Tag Archives: depression

Stages of Grief-Depression & Acceptance

The last stages of the grieving process are depression and acceptance. Here are links to my depressionposts on denial, anger, and guilt. As always, these emotions are perfectly normal at this time, but if your depression is debilitating, please seek professional help.

Depression During the Grieving Process

You can expect to be depressed for a while. You may have trouble sleeping, lose your appetite, and feel lethargic and sad. Little things will probably send you over the edge at times. You may not feel like being around others, but this can be dangerous-don’t close yourself off. I tended to keep to myself too much and it only makes your sadness worse.

After awhile, these symptoms should lessen somewhat. You’ll still occasionally feel all of these things during the grieving process, but as long as you’re able to function except for the occasional day, you’re probably normal.

It’s hard to put a time frame on how long you’ll be depressed because everyone is different and it also depends on the relationship you had with the loved one. If, for example, it’s your partner, you’re probably going to be grieving for the lost plans for the future that you had with them, too. That’s what happened to me. But once you’re able to get past that (acceptance), you’ll find that eventually you can make new plans for your future.

I’m by no means an expert, but in my opinion, if your depression lasts for several months with no lessening, then you should see a doctor to make sure you haven’t fallen into a major depression. Here’s a link to an article that has more information on that.

Acceptance

As hard as it is to believe when you’re loss is new, one day you will reach acceptance of the acceptancesituation and find ways to begin to live life, hopefully on your own terms. You’ll always miss them, but you have to move on eventually.

I still think about my husband and my boyfriend every day, but for the most part, my thoughts aren’t sad. You’ll find that the dark times are less and less and when they do pay you a visit, it’s much easier to overcome and continue on with your day.

Eventually, you are going to start enjoying some of the things you used to enjoy and may even get excited over plans for your new life. If that’s the case, be happy, don’t let guilt get in your way. It’s okay to live your life. That’s what they would want.

Moving on doesn’t mean that you should forget your loved one; far from it. My boyfriend was 9 years older than me and in bad health. He knew that he’d die before me and he told me that he didn’t want me to sit at home and pine away for him. He wanted me to get out there and be happy. I’ve tried to honor that wish, and I guess you could say that I’m grateful to him for his “permission”.

With that said, I’m not really sure if the grieving process is ever truly over. You may always deal with some of these stages, but it won’t be as severe. And you CAN be happy again.

grieving process - acceptance

Check out these 7 tips to help get through your grief.

How to Get Through a Slump

Do you ever get in a slump? I sure do, more often than I’d like to admit. There are different types of slumps: afternoon, creative, and just general depressive slumps.

Of course, an afternoon slump sucks, but you get through it pretty easily by eating a healthy snack or taking a walk. Other types of slumps generally take longer to get through than just an hour or two.depressive slump

If you’re not just having a setback, but a recurring problem with depression, please seek professional help. Depression can be so debilitating.

Getting into a Slump

Does any of this sound familiar? You’ve decided to try something new and are having trouble learning the ropes or everything you try seems to fail. You try to consider others’ feelings but no one takes you seriously or considers how you might feel. You’re not bringing in the kind of money you thought you would at this point in your life. You don’t feel appreciated. And so on.

My latest slump was last week and the week before. I’ve had to make a decision about going back to work. I really don’t want to. I love being home in the mornings, getting my honey off to work, and then doing my data entry and writing. I’m trying so hard to be successful in life on my own terms and sometimes it feels like I’m hitting my head against a brick wall.

Once I decided to go back to work, which will probably happen next month, I immediately stopped trying with my other online income sources. I felt like what’s the point, everything I try fails anyway. I totally lost my motivation and started taking naps during the day. Once I realized what was going on I decided to try to straighten up and accept my decision. I have been doing much better since.

This led me to start reading blogs about other peoples’ slumps, which led me to write this post. Chris McCombs’ post was quite interesting. I’m no expert but I think I do have some insight about depression and creative slumps.

Why do we allow this to happen?

When things aren’t going as expected, I think we tend to forget what we have going for us in our lives and focus on the bad areas. We allow ourselves to get down, feel like a failure, stop trying, etc. Many times we don’t even realize the road we’re heading down until we’ve been down it for a while. It just seems to happen unawares.

To understand how and why we allow ourselves to get into a slump, we have to really search the situation and our emotions. The following are some reasons I have come up with as to why this happens:

  • We don’t realize that we can learn from our losses as well as our successes.
  • We don’t expect enough from ourselves and give up too easily. When things don’t go as expected or as we hoped we automatically feel like a failure. Lack of confidence is a huge problem for many of us.
  • We expect too much from ourselves and set ourselves up to lose. We want instant success, and when we don’t attain it, we become discouraged.
  • We want to be recognized for our efforts and successes and when we don’t receive this acceptance we become depressed.

