How do you know if you are grieving??? If you have suffered a loss through the death of a loved one and don't feel "normal", you are probably grieving. If you exhibit or are feeling any or all of the following symptoms, you are dealing with grief. Symptoms: * Feel physically drained * Out of emotional control - feel good one minute; in the pits the next * Can't eat - food makes you sick. People tend to lose up to 40 pounds while grieving * Susceptible to illnesses * "Zombie Effect" Feelings shut down due to your body's natural coping mechanism * Brain is scrambled; can't think clearly or remember things * Cry continuously * Can't cry -- bottle it up (it will come out years later as problems) * Stay extremely busy so as not to have time to think * Drink too much * Take too many drugs * Can't sleep at night * Take naps frequently and are constantly tired * Sigh a lot * Talk about it over and over and dwell on it every moment * Lose interest in work; house; physical appearance * Neglect personal hygiene (don't brush teeth, take regular baths, or wash hair very often) * Don't care that you aren't taking care of yourself * Fantasize about the past * Suffer from extreme loneliness * Have lots of guilt about things you did or didn't do * Lack of interest in sex * Engage in self-criticism * Have a huge hole in your heart and soul * Relive and rehash scenes, conversations * Think you will never recover from your loss * Suffer from severe depression * See no reason to exist
| The Tasks of Grief
These are the tasks you must accomplish in order to work through your grief. It isn't always easy, and each person must accomplish these tasks in his or her own time. But each task must be accomplished in order for you to heal and move on with your life.
| You must accept the reality of your loss. You must talk about the loss until you accept it. The more you talk about it, the more you will realize that the loss is real - that the person is really gone and will not come back.
| TASK 2
| You must allow yourself to experience the pain of grief. You must accept the painful reality and finality of the loss. If you don't, your grief will keep resurfacing throughout your life and interfere with a healthy emotional state of being. You have to feel the pain. You can't avoid the pain. It will hurt. You will feel awful. But this pain must be felt in order for you to work through the pain and heal. If you push the pain away and refuse to feel it, it will fester for years and affect your entire future.
| TASK 3
| You must learn to adjust to an environment in which the loved one is missing. You have to return to places you went together. You have to spend time in your home without this person. You have to encounter each aspect of your life without that person. It will be hard. You will need to learn new skills and tasks in order to assume responsibility for your own life. You have to learn to function without the person at home and in your everyday life. In other words, you must keep going. You can't withdraw from the world. The first time you go to a place, or experience a holiday without them, or do an activity you shared with your lost love will be the worst. After that, it will get better.
| TASK 4
| Finally, after you have grieved all you need to grieve, you have to begin to withdraw emotional energy that you are investing in your grieving and the focus you have on your loss, and invest it in new relationships If, after a reasonable amount of time you constantly relive your relationship with the person), constantly go over "what I did wrong" and "what I should have done differently", and refuse to try to move on with your life, you are investing too much energy in your grieving. The support and encouragement of a loving family and a good support group is necessary in order to move on with your life. New friends and...
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