Hi ya’ll! I apologize for not being able to get a post out. Doctoral school has been insanely busy. Emails to publishers, doing statistical analysis, reviewing the quality of research studies, etc. It’s kept me more busy than I have wanted to be, but it’s a good thing. I have been meaning to write to ya’ll about the final stage of grief: acceptance. I decided to take some time off from the academics this morning to do just this.
Let’s talk about the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, bargaining, anger, guilt, depression, and acceptance. Those of us who have lost some we dearly loved know these stages quite well. Hell, I didn’t even have to look them up. Pretty much an expert on each of those. When you lose a dearly loved one, you do go through each of those stages. It doesn’t happen in any specific order and sometimes you regress and hit several stages more than once, twice, three times, etc. It’s a true roller coaster.
Through my journey of grief, I found that I spent most of my time in the anger and depression stages. The anger stage took me about seven months to get out of. The depression stage, well I am still in it. Still medicated for that. This stage got me a diagnosis of insomnia, generalized anxiety disorder, binge eating disorder, and major depressive disorder. All straight out of the DSM-5. I was given two different sleeping medications and the highest dose of an anxiety/depression combined medication. All of these I still take and don’t see myself getting off of them any time soon. I went through two different therapists with weekly sessions for over a year. I almost got sent to the ER for an evaluation and an eating disorder clinic, both of which I begged and talked my therapists out of. I was irrational, angry, not of sound mind, and wanted to end it all. I didn’t care about me or any of the accomplishments I have made in life. I had no pride. I was worthless and not deserving of anything or anyone. I tried self harm….many times. Alcohol….went there just once, then never again. Point being: My grief story is intense. Many of your grief stories are quite the same. Grief is intense. It’s all consuming. I wish it on no one.
Two months ago, I relocated far away from where my “home” was. It took this life altering change to snap me back into things. I am slowly recovering from my depression. I am a work in progress. I will get there. Stages still come and go, but I can pull myself out of them more easily now. I believe I have finally hit the acceptance stage. I can say, “You know what, my parents are dead. They aren’t coming back. That’s the fact. They are gone. I still love them like mad, but they aren’t here in person anymore. They won’t be at anything I do.” I can now tell people more freely that my parents have passed away. Before, I used to clam up and never talk when people asked what my parents did. Now, I am able to talk about how they died, how it happened, and what happened to me when it happened. I have come to the conclusion that I have a survivor story to tell, so why not tell it? Why should I be ashamed that my parents have died. It wasn’t something I could control. I should be proud of myself for surviving both of their deaths at a very young age. And you know what, I am. None of my attempts to end it all went through. I should be proud of that. And you know what, you should be proud of yourself too. You are a survivor. We can play a “victim of life” role so easily. But, we must change our mindsets. We are not victims. We are survivors. All of you enduring grief right now remember that. You are a survivor of the hardest circumstance any human being can ever go through. You lost a piece of your heart and you survived. You ARE a survivor.