Grieving Yourself

Namaste Starlights βœ¨πŸ’œ,

Grief is a peculiar thing. When we think about grief, we usually think about it in the context of life and death. But what we often don’t talk about is how much grief we can experience through the human experience.

I remember feeling grief for the first time at the age of 10 years old over a move. It felt it like I was losing everything that was close to me at that moment.

We can grieve from moves, the loss of relationships (romantic, platonic, or familial), and even bigger still, the loss of self.
When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) when I was 29 years young, it felt like I had to reconfigure my entire identity. What would this mean for the rest of my life? Would I still be able to do things I wanted? Would I still find (romantic) love? Would I lose my independence? All these questions and more began to swirl around in my head.

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness leaves you feeling like you “lost” who you were before.

And I’ll be honest, I still grieve that I’m not where I had hoped to be at this time in my life.

And I want to normalize that that is okay.

Living in a Western and capitalistic society I think are fire starters to grief. People are no longer able to afford rent, a mortgage, vacations, food, or a family.

Of course, we’re going to grieve those losses and the dreams we had for ourselves.

Allow yourself to be upset, cry, and feel it in your body. Scream if you have to. And in this crazy day and age, it is so important to find joy and peace in the small things.

Stretching your body, a good cup of tea, and sharing laughter with a loved one. All the while, learning that you never lost yourself, but you developed into a version of yourself you have to get to know.

A version that is worth love and acceptance.
Most people are familiar with the 5 stages of griefΒ (KΓΌbler-Ross model):

1. Anger
2. Depression
3. Bargaining
4. Denial
5. Acceptance

These stages are in no particular order, and they can tend to repeat themselves.

What is lesser known is Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning, which I believe is also important to recognize when dealing with grief.

Task 1: To Accept Reality of the Loss
Task 2: To Process the Pain of Grief
Task 3: To Adjust to the World Without the Deceased
Task 4: To Find an Enduring Connection With the Deceased in the Midst of Embarking on a New Life

In processing the grief of our self, Task 3 could be changed to, “To Adjust to the World With the Loss of Self”. Task 4 could be changed to, “To Find an Enduring Connection With Ourselves in the Midst of Embarking on a New Life”.

Since being diagnosed with MS, I’ve come to accept the reality of it on a cognitive level, then process the pain by being in my own therapy and allowing myself to process it somatically. Feeling the grief in my body, identifying with it and just allowing the tears to flow.Β  Being that I was diagnosed with MS right before the pandemic hit, I had to adjust pretty quickly to what life having MS looked like. Finally, I’ve been connecting with myself and learning who I am now with MS.

I’m still on this journey, but I share this with others who also feel like they may be grieving themselves, whether it is a new diagnosis, your life not being where you want it to be, or losing some part of your identity.

You deserve it to yourself to heal.
– Kamillah

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