The anxiety of loss; the loss of anxiety, Part I

3-stress

After experiencing a loss – the loss of a loved one or another major loss such as the loss of one’s health – anxiety is going to be a part of the experience. Loss raises questions that we aren’t comfortable with: How can I live without her? How can my life have meaning without him? How can I carry on knowing that I have a terminal illness? Who can I turn to for help? Will I be alone for the rest of my life? Who will care for me when I can’t care for myself?  These are profound questions and often have no immediate answers, making the anxiety even more intense.

How can we move to address these questions? How can we move through the anxiety towards an experience of acceptance and calm?

Slowly.

anxiety_cause_weight_loss-compressedThe first, and I think most crucial step, is compassion for oneself. “I have had, am having, a very difficult time. I need to find ways to nurture myself while I find my way through this.” I think too often we wait for things to calm down, sort themselves out. We wait until we have some kind of resolution, answer, or degree of healing before we give ourselves permission to just take time out and be with ourselves in gentle acceptance. We wait for someone else to step in and give us the answer, support, consolation we so desperately need. The trouble is we might never get it. So what we have to do is find ways, simple, immediate ways to console ourselves, to capture a few moments of peace, to find space to breathe. It won’t solve our problems or take away our grief and pain, but it will help us as we move slowly through the anxiety, stress, grief and loss.

Suggestions to follow in Part II of this post.

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About Mona

I am a wife and mother, a once-Catholic now UCC Christian, with a degree in Theology, a Masters in Religious Education, 27 years of theology teaching experience -- mainly High School, some College. I am now working as a Hospital Chaplain and feeling humbled and privileged every day. I love my family and I love to write; writing helps keep me sane. Published writing: • From Hurt To Healing, Publish America 2004, ebook on Amazon, 2011; •"Forgive and Forget," America Magazine, September 16, 2002; •"From Victim to Victimizer," Human Development Magazine, Summer 2005; • It's Just Not Fair, Introducing The Fairly-Good Mother, ebook at Amazon, 2011; • Traces of Hope: Surviving Grief and Loss, March 2015, St. Johann Press http://www.amazon.com/Traces-Hope-Surviving-Grief-Loss/dp/1937943275
This entry was posted in anxiety, depression, empathy, grief, loss, meaning, Suffering and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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