These are just a few examples of how we allow a slump to take form and control our lives. If we let it, this lack of confidence and feelings of non-acceptance becomes a trend and our self-esteem takes a huge hit. But there are ways to help get through a slump and sometimes avoid allowing our negative feelings from entering.

How to get Through or Avoid a Slump

There’s no way to always avoid a slump. It’s going to happen, but maybe we can control the length and depth of occasional crashes. I realize it can be very difficult to overcome, but here are some suggestions that I hope will help you through or to avoid a slump altogether:

  • Make a plan. Writing lists helps me immensely. It gets my thoughts on paper and out of my mind. It allows me to get perspective on what exactly I’m trying to accomplish and what steps I need to take to get there.
  • Make a backup plan. Understand that your first plan may not help you achieve your goal and you’ll have to make changes.
  • Remember that this is a learning period and you’re not a failure. You’re a work in progress.learning period
  • Be one with nature. Go to a peaceful place and be aware of what’s around you. Take notes and pictures. Seeing the beauty of the world can really help put things in perspective and give you a fresh outlook.
  • Look up inspirational quotes and put them on sticky notes all over the place. Try to find inspiration and beauty everywhere you look.
  • Help others and you will be an inspiration to each other. When we’re able to help someone else I think it helps us to see that we have worth and it shows them that they have worth as well.
  • Meditate or pray.
  • Put a smile on your face. Easier said than done, right? For a long time I forgot about this one. I used to always say “fake it til you make it” and smile even when I wasn’t feeling it. And it did help. I would eventually really feel happy. This is something I need to work on again.
  • Remember that an occasional slump is normal and will pass. Don’t allow it to take over your daily life.
  • Avoid negative people and situations when possible. Negative people will feed off of your negativity and it will make you feel worse. Happy people can be contagious as well.
  • Start a grateful journal, listing all the things that are good in your life.

Speaking of Being Grateful

I know the tips above are hard to incorporate into your life, especially when you’re in a slump. I struggle with them myself. In an effort to improve my attitude, I wrote a post about finding gratitude. I hope it helps.

If you are really trying to accomplish something in your life, even if it doesn’t go as planned, it’s not a failure. It’s a time for you to learn what does and doesn’t work, learn more about yourself, and maybe even begin to search for your purpose. These are not bad, they are character-building. Remember that there’s going to be ups and downs in life and that happiness is a choice.

Have any of these suggestions helped you? Please let me know.

Stages of Grief-Denial is Normal

This is the first in a series of articles I’m writing on the stages of grief. I wish I could offer an easy way to get through the grieving process. There’s no magic potion, but I hope I can be of help with advice and understanding.

*Update 7/9/2016: Here’s where you can find my posts on the other stages of grief-anger, guilt, depression & acceptance.stages of grief

While some models consider there to be 5 stages of grief, others say 7. As I see it, there are 5 stages of grief, denial being the first of these. The other stages are anger, guilt/bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I’m not an expert but I have gone through the death of a partner twice and these are the stages in which I struggled.

Denial is the universal, absolute stage that everyone goes through. No one goes through every stage the same way. Some may be in denial for a month or two while others may get past it quickly; there’s no time limit. As long as you don’t lose grip on reality denial is perfectly normal. It guards and assists you in this first phase of your new life.

Denial presents itself in different ways. You may reject the idea that your loved one is gone; someone got their information wrong. You may think that any moment they will walk through the door and everything will have been a huge mistake. Sometimes we have to see our departed to be certain, and even then it can be too hard to accept.

As you’re making arrangements and attending the visitation and funeral, you may be on auto pilot. You know they’re gone and you’re heartbroken, but the whole thing still hasn’t sunk in yet. This is another form of denial. You’re not refusing to believe what has happened but you won’t let yourself reflect on your situation too much, either. You’re just getting through what has to be done. This is the mind’s way of protection, keeping you from dealing with too much shock at once.

As life goes on, you still may not allow yourself to think about what’s happened. It may take a while to get to the point where you can do so and allow yourself to deal with the raw grief. That kind of grief is powerful and scary. Denial allows you to get through the initial shock and still keep yourself together, giving you time to absorb what has happened and reach acceptance.

This first stage of grief is normal, and in my opinion, necessary. It temporarily protects you from the terrible truth, allowing you to muddle through until you’re emotionally strong enough to deal with what has happened.

Those close to you may not know what to say or do during this time, but don’t deal with your grief alone. Even though this stage is normal, as always, please seek professional help if your loss is too powerful to deal with on your own.  There are also support groups and websites with loads of information on grief. Although this journey is your own, it is helpful to know that the emotions you’re experiencing are normal and others are going through similar situations.

For more information visit grief.com or another of the many websites dealing with this issue.