Post conflicts due to “grieving process” we are dealing with?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lilwren, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. lilwren

    lilwren New Member

    It’s just my opinion, but I see a pattern going on with the posts. It appears to me that we are all in different stages of the “grief process”, or at least that’s my theory. Think about the posts and the stages of grief – denial, bargaining, anger, depression, & acceptance. Doesn’t it seem that the folks who just got diagnosed are in denial & bargaining (they want fast answers), the venters are in the anger/depression stage, and the researchers are in the acceptance stage? Just thought I would throw that out there for food for thought. I know I am personally grieving the loss of myself as I used to be and I go in and out of the different stages.

    We are all working towards the same goal – to heal ourselves and support each other. I think the conflicts arise because we each have different needs at different stages. Not to mention the brain fog and the speed at which the board moves. We all need each other so please no one leave – we need everyone!

    Below is an article I found on grief and loss that I thought was relevant to our situation. I left out parts about death, but the entire article can be found at caregiver dot org.

    Love,

    Sharon L


    Fact Sheet: Grief and Loss
    ©Family Caregiver Alliance

    Grief is a natural process, an intense fundamental emotion, a universal experience which makes us human. It is a process that entails extremely hard work over a period of many painful months or years. People grieve because they are deprived of a loved one; the sense of loss is profound. The loss of a spouse, child or parent affects our very identities--the way we define ourselves as a husband, wife, parent or offspring. Moreover, grief can arise from the survivor's sudden change in circumstances after a death and the fear of not knowing what lies ahead.

    Anticipatory Grief

    If someone has had a prolonged illness or serious memory impairment, family members may begin grieving the loss of the person's "former self" long before the time of death. This is sometimes referred to as "anticipatory grief." Anticipating the loss, knowing what is coming, can be just as painful as losing a life. Family members may experience guilt or shame for "wishing it were over" or seeing their loved one as already "gone" intellectually. It is important to recognize these feelings as normal. Ultimately, anticipatory grief is a way of allowing us to prepare emotionally for the inevitable. Preparing for the death of a loved one can allow family members to contemplate and clear unresolved issues and seek out the support of spiritual advisors, family and friends. And, depending on the impaired person's intellectual capacity, this can be a time to identify your loved one's wishes for burial and funeral arrangements.

    How Long Does Grieving Last?

    Grief impacts each individual differently. Recent research has shown that intense grieving lasts from three months to a year and many people continue experiencing profound grief for two years or more. Others' response to this extended grieving process may sometimes cause people to feel there is something wrong with them or they are behaving abnormally. This is not the case. The grieving process depends on the individual's belief system, religion, life experiences, and the type of loss suffered. Prolonged bereavement is not unusual. Many people find solace in seeking out other grievers or trusted friends. However, if feelings of being overwhelmed continue over time, professional support should be sought.

    Symptoms of Grief

    Grief can provoke both physical and emotional symptoms, as well as spiritual insights and turmoil.
    Physical symptoms include low energy or exhaustion, headaches or upset stomach. Some people will sleep excessively, others may find they are pushing themselves to extremes at work. These activity changes may make an individual more prone to illness. It is important to take care of yourself during this period of bereavement by maintaining a proper diet, exercise and rest. Taking care of your body can help heal the rest of you, even if you do not feel inclined to do so.

    Like grief itself, people's coping strategies vary. Some people cope best through quiet reflection, others seek exercise or other distractions. Some have a tendency to engage in reckless or self-destructive activities (e.g., excessive drinking). It is vital to obtain support in order to regain some sense of control and to work through your feelings. A trained counselor, support group, or trusted friend can help you sort through feelings such as anxiety, loss, anger, guilt, and sadness.

    Stages of Grief

    Often portrayed as a grief "wheel," these stages do not necessarily follow a set order. Some stages may be revisited many times as an individual goes through a grieving period.

    · Shock.
    · Emotional release.
    · Depression, loneliness and a sense of isolation.
    · Physical symptoms of distress.
    · Feelings of panic.
    · A sense of guilt.
    · Anger or rage.
    · Inability to return to usual activities.
    · The gradual regaining of hope.
    · Acceptance as we adjust our lives to reality.
  2. lilwren

    lilwren New Member

    It’s just my opinion, but I see a pattern going on with the posts. It appears to me that we are all in different stages of the “grief process”, or at least that’s my theory. Think about the posts and the stages of grief – denial, bargaining, anger, depression, & acceptance. