Learning to Live With the Loss of YOU

There are 5 stages that make up the framework that allows us to live with loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. They can also be applied our grief over the loss of our ‘old’ selves.

These tools are not stations on a train line. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Have you been to any of these places? Stuck at one?

As you accept the reality of loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade.

But as you proceed, all the feelings you were denying begin to surface…

People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage like getting on and off a train. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one.

At times, people in grief will often report more stages. Just remember your grief is as unique as you are.

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4 Comments

  1. I wish i could hug you right now. 🙁

  2. I’m not in denial, I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with me 😛

  3. In 2010 I began to accept that my old life was over and my old self was gone, and so I let go of all my dreams. Becoming a green architect? Never gonna happen. Neurosurgeon? Nope. How could I hope to ever accomplish those things when just going to the store to get a mop, because mine broke while I was spot-cleaning my house before my date arrived, wore me out to the point where I had to tell him not to come over? That is when the realization dawned on me that I was clinging to an old self-image. The old me was a straight A student, a Type A overachiever. I was born with many talents and abilities and had the potential to go far and achieve much. But I was also born with a vulnerability that robbed me of those other birth-rights, including motherhood. I dare not become a mother in my current condition. So my bachelor’s degree will remain halfway completed, and my dreams will have to be replaced by new ones that are in alignment with my current reality. Whether this vulnerability, I mentioned, is simply a human one or a genetic one remains a mystery, as the cause of my fibro is unknown. But whatever the case, this is the way I am, and it is natural. So I play the game of life with the hand I was dealt. With lots of anger and denial at times, but more and more acceptence as time goes on.

    • Hey Salina!
      Don’t give up the dreams – just change them to suit the current reality.

      I finished my bachelor’s degree online – is your degree available in this format? I found that my tutors were very understanding and helpful (when I explained about my difficulties); and when I sat exams, special conditions were set so I could actually get up and take a short walk (with a ‘watcher’) during the exam time. Yes, everything took longer but I still completed my Bachelor of Laws with Honours. So, if you want to do it – DO IT!

      I’m still working on a way that I can complete my two years of supervised work – I don’t have all the answers! But it’s a challenge that I WILL decipher! I may not be able to do it in the manner that I thought I would (when I started) but I will work it out to fit my new reality.

      Yes, it is daunting, and upsetting, and frustrating, and infuriating sometimes; but, hopefully, the end result will be worth it.

      Do you want to be a green architect? DO IT!

      (I just hate to see some-one give up totally on a dream; so I hope I have motivated you somewhat)

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