change-and-loss-image 15 Sep 2017

Anxiety

If one thing is certain (probably!) about living on this planet, it is that things change and loss is inevitable.  Everyday dusk falls and the day is lost at it gives way to nightfall. Some time later night is lost to a brand new day.

We live in time.

When things change and time brings us a new present there is always at least some kind of loss of what was before. Sometimes the change and loss are almost unnoticeable. At others they are huge, unmissable and inescapable. Some changes are slow, gradual and predictable. Others sudden and unexpected. Some bring happiness and the loss of unhappiness, others bring sadness, even trauma and loss of happiness.

Psychotherapy for help with awful feelings doesn’t mean we are going mad although it can feel like we are and we have to remind ourselves that facts and feelings don’t always coincide!

Similarly, losing a loved one, usually feels utterly impossible for those left behind when she, he or they, have died, no matter what their beliefs about an afterlife might be. It can feel so deeply distressing that we can start behaving as if we were clinically depressed not eating properly, sleeping badly and unable to function for feeling overwhelmed emotionally.

But there is nothing unhealthy about this kind of sadness. Grief is such a difficult process to bear, but in fact, as the measure of our feeling of love, it is one of the most naturally human experiences that we ever have in life. It may feel unbearable at the time, but in fact, for most of us it actually and eventually isn’t. In time it gradually lets us go as we let our loved ones go.

Of course it is a matter of degree, but expressions and effects of grief, as intense as they are, are rarely symptoms of mental illness they are the products of our mentally healthy love for our lost loved ones. There would be something wrong with us if we didn’t feel profoundly affected by their passing knowing that nothing will ever be the same again.

Blog written by Caroline Cairns Clery, Family Psychotherapist at The Surrey Centre

For more information on Carrie, visit: surreycentreforcounselling.com/theteam

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