Unprocessed Grief, Are you stuck in it?
Do you have unprocessed grief?
Grief is a normal reaction to loss and if you have experienced love then you shall experience grief at sometime in your life. Everyone grieves in his or her own time frame and in the way that is right for him or her. The problem occurs if grief is brushed under the covers and not dealt with, it makes you believe that you are fine. But it will relentlessly attack you until you process it. What I teach is to take grief by the hand and make it your friend. It is then that it can be your greatest teacher and transformer. Unprocessed grief will likely cause you to get into a “stuck state”. This blog will help you determine if you are in one or not.
Grief comes to us from many different types of loss. I have experienced it many times in many different ways, thus I consider myself an expert on the subject and I write about it in my books. The worst time was when my husband died by suicide in 2005. I was the one to find him dead on our basement floor from multiple gunshots to his head. Shock and complicated grief followed and I was either going to die or survive. Perhaps you have had a similar experience.
Become a survivor!
Fortunately I have survived and have a purpose in my life. I didn’t let grief win. I have learned to live and love life after loss. Thus the reason I took a 180-degree turn and transformed my life. My career as a computer systems analyst no longer suited me. It was necessary for me to bring a message of hope to others like myself, thus the reason I write books and coach.
I speak much about grief when it’s related to death by suicide, but there are also other types of grief not related to death. Those include the loss of a job, loss of health or loss of a relationship or loss of anything once familiar that has changed. Because of those, many people walk around grieving and get in a stuck state.
Other types of unprocessed grief!
You may not realize that grief can come from something you have initiated. You may ask; why would I want to inflict grief upon myself? It’s not that you consciously want to do so; it’s the result of your experience. An example is a bad marriage or relationship coming to an end. Perhaps you wanted it to be over and you initiated the break-up or divorce. Just because you are the initiator doesn’t mean you won’t feel loss and grieve. Grief comes from the absence of a relationship even though it wasn’t healthy for you. Even alcoholics, smokers and any type of addict feels loss when they break their habit. It sounds strange but this is how humans are wired. We all must go through the adapting stage, which is change, and change often causes grief.
Another example is moving to a new neighborhood. You may have wanted the move and even looked forward to it, but you will still feel the loss of your old familiar surroundings. You no longer have the same neighbors, friends and community that you once had, therefore you must adapt and that causes grief. Change isn’t something that comes easily for many people.
Grief comes from many sources and those are just some examples of it. Often you don’t even realize from whence it came. In those cases it can become problematic because you don’t recognize it as grief and therefore don’t process it. Unprocessed grief riles and forces you to react in many unpredictable ways; some of them even cause you harm.
So what do you do? You understand that any loss or change in your life can cause you to grieve. Therefore don’t run from it. Instead, understand it and process it. Many people have unprocessed grief; therefore “stuck” becomes their state of existence.
Determine if you are stuck in grief.
Here are a few warning signs for you to examine honestly.
- Sleep patterns have changed. You either sleep too much or not enough
- Eating patterns have changed, You eat to comfort yourself or you stop eating
- Exercise patterns have changed. Either you stopped your exercise program or you increased it to an unrealistic capacity to harm your body
- You begin to isolate yourself from other people
- Your appearance or hygiene is no longer important
- You self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to get through the day
- Often you feel sad and can’t shake the sadness
- Motivation to do anything is missing from your life
- Nothing makes you smile
- Inability to feel pleasure
These are just a few to name and if this is you then it’s important to address your grief.
How do you do it? You get the help you need by learning to listen to your inner voice. This is not easy for many of you and that is why grief coaches and psychotherapists and support groups are in existence and encourage you to get the help you need.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need a little nudge because you feel you are in a stuck state. I offer a 20-minute free discovery call to determine if you want to work with me.
Don’t delay! Doing so will keep you stuck. Get the help you need and learn to live and love life after loss.
Certified Grief, Life, Spiritual Coach
Master NLP Practitioner