This column seeks to help educate our community about emotional healing through grief. People may write questions to Golden Willow Retreat and they will be answered privately to you and possibly as a …
This column seeks to help educate our community about emotional healing through grief. People may write questions to Golden Willow Retreat and they will be answered privately to you and possibly as a future article for others. Please list a first name that grants permission for printing.
Dear Dr. Ted:
In the last few weeks I have felt many losses that have rocked my world. Even though they have nothing to do with death, it does not mean that it hasn't affected me to my core. I seem to be scrambling to change my life so that I can rebuild it. A friend told me that I need to slow down and "regrip." What are your thoughts on this?
You bring up many different important topics that all deal with emotional healing from loss. You are absolutely correct that loss and grief are not only something for those that are involved with a death. Loss is something that impacts all of us daily through death, divorce, time, health, job changes, loss of innocence, dreams, finances - and the list goes on and on. Being aware that loss happens and being cognizant of the grief process will help you continuously heal and grow. This does not mean you are a martyr and downtrodden, only that you are aware of losses and have the opportunity to choose to empower yourself from that loss.
In the midst of loss, many people - with great intent - will give advice. The difficult piece of advice is that you are the one who has to determine if the advice is correct for you, and if it will help improve the situation you find yourself in at that moment. Each loss, along with the healing process, is a personal journey where all factors have to be assessed to help make the best out of the present situation. So when you receive advice, it is worthwhile to use discernment and see if it fits your personal situation.
You bring up an important topic pertaining to having support during loss. Quite often, when loss happens it is easy to start changing many things at the same time due to the ripple affect. For example, you may be in the process of moving to a new house; there's a good chance you may also be tempted to change your medications, start couple's counseling, make amends to somebody, stop drinking or lose 20 pounds. This impulsivity to change everything at once is common and can sabotage the change you are working with, due to becoming overwhelmed and having goals too large - ultimately setting you up for failure.
Finding established supports during your loss is important and can help sustain you during your process. Staying focused on what is needed to help you in the present situation can have a positive impact and lead to changes elsewhere naturally. Identifying what supports you have and using those strengths can be the foundation that allows healing to happen. Loss can be the catalyst allowing for a positive and healthy way of living, one step at a time.
Thank you for the question. I wish you well. Until next week, take care.
Golden Willow Retreat is a nonprofit organization focused on emotional healing and recovery from any type of loss. Direct any questions to Dr. Ted Wiard, EdD, LPCC, CGC, founder of Golden Willow Retreat at GWR@newmex.com.
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