Grief is hard because it is the process of saying goodbye to someone or something you love. It can also be incredibly draining and frustrating.
It’s critical to understand how to move beyond grief and what can happen when you dwell on it too much. While your grief may never be fully gone, you don’t want to get stuck in it, either. The more you can move through the grieving process, the better off you’ll be.
If you are struggling to move beyond your grief, know that you are not alone. Here are some common reasons why grief is so difficult, what can happen when you can’t move forward, and how you can cope with it.
Grief Is A Natural Response To Loss
Grief is a part of life, but it can be an overwhelming experience. It is a natural reaction to the unfortunate loss of a loved one, relationship, or something else that was once important to us. Grieving allows us to process our feelings and come to terms with the loss.
It can be hard because it takes time to move through the feeling, and there is no timeline for how long it should take. Each individual experiences grief differently.
The Stages Of Grief
The grieving process can vary, but it is often described in different stages, such as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The stages of grief are not linear—you may experience them in a different order, or you could move back and forth between two or more stages.
The time it takes to pass through each stage can vary drastically between individuals, or someone may not experience some of them at all. Even if you were to go through every stage, there’s no guarantee you’ll be completely healed.
Complicated grief can be devastating, turning everyday life into a struggle and making even the simplest of tasks seem insurmountable. It can last for an extended amount of time, often much longer than the typical grieving process.
People afflicted with complicated grief may develop negative coping methods that further worsen their situation, habitual avoidance of anything that will cause them distress, or feelings of guilt and anger.
What Happens When You Can’t Move Beyond Grief
Unfortunately, for some people, grieving becomes an unhealthy process of avoidance and isolation since they find it difficult to move beyond their feelings of sadness. When this happens, people can become stuck in a dark place and eventually develop depression or other issues.
People might also rely on negative stimuli to cope with their grief. They might use alcohol or drugs to block and subdue negative emotions. This negative coping mechanism for grief can often be a link between people developing drug addiction or alcoholism.
There’s also the lack of mobility one may face. By feeling everything is hopeless, one might not feel the need to try anymore. They might become content with being inactive, which can lead to a sedentary lifestyle.
Finally, being stuck in grief can often lead to worse suffering in the future. The sad truth is bad things will always happen. As you get older, more people you know will die, things you once loved may disappear, and life can overall become more complex. When you don’t learn how to move beyond your grief, you’ll struggle more when new bad situations arise.
There Are Ways To Cope
It can be a difficult and confusing process to move on from grief. The pain of loss, mourning, and sorrow may never truly go away, and instead, it can evolve. This is why it’s so important to find healthy ways to cope with lingering emotions healthily.
Working through one’s grief can be accomplished by staying connected to supportive people, reaching out for professional help, or engaging in calming and restorative activities.
Taking time to express one’s emotions can also be beneficial; that could be done through journaling or any other means of release that an individual finds helpful. It also helps to learn how to reframe your thinking. If you can begin to look at the negative feelings not as a burden but rather as something that can be worked through and even viewed in a different light, it can make the healing process much smoother.
Ultimately, everyone handles the grieving process differently. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve, and the choice of how best to manage these feelings is personal and unique.
It’s crucial not to let grief overtake your life. When grief becomes all-consuming, it can have severe consequences for your overall health and wellbeing.
It can be hard to move on from grief, but there are ways to cope with the pain and eventually start to heal. The keys are to be patient and keep trying.