questions-and-answers

 

Hi Savannah,

I’ve recently had the experience of my wife betraying our marriage. I am so at loss for what my life means right now. As a man, it has destroyed my pride. I am grieving the loss of what was and what could be. Recently I have been seeing a counselor and he said grief is a process. I can’t even follow the grief process. What is wrong with me? – Doug, St George, Utah.

Hello Doug,

I am so sorry for the pain and loss you are feeling right now in your life. It is a good thing that you are reaching out to others for healing & help. But I would like to share with you a little issue with us “helping professionals.” We are taught a system at University, before we get our hands on actual clients. The system taught to us in these institutions is great in terms of learning the basics of psychology, but we need to further educate ourselves on what actually works/helps the clients we choose to help in real life counseling.

I’m going to come right out and say it.

If you are working with a

  • therapist
  • counselor
  • social worker
  • grief expert
  • minister
  • priest

or anyone else who is trying to help you navigate the wilderness of grief
and they start talking about Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ 5 stages of grief, suggesting that there is a predictable, orderly, unfolding of grief:

  • denial
  • anger
  • bargaining
  • depression
  • and acceptance,

do yourself a favor and run as far away from that person as fast as you can.

That “expert” does not know grief. Not really.

Grief is the internal, automatic response to loss.

Everyone grieves.
Everyone.

If you are alive and have attached to something.
Anything.
A job.
A pet.
Your health.
Your looks.
Your house.
A person.
A certain lifestyle.
Your car.
Anything.

If you have attached to something and you lose that something you grieve.
Automatic.
Internal.

And as much as I’d like to tell you that grief will be
orderly
neat and tidy
predictable
and unfold in 5 stages,
it will not.
Period.

Grief is wild
and messy
and unpredictable
and uncertain
and ever-changing
and unsettling
and unnerving.

Most of us (all of us) are ill-prepared and ill-equipped to go with the flow of grief when it is our time because we never talk about it.

What it’s like to live with grief.

Grief expresses itself in surprising and confusing ways.
There are times when all you want to do is sleep and other times when you can’t sleep at all.
There are times when you eat
and eat
and eat
and other times when you have completely lost your appetite.
You may feel

  • confused
  • sad
  • anxious
  • desperate
  • angry
  • frightened
  • lonely
  • nauseous
  • numb
  • dazed
  • dizzy

to name just a few of the ways grief expresses itself seemingly at the same time.

You think you are going crazy.
You are not.

You have entered the wilderness of grief. And in order to get out you must go through.

 

Warmest Regards,

savsign2

DBA, MBA, BBSc, MPsych (Clin)