Seven Stages of Grief

Something I realized one day was that my diagnosis were a lot like my divorce. With my divorce I could escape my grief, but with my diagnosis’ I can’t. OK so they are a little different. One I don’t have to worry about any more and one I have to worry about the rest of my life. Maybe live with is a better way to say it. Either way the same principles apply. That is the magic secret that I figured out.

Have you ever heard of the seven stages of grief? While I was going through the feelings of my first diagnosis I realized at one point they were the same as the stages of divorce, death or any other major loss in your life. Now I do need to add one stage to the beginning that is not listed. I’m sure it is only something that those of us with invisible diseases feel. It was joy! Elation! I’m not crazy! They me believe for once! OH SHIT! Why am I happy? I have autoimmune diseases! But, I’m not crazy! OK, just shush! I’m a bit crazy and many will say more than a bit. 🙂 It’s ok with me! So that was really my stage one. Let me know if you see how they have related to you. Each person is different but in a way I’m sure we all go through something like this. Some of us may never complete the steps, some may finish them, or you could be like me start, finish and start again when you have a new diagnosis. So on with the rest…

Seven Steps of Grief

Shock and Denial
In this stage, the person suffers from shock on knowing about the loss. Shock is a self-defense stage of the mind and the outcome of it, many times, is denial of the facts that have actually happened. A person in grief thinks that he is dreaming and he refuses to accept the grief causing situation. The time for which this stage lasts cannot be determined. Simple tasks and decisions cannot be carried out by a person in shock.

Pain and Guilt
At this stage, the grieving person realizes that the loss that has happened is true. This is the most chaotic and scary stage of grief. Many people succumb to alcohol and drugs at this stage. Intense feelings of guilt and compunction are experienced due to the wrong things done which led to this irreversible loss. Sometimes, in grief, people blame themselves and consider themselves responsible for the loss.

In this stage, the person may get angry due to the injustice that has happened to him or he may get angry over a person responsible for the loss in his life. Anger management is necessary at this stage of grief.

In this stage, person in grief gets frustrated and may start blaming others for the loss. Although this blame is not correct, he is not in a state to understand and accept the reality. The person starts bargaining for the loss and tries to find out ways in which he can revert the situation and compensate for what he has lost. This stage is called bargaining.

Depression and Sorrow
In this stage, the person accepts the loss but is unable to cope up with it. Depressed and demoralized, the person is in despair and behaves passively. He sees no remedy to the loss he suffered and is reluctant to behave in a normal way and thus goes into a state of depression.

Testing and Reconstruction
This is the testing stage in which the depressed person starts to indulge in other activities so as to escape the disturbing sorrow. In fact, this is the beginning of the next and last stage, i.e. acceptance of and coming to terms with the reality. It is also a stage of reconstruction as in this stage, he starts the process reconstruction of his life by searching for solutions and ways to come out of his grief.

This is the stage when the grieving person accepts the reality. Acceptance stage projects a ray of hope and the person starts believing in himself. Reality and facts of life are accepted and the person moves forward with this life. This stage can be noticed when the person starts behaving normally and his performance in the office is quite improved. The grieving person starts to mingle with friends and colleagues around him.
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