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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A Love Letter To The Girl Who Cares Too Much About Everyone But Herself

You, the girl with a heart full of love and no place big enough to store it all.

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Our generation is so caught up in this notion that it's "cool" not to care about anything or anyone. I know you've tried to do just that.

I'm sure there was a brief moment where you genuinely believed you were capable of not caring, especially since you convinced everyone around you that you didn't. But that just isn't true, is it? Don't be ashamed of this, don't let anyone ridicule you for having emotions.

After everything life has put you through, you have still remained soft.

This is what makes you, you. This is what makes you beautiful. You care so deeply and love so boldly and it is incredible, never let the world take this from you.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You are the girl who will give and give and give until you have absolutely nothing left. Some may see this as a weakness, an inconvenience, the perfect excuse to walk all over you. I know you try to make sense of it all, why someone you cared so much about would treat you the way they did.

You'll make excuses for them, rationalize it and turn it all around on yourself.

You'll tell yourself that maybe just maybe they will change even though you know deep down they won't. You gave them everything you had and it still feels as if they took it all and ran. When this happens, remind yourself that you are not a reflection of those who cannot love you. The way that people treat you does not define who you are. Tell yourself this every day, over and over until it sticks. Remind yourself that you are gold, darling, and sometimes they will prefer silver and that is OK.

I know you feel guilty when you have to say no to something, I know you feel like you are letting everyone you love down when you do. Listen to me, it is not your responsibility to tend to everyone else's feelings all the time. By all means, treat their feelings with care, but remember it is not the end of the world when you cannot help them right away.

Remember that it is OK to say no.

You don't have to take care of everyone else all the time. Sometimes it's OK to say no to lunch with your friends and just stay home in bed to watch Netflix when you need a minute for yourself. I know sometimes this is much easier said than done because you are worried about letting other people down, but please give it a try.

With all of this, please remember that you matter. Do not be afraid to take a step back and focus on yourself. You owe yourself the same kind of love and patience and kindness and everything that you have given everyone else. It is OK to think about and put yourself first. Do not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You are so incredibly loved even when it doesn't feel like it, please always remember that. You cannot fill others up when your own cup is empty. Take care of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Charcoal Alley

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College Is NOT The Place To Be A Perfectionist, In Fact, It's Nearly Impossible

Accept it and move on.

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Life is hard for a perfectionist, and it only gets harder if it keeps itself up.

There is such little room for a perfectionist to mess up, and college is full of mess ups. That's why no one should expect themselves to keep entertaining the thought of perfection past high school. You can always chase it and never reach it, or you can work as hard as you can and get exactly where you want to be.

I was a perfectionist my entire life.

People always criticized me for it and said it would come back to bite me later. Of course, I never believed them because it worked out in my favor. I was getting where I needed to be and all the self-discipline is what I assumed got me there. Fast-forwarding to the present, they were right. It did come back to bite me. Actually, it is biting me.

I was setting myself up for failure all that time and I ignored it. I was only after perfection up until college because it wasn't that hard to obtain. I didn't have to study and I had time for my friends. But then things got harder out of nowhere and I was not prepared at all to shift the standards I had for myself.

As a perfectionist, I constantly compared myself to other people and made sure I was doing better than the next guy, or at least just as well. That didn't work for long. I stopped competing with others because I learned that no one is worth beating if they aren't even chasing the same goal. And that helped me learn to quit competing against myself, too, because we're on the same team.

Freshman year of college, I almost pulled it off. The perfectionist in me nearly won. Then I started reasoning with myself and I figured out I had limits to what I could handle and I stopped pushing myself past them.

There are sacrifices that have to be made in reaching success.

College is like the triangle you can only pick two things from. On it might be grades, free time, and work, and you have to give up free time to have a job and good grades. A perfectionist will try so hard to get all three, and they may be able to at first. But it catches up with you.

Then there are other times where you're lucky to get one piece of the triangle. It's a game of going back and forth and testing patience in the pursuit of greatness.

I may end up with an "A" in a class because I only studied for that one exam, and in return, I might fail a quiz that same week. It would have bothered me to not evenly distribute my time and to not do perfectly on all of it, but it's actually OK. And the job that may take up way too much of my time will look really good on my resume and the time I didn't have to enjoy myself won't matter later.

And as bad as they seem at one particular moment, sacrifices are worth it in the end. Some things just carry more weight than others and the further I've gotten, the more I've figured it out. And I just try to remember that when I reach the point where I've gotten exactly where I wanted to be, no one is going to ever know what I had to give up to get there. And there's even a chance I won't remember either.

As long as I'm actually trying as hard as I can and I learn from every hiccup and mistake, things will work out the way they should.

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