The 3 Kinds Of Grief Nobody Talks About

The 3 Kinds Of Grief Nobody Talks About

Remember, there is always light at the end of a tunnel.
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What is grief?

This question comprised of three small words is a multifaceted response to loss that can largely affect our cognitive, emotional, behavioral, physical, and social health. According to clinical psychologists, grief is a natural process of life's interchangeable progression of life. However, the emotional pain and suffering can become unrecognizable by close friends and family - and even ourselves. Since the experience of grief varies from person to person, how we handle catostrophic events is really dependent on our mental health and body stamina. Whether you have experienced a recent death, entered a new stage in your life, or ended a relationship, the important concept to remember is that the grieving process is temporary and eventually, we will emerge from the ashes stronger than ever before.

1. The Loss of a Person We Once Knew

Whether it's losing your best friend or a close family member, sometimes the people we love can change in significant ways. When our lives revolve around someone, their nonexistence in our social orbit can create an emotional imbalance, which causes us to keep some memories that continue to linger on with each passing day. The collision can wreck us, change us, and shift us. For example, I "lost" one of my best friends from high school based on a terrible rumor five years ago. The outward appearance showed two friends who were inseparable and truly complimented one another's personality; however, behind closed doors, the relationship was destructive and manipulated to the point that I became a different person that was unrecognizable in the mirror.

Since my best friend and I continued on different paths, every time I come across a picture of us or watch one of our favorite movies, those precious memories continue to infiltrate my mind. Those precious memories created a cognitive footprint and I know it will take a tremendous amount of strength and courage to emotionally move on from that destructive friendship. Regardless, friends and family will inevitably become present and un-present in our lives, which causes us to mourn the loss of a person we once knew that made a positive or negative life-long impact on each of our lives.

2. The Loss of a Identity We Haven't Lost Yet

According to clinical psychologists, anticipatory grief is a term that refers to the grief felt about someone with a life-limiting illness; friends, family and caregivers often experience it in anticipation of an eventual death. There are only two instances where I experienced anticipatory grief: the loss of my Nana and getting married to my husband. Although these emotional events vary slightly in circumstances, both of these losses are significant in terms of my emotional, behavioral, and cognitive health. All of my plans, thoughts, and the sense of my future — even my sense of safety and security—are now challenged. I absolutely love my husband, but the presumption of our future and "leaving and cleaving from my family" becomes distorted and the unimaginable infiltrated my mind. When we emotionally have to prepare ourselves for a significant loss, it can create a loss of our personal identity.

3. The Loss of a Person We Used to Be

Whether it's waiting for the school bus to pick you up for school or moving into your new house, the evolution of time can drastically change your life. Throughout life, you will overcome some changes in small strides, but the long strides can affect you deeply. Consider getting married and moving into a new house. I may have anticipated this event for years and be overjoyed, but I realize the normality of life will never be the same again.

Over the next couple of weeks and/or months, my personal space and interaction with my immediate family will become limited. When I change my last name, that one contentious act will further solidify that I can never re-enter my previous life that is filled with unbinding love and comfort. My new life and last name will allow myself to re-enter a new phase in my life and create a new establishment with my husband. Each transition in our lives—no matter how positive—has an undercurrent. The thrill of passing a milestone in your live can mark both an accomplishment and maturity that promised new freedom and adventure.

Now, imagine the pain and grief when, through age or disability, you are forced to surrender your new profound freedom and all it has meant. While venturing into new chapters of your life can be exciting, it can create a loss of the person we used to be.

Cover Image Credit: Cross Walk

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Freshman Year Of College Taught Me Important Lessons That I'll Never Forget

What people don't tell you about your first year of college.

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Everyone looks forward to the day he or she walks across a stage and receives a high school diploma. The unlimited possibilities that college will hold for you and the new people you will meet are exciting. Going into college, I didn't know what to expect. I had heard stories on how to make friends, what to do to maintain a social and academic life, and how to not allow the new environment to overwhelm me. However, this did not make my transition into college any easier.

I believe the most important thing l learned that no one told me was the fact that not everyone is going to have the same heart as you, and that's okay. There will be people who will make you question if you made the right decision or if you are doing something wrong. I transitioned from being surrounded by people who had similar qualities as me to people surrounded by people who could not be more different. That is part of the college experience.

Everyone comes from somewhere different and think and act in various ways. College has made me more open to different ideas and allowed me to realize that not everyone will always be kind to you. How other people treat you is not always a reflection of how you treat them. College has taught me to let the little things that bother me go because there is no point to waste time on something that is not going to impact you in a positive manner.

The next lesson I've learned since I started college is that it's okay to be alone; it's even okay to want to be alone. One of the things stressed to me before I started college was to put myself out there and do everything I can do to meet new people. Which I did, and am so glad because I have met some people who I couldn't live without now.

However, that does not mean I never want alone time. For me, I have noticed that in order to focus on myself mentally I need a day or two away from all the commotion that is college. Being alone helps me clear my head and focus on what I need to do in order to be my bests self. I came to the conclusion that being alone and being lonely are two entirely different things, something I did not realize in high school.

Overall, the first semester of college helped me understand myself more. I know that in order to succeed you need to make yourself happy first, not anyone else. No matter how important they are to you. College is a tough transition for anyone, no matter how prepared you think you are. And by putting your needs first, it makes the transition a little easier.

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