritual stamina to handle whatever life throws at you? Hard to do if you aren’t taking care of all parts of yourSELF.
That includes going to therapy! I am keenly aware of my bias because 1. I am a therapist and 2. I go to therapy. I’m also keenly aware that it helps.
Going to therapy doesn’t mean you are going to feel better. You might even feel worse. All that grief (loss!) you’ve been stuffing down, when it comes out, it can leave you feeling exposed because you’ve been keeping it under wraps for a good bit.
I love my job because I get to see people being real. Everything that looks so put together on the outside might not be congruent with what is going on inside. I’d rather see the inside. Your internal landscape is where truth resides and boy do I love truth!
No pathologies needed approach to therapy right here. You’re a human being and being a human is hard! There are four therapists at #creativetherapies and any of us would be honored to work with you.
Give us a call for a free 20 minute phone or in-person consultation!
Sending everyone peace,
Casey Baine, MA, LCAS, LPCA, NCC, RYT
Clinical Director, Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Therapist
firstname.lastname@example.org // 919-880-4078
6330 Falls of Neuse Road Suite #104 Raleigh, NC 27615