Today I’d like to address the issue of grief and the common misperceptions about it.
I ran into a friend the other day who was grieving the loss of her dog. I expressed my condolescences, being an animal lover myself. “No, no,” she assured me, “I am doing just fine. I’m in a new season of my life now, and I really like it.” That might have been believable, had she not been overly exuberant about her new exercise routine and all the changes she was making in her life – almost like she was trying to talk herself into being “okay” about her loss.
Some people claim that God does not want us to be sad or get depressed. This is what I don’t believe. God gave us various emotions for a reason, so we could feel all the highs and lows that life dishes out. Even Jesus wept and grieved. I don’t believe we are to always be happy. Nice goal, but totally inaccurate.
What I do believe is that we live in the real world. Sometimes it is great and we are able to grab the brass ring. Other times, it is human to have feelings on the negative side. It is okay to be human. It is not okay to always put on a brave front. It is not okay to deny yourself feelings. Besides, it is how you act on those feelings, and not the feelings themselves, that is important.
September is National Mental Health Month. Speaking of that, I’d like to quickly address the subject of depression. There is a type of depression that has nothing to do with what’s going on in your life (situational). Some depression is caused by imbalances in the brain. That kind of depression (major depression) and other mental illnesses cannot simply be swept under the rug or denied — much like I could not wish away the cancer that my body came down with four years ago.
Just to recap my opinion about grief…to get over a loss, walk right through it. Sure, it’s going to hurt. But living in denial of your feelings can have negative consequences in your future, too.
- Grieving for self after divorce (almostspring.com)
- this is a post about mental illness. (theimperfectpeach.wordpress.com)
- Diabetes and Depression (thebetesblog.com)
- Depression: Being candid in the face of stigmatization (loveisart26.wordpress.com)
- The 10 Stupidest Things You Can Say To A Depressed Person (thoughtcatalog.com)
- Wait, There’s How Many Types Of Depression? (kimjolock.wordpress.com)
- What It’s Like To Live With Depression (setoshino.wordpress.com)
- 7 Ways to Help Someone Who is Grieving. ~ Ann Nichols (elephantjournal.com)
- Grief. Grieve. Grieving. Grieved. (adventurethoughts.wordpress.com)
- Coping with Grief and Abandonment Part I (boundaryninjatales.com)