Dealing with loss can be one of the most difficult things that you have to do in your life. Whether it’s due to somebody passing away, or whether a relationship with somebody (and not necessarily a romantic one) has dissolved, you can really feel like a piece of you is now missing.
All of those things that you used to share with that person are now going around in your head, and you don’t really know what to do with them. Whilst loss and grieving is by no means a linear process, there are some things that you can do to help yourself to heal, and we’ve noted them down here.
Don’t keep your emotions to yourself
The worst thing that you can do when you’re faced with loss is to keep your feelings to yourself, and whilst it can be hard to put them into words, talking to somebody is a really important part of the healing process.
Whether you go and see a therapist – which can be good if you don’t want to talk to your family members and friends about this – or you just try to speak to your loved ones, do your best to get your feelings out into the open. If you don’t do this, they will just eat you up, and it can make your grief a lot worse. Beginning to talk is the hardest part, but it is well worth making that first difficult step.
Write things down
Another way to deal with your feelings is to write them down, and this can be a better option for those who don’t really want to open up to the people around them. There’s something cathartic about this whole process; buying yourself a brand new journal, and just filling it will all of the things that you’re not quite ready to say out loud.
You don’t ever have to read this again if you don’t want to, and you can just lock it away, or even just put it into the trash when you feel like you’re ready to say goodbye to it. A problem shared is a problem halved, but so is a problem that is written down.
Don’t punish yourself for being sad
A lot of people – especially men – believe that being sad about loss is something that is pretty embarrassing, and an emotion that shouldn’t be expressed. Some people believe that they’re burdening others by being emotional, or that there’s no point in talking about it.
Whatever your reasoning is for denying yourself the right to have emotions, it’s important to understand that this will never help you in the long-run. Repressing them further can cause your loss to be a lot more prolonged, so instead of punishing yourself for being sad, let yourself feel. Loss affects everybody – in different ways – and this is completely fine.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
When faced with loss, you can feel like your life is pretty pointless now. A lot of us wonder how we’re ever going to live without that person, and what the point is in carrying on without them. This leads a lot of people to drink away their emotions, instead of facing them face on, as this can be a lot less painful.
However, this really does only prolong your suffering, and you can’t get around the grief this way. You do just have to go through it, and whilst numbing yourself with drugs and alcohol can be attractive at the time, make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of doing something like this.
Think about your future
Whilst thinking about your own future can be difficult – or may even seem impossible – in the face of loss, it’s important to think about what you can do to turn the emotions into something more positive, over time. For example, what can you do to carry on the legacy of the person that you’ve lost?
What would they want you to do? Wouldn’t they want you to be happy, out there making the most of the life that you’ve got? Whilst you can’t just take on this attitude straight away, start to think about something positive that you can do with your future. What would your lost loved one tell you if they were here?
In short, dealing with loss can be one of the most difficult things that you have to do, and it can consume you for a long time. This is fine, as grief is totally natural, and you need to go through its various stages to get to a more positive place in the future. Try to keep these things in mind, so that you can get on the road to healing.