Can Counseling Really Help Me? I’m Not Sure I Can Ever Get Over the Loss
This is a very normal sentiment for someone who has experienced a major loss. Recovering from grief requires persistence, tolerance of vulnerability, self-awareness, and courage. No doubt, this is difficult. However, the alternative to working through it is NOT GOOD. People who don't work through their grief and emotions in some healthy manner almost always remain stuck in it. This results in significant long-term difficulties--both physical and psychological.
When you suffer a significant loss, it is crucial to understand that
- You will never be quite the same as before the loss
- In the case of the loss of a spouse or close family member, you may need to work on reformulating some of your identity. While this can be daunting, it's also an opportunity for major learning and growth.
- With persistence, you can work through your sadness and grief
- Counseling for grief can be an essential part of coping with your loss
- You may occasionally or even frequently think of the person (or thing) you lost for a long time
- There is no set timetable for grief and loss. However, coming to grips with your thoughts and feelings is critical in working through the grief
It may be reassuring to know that many of us follow a general pattern in our grief process. Find out more about this.
What If I Don’t Feel Much Of Anything?
Let’s call this numbness. Over the years, I’ve worked with many individuals in grief therapy who don’t feel any strong emotions about their loss, or they feel emotions that they don’t think they ‘should’ feel. Understand this:
- What you feel is what you feel. Don’t judge it. There is no ‘should feel’ anything at this point.
- You may be feeling something you don’t think you ‘should’ feel. Anger, Numbness, Bitterness, Confusion, and Despair are common responses to loss. This is by no means a comprehensive list!
- Journaling can help you gain awareness of what is going on inside you
- Seeing a counselor for grief can help you work through your thoughts and emotions
- See this link for great information about the Five Stages of Grief
What If My Loss Isn’t Death?
Loss takes many forms in our lives. We can experience major disruption in our lives due to any of the following:
- Loss of a job
- Loss of a relationship (intimate partner, dear friend, etc)
- Moving to a new area--this means you’ve lost a lot of routines and people in your life!
- Loss of a pet. By itself, this can be heartbreaking, but loss of our pets can often bring up unresolved grief stemming from our ‘human losses’
- Loss of freedom--such as working in a new job where you don’t have the independence you used to have
- Loss of physical ability which may mean you are now more dependent on others
- Loss of sexual function
- And so many more. Click here for a more complete list
Grief Therapy--Working Through The Pain
Grief Therapy is one of my specialty areas. I would be honored to help you on your journey, as you struggle with coming to terms with your loss(es) and move forward in your life. You can work through your grief and pain and resume a functioning life.
Click here for more details about the five stage grief model.