Overcoming Loneliness and Grief After Loss
Grief is a normal emotion that people experience after a loss, but it is also a complex and isolating experience. No two people grieve in the same way, but there are some important things to remember when you’re experiencing grief. If you’re ready to move on, here are a few tips about how to overcome the emotions that might be holding you back.
Grief Is Natural
The most essential part of overcoming grief is to treat yourself as you would a friend or loved one. You’d never tell someone you care about to “just get over it,” so why tell yourself that? You cannot rush grieving or simply make it disappear. Your grief will take a unique path, and you may find that some days you are sad, some days you are angry, and some days you feel much better. Grief is a rollercoaster, and having emotions is normal. After experiencing grief from a loss, you may feel guilty once things start to go “back to normal,” or you find yourself feeling positive emotions again. It’s healthy and necessary to recognize your emotions and realize they aren’t permanent.
Things will be different after the loss of a loved one. Certain items or days or places will remind you of them. Recognize when you’re thinking about them, and identify what you’re feeling but try to stop yourself from getting overwhelmed by the emotion. It may help to distract yourself, have someone there for support, or simply let yourself feel the emotion for a short time and then let it go.
Grief can be isolating because no two people have the same grief experience. Some people find themselves bouncing back quickly, while others may take months or years. But it’s never something someone should have to go through alone. Being among others who are also overcoming loss can be an enlightening and empowering experience. Find a support group specific to your experience, i.e. other people who lost a loved one due to cancer, accidents, suicide, military combat, etc. If you feel like your situation doesn’t fit into a category like that, you can find more general support groups that are simply aimed at those going through a loss.
In addition, it can be helpful to talk to friends, family members, or others within your community like a pastor or counselor. They can offer insight, help clear your mind, and help you identify thinking patterns that may be holding you back. Support groups can happen in person or over the internet. Find one where you feel comfortable to open up and speak about what you’re going through.
When Grief Doesn’t Go Away
In some cases, grief can last for longer periods of time and lead to ongoing depression or anxiety. You may have thoughts or feelings that frighten you. Maybe you wish that you died instead of your loved one, or you think you’d be better off dead. You may blame yourself for their death, even when there was nothing that you could have done to prevent it.
These thoughts and feelings shouldn’t bring you shame. They are symptoms of complicated grief and can be addressed by a mental health professional. Just because grief is a natural part of the human condition doesn’t mean you have to suffer from the intense pain of a loss. If you have symptoms of grief that don’t go away, or you’re ready to get your life back on track after a loss, contact us online or call our 24-hour hotline at 828-394-6722. The compassionate and caring staff at Jonas Hill Hospital is here to help you heal.
Jonas Hill Hospital & Clinic a division of Caldwell Memorial Hospital provides our community with safe, dignified and integrated care for patients experiencing an acute mental health need. We provide hope, treatment, and healing through a holistic program of evidence-based psychiatric treatment, team-based medical care, and education provided by engaging and dedicated professionals in a safe and healing environment. Contact Jonas Hill Hospital and Clinic today at (828) 394-6722 for more information.