Grief is Part of Being Human
Grief and Depression have similar symptoms.
They both often cause sleeping disorders, low energy, lack of desire in doing things you once loved, crying spells, anxious feelings, appetite changes, and more.
Grief is not comfortable. You will feel the loss (death of a loved one, divorce or significant break up, getting fired, moving, anything that feels like a loss- great or small) not just emotionally, but it can manifest physically. Grief can even be felt after getting married, having children, graduating, or any event that deeply impacts who you once were- a loss of identity. I believe it is supposed to be uncomfortable, but it’s not unmanageable, and can be moved through with intention and true healing. You will be changed after loss, there’s no way around that.
Our society is so focused on what we gain in life. We are taught to acquire, go after goals, hit milestones, and check things off our bucket list. Rarely are we taught, or is it even addressed properly, about how to handle the inevitable feelings of loss.
So, what I have run into recently regarding my grief are intense emotions, insomnia, panic attacks, the desire to cry, but also the fear that when I do it might overtake me, fear and worry, loss of appetite, and ruminating thoughts. The first two weeks of realizing the magnitude of the shifts in my life were ROUGH. I couldn’t breathe, everything was tense, I couldn’t work, I was so hyper vigilant that I ended up in the ER and had the sensation that I was constantly on guard.
The Western medical world: doctors and nurses in urgent care, the ER, therapists (outside of my normal therapist), and a mental health facility’s urgent care services were not only not helpful, I felt more harm and trauma occurred.
I was just handed and offered a bunch of drugs. Some that were totally unnecessary and most caused unpleasant side effects. Everything I really don’t stand for. My intuition had been turned inside out after leaving my ex as I realized the extent of the damage that was done. I had shut off my intuition, my identity was being eroded, and I was dissociating from my body to try to make the relationship work. My body had been in freeze mode and was thawing out.
One provider offered to put me on Lexapro. An anti-depressant. I’m NOT depressed. I am grieving: the death of the dream of a relationship, not being able to see my daughter everyday, moving, resurfacing of unresolved grief, and all the money that was spent and have been spending on getting out and healing myself. I think ANYONE would experience intense emotions like this. However, I believe it’s part of life. I believe we all go through periods where we are feeling low, have difficult emotional experiences, and face loss.
In the moment it did sound like a good relief, but I have 1,000 tools I can use instead. Not to numb the grief, but to alchemize it. But damn! How many people are living in a flat-lined state because they don’t want to feel intense emotional sensations? That’s what emotions are after all, sensations in your body. But, if you cut off the emotional sensations of rage, sadness, disgust, fear, etc., you’re also cutting off bliss, pleasure, and ecstasy. I don’t want that.
I came here to experience it ALL! And just 3/4 weeks later, while I still do get the intense sensations arising, I’m able to talk to myself. I’m more and more able to mitigate stress in my life, and my healing is priority number 1!
If you’re on medication, don’t just stop. If you feel you absolutely need it and it’s what you choose, do what’s best for you. There are times I’ve had to use coping techniques that wouldn’t be labeled as positive self-care, just to take the edge off. We are human. We are all doing the best we can. But, as humans, I believe we signed up for this, to feel the entire spectrum of sensation, why else can we feel these things?
If you’re experiencing grief, PTSD, anxiety, or just desire help navigating intense emotional states, I can share what has been helping me. I’m not a doctor or licensed therapist, so check in with them before trying anything. And everyone is different. It can be powerful just knowing you’re not alone.
Send me an email savannahrosecoaching@gmail.