Change of Life Circumstances
In western society we generally do not grieve well. Often we focus on putting on a good front which may fool others for a while, or even fool ourselves, but sooner or later the feelings which we have denied or ignored will show themselves in a disruptive way. We probably expect to grieve when we lose someone significant in our lives, but we often don't recognise that we go through a grieving process in many other situations.
This could include:
- Moving house / cities / states / countries - especially when this may not be as a result of our free choice.
- Loss of job or demotion - again this hits harder when we believe we have not caused this to happen, for example we are retrenched due to downsizing.
- Aging with the accompanying loss of strength, speed or mental acuity.
- Being the focus of negative media coverage (or being closely associated with someone who is).
- Unexpected positive events, such as receiving a major amount of money, which leads to a change in lifestyle. We are often surprised to find that we still grieve for the loss of familiar things.
- Imprisonment or detention.
- Prolonged illness or disability (or caring for someone in this situation).
- Significant financial reversal.
How Can You Help Yourself?
- Be honest about what you are feeling. It's not your job to meet the expectations of others as to how you should grieve.
- Tidy up loose ends: say or do the things that will help you to gain closure. Write letters, visit places, however your instincts tell you that you need to say goodbye.
- Maintain your healthy practices, whether mental, physical or spiritual.
- Try not to make major decisions at this time. Grief interferes with our ability to think clearly and logically.
- Look after yourself: get enough sleep (or at least rest) and exercise and eat a healthy diet (even though you may not feel that you have an appetite). Grief is often the trigger for turning to substance abuse and forming addictions.
- Keep connected in your relationships whenever possible, to friends, family, your social support network and your faith.
- Look outside yourself. Healing often flows from reaching out and helping others. It can help us develop new motivations and can give our pain perspective.
Why Go To Counselling?
A trained counsellor will be able to support you in a non-intrusive way. They are not there to take your pain away, but to walk with you through it. Through quietness, encouragement, and non-judgemental listening, they can provide you with the time and space you need to process your grief and adjust to your new life circumstances.
For help in processing the grief associated with a change in life circumstances, contact Alli at Point Of Change Counselling to make an appointment.