I get asked, "Why is grieving so hard?" My reply is always answered by asking, "Tell me, what you were taught about grieving?" I usually get that deer in the headlights look, and the look is followed by a deep breath ... Eventually, the person begins to stammer and states, "Well ... people always tell me time will heal the pain."
TIME. Let's take a look at that for a minute. Time is simply a tool. Time has no power to heal, it does what time does, it slowly ticks by ... It's what we do with that precious time that will make the difference. If we are coasting down the highway, and our front tire blows out, do we simply sit there and think, "Ah, just give it time, it'll re-inflate."
No, we don't. We have to take the action steps to change the tire. We either change it ourselves, or we call for help and someone comes and changes it for us. Our problems are solved when we take action to correct them.
Take a look at the photo - Look at the woman a little closer. She is alone & isolated, along with boxes of emotional baggage. Most likely, she bought the myth that time heals all wounds. It's sad to think about how many of us are guilty of doing this exact thing. She is just sitting there with bags of grudges, fear, and loss. All boxed up neatly, so she can drag them around from place to place.
She most likely has a box of grudges as she may have fallen for another myth. There are plenty of fish in the sea ... a.k.a. Replace the Loss. Maybe she was married once, and the marriage ended, her heart was shattered, and she needed a friend to talk to about the details. This may have gone on for days, weeks, or months. Her well-intended friend, not knowing how to handle her tears, and roller-coaster emotions advises her to get back out there and start seeing other people.
So, she finds the courage and meets someone new. The infactuations process begins, and once it's over, the relationship ends and she now has two losses to heal. She now has become fearful of getting her heart broken, and so a new eliment of grief is added. Fear often leads us into a place called, Isolation.
I mean let's get real here ... We isolate because we soon realize that those we trusted with our pain, were not able to handle our pain, much less give us the tools we need to heal from loss. They took us shopping to try and cheer us up. In recovery, we call that Retail Therapy. Yes, we feel good when we wear that new outfit, or buy that new car, but eventually, all that unresolved pain resurfaces, and those old tapes begin to play. We are right back to where we began. In all that emotional pain. Now we have a credit card or a loan to payoff, which adds to our burdens.
Sadly, many of us find ourselves doing exactly what mom taught us ... Remember this? "Here, eat something, you'll feel better." So, we eat. Yes, this works along the same lines as retail therapy. We feel that sugar rush, and we do feel better for a little while. Once the sugar rush plummets, we feel like crap again. Be honest, we do the same with alcohol, drugs, excercise, work, gambling, and sadly, many fall in to the pit of addictions.
Being strong for others is another myth we tend to hold on to. How's that working? Eventually, while you're being strong, some innocent person comes along and says or does the wrong thing, and that old cliche' kicks in ... The straw that broke the camels back! You snap, and unload every ounce of emotional baggage until enough pressure is off, and you go back to being strong. Now you have an anger problem. No, I am not talking about the Stages of Grief. Anger is deeply rooted between the mind and the heart, and it begins to shut down you ability to feel ... Your heart is getting harder, and you may joke about how you cannot stand to be around people any more because people are crazy.
PAUSE - Look at the world right now. The world is filled with hurting people. You know what? Hurting people, hurt people. (Read that again)
Maybe we seek professional help. So we spends months in front of a counselor, and they end up prescribing pills to make us feel better. We end up spending thousands of dollars over the course of months and years, because we feel as though someone is finally listening. Maybe we feel understood for the first time. What tools are they giving us to teach us about future losses? More pills? More office visits? I know I fell for this when I was going through one of the darkest seasons of loss I have ever had ... I spent thousands of dollars, pouring out my heart - I took those pills, and the side effects were suicidal thoughts. Really?? I trusted someone enough to pay hard earned money, and I ended up with suicidal thoughts? Hardest lesson of my life. Now, I had developed trust issues. Now what?
I tried all those so called support groups. You know, those places where we gather over cookies and bad coffee to pour our hearts out to one another. I left feeling worse as I would catch myself comparing my losses to those in the group. They were doing the same thing. We all cried, and tried to encourage one another, but we all left still dragging around all those emotional bags.
It all boils down to the fact that we do not know what to do to recover all that pain. Well, until you decide to stop believing everything you've been told or taught about the grieving process. You decide the pain of dragging those boxes has gotten too heavy. You have free will and you you can make the choice, when you're ready.
I made the choice back in 2012. I went to a Grief Recovery Specialist. I unlearned everything I was taught, advised to do, and stopped believing I had to be strong. I made the choice to do the work I was gifted, not given. I have applied those very tools to every loss I have had to endure since then.
Here is just a small sample of what I was able to recover:
Loss of a sister, who died in a sudden car wreck in 1987
Loss of a father who committed suicide in 1991
Loss of safety, from an abusive alcoholic step-father
Loss of a 33 year marriage that ended in betrayal
Loss of trust
Loss of the home I cared for my children and aging mother
Loss of mother in 2008
Loss of career and finances
Loss of identity as I realised I had nothing left. Empty nest.
Loss of dreams
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have lost 22 family and friends to death since 2020. I used those same tools to help me heal my broken heart. I was able to heal from all those could have, would have and should have's we all sense when loss occurs. No regrets in my bags to this day.
I see grieving souls everywhere I go. I see you somehow, reading this and wondering to yourself is recovery even possible. I can honestly testify, yes. Recovery is possible and I am living proof. I remember the days of isolation, using alcohol, shopping, eating my emotions, then starving myself due to the weight gain. God! Do I remember the day I looked in the mirror and didn't even recognize the woman staring back at me. I remember the anger I used as a shield to keep people away from me because I feared being hurt, again. The people I loved the most ... felt my rage I was battling. I made ammends and asked for their forgiveness. Hearts were mended, relationships renewed.
New dreams were birthed, new friendships made. I learned to trust again, and learned to love again. I stopped taking everything personal and learned the meaning of staying in my own lane. I experienced for the first time, how it felt to be heard, and understood. I was given the gift of compassion because of it. Now, I help others who are in deep pain, like I was, begin the healing process. Only when they're ready.
You may have to do some things mentioned here for yourself. I can assure you, you'll regret it. We cannot change our past, but we can learn and grow into a future where pain doesn't effect us like it does now. I chose to be a part of the change I'd like to see in this hurting world. I want to see people healed, set free from the bondage of pain, fear, and regrets. No more isolating, no need to be strong, no comparing and no judegements.
You decide. Do you want to be healed? If so, let's discuss where you're at in all that pain. Schedule your free consult, see for yourself how recovery works, and decide. I offer flexible hours, Zoom calls if we can't meet in person, groups, and one on one sessions. https://www.kimwolfe.net/contact-kim
I am current with all trainings through The Grief Recovery Institute. You can read more here: https://www.griefrecoverymethod.com/grms/kimberly-wolfe I encourage you to read about the Grief Recovery Method and the Evidence Based Report here: https://www.griefrecoverymethod.com/evidence-based
This method works, and now you have proof. Do your own research and let me know if you'd like to get started healing. I look forward to hearing your story.
From my heart, to yours ... Kim