How Do You Recover From Grief?

stages

This is the first time I’ve seen the above graphic about the stages of grief, and I like it sooooo much better than the typical 5 stage process you hear and see everywhere. Those five stages seem to my mind to be overly simplistic.  They don’t account for all the nuances of life, which this covers so well.

I don’t think its straight line either.  There are times that I digress or jump around in the arc, and I’m sure the same is true for you as well.  Everyone is different, and there IS no “set time frame” for you to recover from say a death of  loved one, or ending of a marriage.

I can honestly say though, that every single stage listed above I have gone through, both following my major head injury and my second marriage.  (The first wasn’t near as bad, though there were short times for most of the stages.)  I think the reason the second recovery hit me so hard was:

  1. Something called trauma bonding…see here for more of an explanation.  It’s not just me who is trauma bonded either, but my girls don’t even realize they are.  Of course I can’t tell them anything either; I’m just teaching them to recognize abusers for what they are, and how to stand up to them.  Every time they come back from their father’s, I have to go through a transition time before they act more like the young girls they are inside.
  2. My parents are celebrating their 55th anniversary right now, with a river cruise in France.  55 YEARS.  My older brother a couple years ago celebrated his 25th anniversary with his second wife.  I haven’t even made it to 15…in either marriage.
  3. All through the marriage I was a SAHM.  Before I met her father and Miss J all I had done for work was retail, despite my BA in communications.  with 2 small girls, there was no way I could afford to go back to that and pay childcare and keep a roof over our heads.  So I decided to get an MBA before I (reluctantly) reentered the work force.  Yet no one wants a reluctant employee.  Somewhere along the line, I also decided I didn’t want to help build someone else’s dream….I wanted to build my own.  So now I needed to figure out what that was….a process I’m refining as I go.

Next time, I’ll get into ways to process grief.  Do you think the recovery process working through grief is smooth or messy?  What are your experiences?