Grief misunderstood and why everyone needs therapy

Hi! Well, I feel the title of this post is very clear but I shall elaborate. I’m not sure why, but when we hear the word grief we automatically assume (or at least I did) that it equates to a death. After feeling grief that wasn’t in the context of death – and also after my therapist pointed out all the things that I’ve been grieving- I finally came to understand what it means to feel grief and why we all feel it regardless of if someone we love has died. This also leads me into why I believe we all need to go to therapy – or at least we all can benefit from therapy. Before you feel attacked, I’ll explain why.

But first! Let’s talk about grief. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing this word by now, but I really feel that if you truly understand what grief is and what it feels like then maybe you can identify it in your own life. Once you identify it then you can find ways to cope. Grief comes to us throughout our lives. It can be as obvious as a death, a divorce or end of a relationship, but aside from those it is also associated with a loss of any kind. Maybe you lost your job and thus your financial security. Maybe you lost your identity because you were in a toxic relationship and you’re grieving the person you once were. Maybe you are grieving the life you imagined you’d have by this age. Maybe you’re grieving the life you chose because it doesn’t actually align with your values or because you chose it out of fear. Grief comes in so many forms and many moments throughout our lives. It’s important to understand this so you can accurately identify what you are feeling. Like Brene Brown says, “language is important.” Saying you’re mad when at your core you’re actually feeling sadness doesn’t help you properly process your emotions. Or saying I’m not grieving, I’m just upset that my world turned upside down after I got laid off or got divorced is likely not accurately describing your feelings. It’s ok to grieve. It’s ok to say you’re grieving something. It doesn’t mean you’re in bed eating ice cream and wallowing away in self-pity. (though thats perfectly acceptable…oreo blizzards are my choice) Or that you don’t deserve to say you’re grieving because someone didn’t die so you must not have it that bad. People grieve and function every single day! We can call ourselves high-functioning- grievers. But allowing yourself to say that you are grieving is giving yourself grace and compassion when you don’t understand why you don’t quite feel like yourself. You’re not unmotivated or lazy, you’re just feeling the heaviness of grief.

Here’s where therapy comes in. We have been led to believe- and by we I mean me- that therapy is a stuffy little office where you sit on a weird couch facing out, and a therapist busts out a notebook as you start to talk about all your problems. I also believed that therapy was only for people who were weak and had mental problems. Jokes on me. Guess you can all call me crazy lol! After I finally succumbed to the therapy process back in 2020 – right before the world came to a halt – I quickly realized that therapy is nothing like I had imagined. To my surprise it was like a breath of fresh air. I got to sit with a stranger to talk about how people annoy the shit out of me without judgment and I got validated, too! Sign me right up!!! Why didn’t I start this process sooner is what I was thinking. Okay, I’m being partly funny because yes that’s part of therapy, however heavy emotions and trauma are NOT fun or easy to work through, so you’re often left feeling exhausted after. BUT!! it feels so good to actually let it out. You feel like a weight has been lifted and you also learn how to reframe your thoughts when new issues arise. I’m a big believer in this, guys. Im not going to lie, I stopped going after a while because I didn’t want to “feel” what I was dealing with and I think that might be why a lot of people are apprehensive to start as well. Also, I HATE being vulnerable or cry in front of others (ironic since I’ve been crying on almost every podcast, but its not technically in front of anyone) The initial phone consult I had with her I literally said, “I do not like to be vulnerable and I hate crying in front of people, but I’m a cryer and it’s going to happen.” Anyway, back to my point – did I have a point? I don’t remember. I think everyone can benefit from going to therapy because all of us are experiencing or have experienced some form of grief! I believe that my infertility journey sort of paved the way for how to cope with grief (a podcast I plan to get to work on) and now that I’m on a slightly different grieving journey I can use the tools I learned to help myself move forward.

Give yourself the gift of therapy and watch how you quickly you grow ❤️

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