I’m taking a subject that wasn’t what I had originally planned on writing about but the more I thought about it the more I thought that it’s something that I need to share with all of you. The subject is grief.
When we think of grief we usually associate that with dying, but that’s not the only time grief happens. You go through the stages of grief when you go through something traumatic, when you’ve lost something of value or when you’ve been diagnosed with a life changing disease. Grief comes in five stages, they usually come in an order but sometimes you can be in stage 4 and revert back to stage 1 or something like that but either way you go through them.
This past semester in college I had a class and we were discussing the stages of grief and my teacher pointed out that it didn’t just mean for people that were dying or that had loved ones die. After I read about it in my textbook I realized that I had been through the grief stages more than once.
Stage 1- Denial. When my doctor first told me I had Endometriosis I sat there thinking “No way, I’m too young.” Of course I wasn’t and all the evidence was there. I think now it’s more of trying to pretend like I don’t. Like when I’m having a good day and I feel good and I feel like I can do anything, I forget to keep myself in check to avoid pain and keep feeling good.
Stage 2- Anger. This stage is one I deal with a lot more then I’d voluntarily admit to. A few weeks ago I and my family went on a trip to Disney World for a week. The first few days were good; I was taking it easy and relaxing, enjoying the warm weather. And then our fourth night there, the night before we go to Magic Kingdom it hits hard. I hadn’t felt good that day but the pain had stayed at achiness enough to where I was trying not to take any strong pain killer so I wouldn’t be knocked out the rest of the night. But at dinner that night it turned from achiness to full blown “I feel like someone is gutting me alive” make-you-sick kind of pain in a few minutes. So needless to say I got the pain killers anyways. I got so mad inside because I felt like, once again, the Endometriosis had managed to interrupt my life. I get angry because I feel out of control. I get angry because I can’t do anything, because I’m fighting something that I can’t see, something that’s inside my own body and something that no one around me can understand.
Stage 3- Bargaining. This stage does have more to do with people that are dying or people grieving over a loved one then someone who has a chronic illness but in a way we bargain too. Sometime I feel like I have to bargain with my body throughout the day just to make it. Something like, “Okay if I do ___ now I could rest and do ___ later and maybe still be okay afterwards.” Maybe the blank is going shopping, going on a hike, you fill in the blank but I hope you can see what I’m saying. We bargain with ourselves. We try to trade thing for another to get through the day.
Stage 4- Depression. For anyone with an illness of any kind this is a big one. Out of all the stages I think this is the hardest one, that might just be me, but for me it is. For me it’s when I feel like I can’t get out of bed and the thought of facing the day seems unbearable. It’s when I get to that place where I desperately need someone to understand how I’m feeling and how weak and alone I feel and no one does. Depression is a fight in itself. Once you get to that place of feeling like giving up it’s a real battle to get beyond that. When someone is a normally upbeat person and then they get down, people notice it a lot more. It can be the most nerve racking thing when someone looks at you when you’re having a bad day and say “What’s wrong with you? Cheer up!!” Even though sometimes the first thing that comes to your mind is “Oh I can show you what to do with your cheer!” you have to understand that the people that say that have never been where you are. If they had they would know to say something, ANYTHING, but that. When you get down and feel like no one understands that is when you need to know more than ever that there are women who understand and know exactly what you’re going through. You have to fight through the dark days. If we get to the place where we live in the dark day in and day out and never get beyond it we have lost the fight. When you get beyond the dark days reach out to someone who is in the middle of them, you can help someone who is going through it find their silver lining. I have faith in every single one you women that you can do that, you can get through the dark days and turn around and help out someone who needs you, because regardless of how it feels sometimes you are a very incredibly strong woman.
Stage 5- Acceptance. This one is also a little different for people who have a chronic illness. I believe that acceptance comes when you
come to that place where you say “Yes I do have this illness but I am stronger then what I feel and I can fight this”. That is what true acceptance is for me. It’s not accepting defeat, it’s accepting the reality of the situation and accepting that you are a strong woman, that you are a fighter and that in the end you will come out on top.
I wanted to share these stages with you because I wanted to let you know that when you’re going through these things and you’re feeling
this way, it’s okay. I know that when you are having a bad day and you are feeling down or angry that a lot of the times the people in your life who don’t understand what you’re going through can be really insensitive to how your feeling. Sometimes that makes our anger turn and be against them because they don’t understand. Or sometimes it can cause the depression to become directed more at yourself because you feel like you’re weak and you should be able to handle it. Because you get down, or because you get angry doesn’t mean you aren’t strong and it doesn’t mean you’re not a fighter. It simply means you are in the fight and you are fighting for something. It’s okay to have bad and down days but you are strong and you can make it through them. Never let anyone, including yourself, tell you any different. We’re all in this together.
Much love and pain free wishes! ♥
The informational content of this article is intended to convey general educational
information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.