If you’re ready to give up on life, try these steps to move through the process of grief.
NOTE: This is a guest blog by Harriet Cabelly.
When you’re in the throes of awfulness, you can’t think about tomorrow.
You’re in the powerfully crippling feelings of the moment. And that needs to be attended to.
It’s in the going through them, that you will come through them to a new phase.
Wounds must begin to close up before the new layer of skin appears.
I couldn’t get myself to take my year-old daughter to the park. It was too painful for me to see other younger babies with their heads straight and their little hands swiping at the mobile attached to the stroller.
Meanwhile, my daughter’s head wobbled. Her eyes crossed. And her hands lay at her sides.
She was beautifully docile with a smile of ease and contentment – and a body that lagged behind in hitting the basic milestones of development.
I went through great grief upon hearing the neurologist confirm my fears, that yes, there was something wrong.
As it turned out, daughter had a rare neurological condition, a fluke of development, or lack of, that had occurred in the first trimester in utero.
The balloon burst.
And the bubble popped.
I kept repeating a mantra of “why me” -which reverberated against the walls of my shrink’s office week after week.
Session after session, I poured out my deepest feelings of pain and sadness.
And hour after hour my shrink held them.
He leaned forward and in his beautifully soft voice, he reassured me over (and over) how normal it was to feel what I was feeling.
There was no talk of tomorrow. There was just the here and now. And the immediate grief I was feeling, along with his safety net of normalcy.
I am someone who is also on the professional side of this grief work. Yes, I counsel people on loss, grief, growth. And so I have been on both sides of the therapy sofa.
With this in mind, if you’re ready to give up, I recommend you work the grief process by beginning here …
When in the throes of grief, allow yourself that time to feel horribly.
Give yourself ‘permission to be human’ and feel all those awful and intense negative emotions.
There’s no running from it. But rather you must sit with it and experience difficult feelings wash over you.
You may very well feel yourself going through a torrent of a spin cycle. But in the end you will come through all the cycles and go on.
That old adage, ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’ is so true.
You will feel stronger because you know – and see – that you did it. You came through it. And you are here living on.
Now, how you live on is up to you. And that’s the next part of the journey. But the first part is doing the grief work.
While on this bumpy and messy road, enlist a helper to accompany you on this journey into your depths of despair. It can feel pretty scary, and lonely, to reach that dark place. And nobody can tell you it will be O.K.
I mean they can tell you that. But it’s all meaningless and sounds so cliche-ish – because you’re down there and they’re up there. So what the heck do they know?
You need someone to walk with you along the painfully unpaved path. Plus you need someone to guide you and hold your words as you stumble along.
You will need to fall down and experience your wounds ooze over and over again. And so you will need others beside you, who will help you move through the pain. And when you’re ready to give up on life. they will be there for you, to open the door to the outside world once again.
Grief must be expressed. Your pain needs a voice so that it can be heard, validated and normalized.
Shakespeare said: “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak, knits up the o’er wrought heart, and bids it break.”
When you give voice to your pain, the grief eventually loosens its grip on you.
You lessen the toxicity of your grief. And you start to have periods of lightness and ordinariness.
It’s a rough road. You need someone to hold onto, who’s with you in the presence of your pain, as you expose your deepest wounds and reveal your most vulnerable self.
Yes, we all need someone who lets us know, as the clouds start to shift, that there is a better tomorrow.
Don’t allow the pain of life to stop you from appreciating the joys of life.
Whether you’re feeling stressed, need motivation, dealing with haters, or struggling with a challenge or crisis, Think Happy will help you to move forward with optimism and resilience.
It’s the perfect gift for someone you want to cheer on or cheer up – including yourself!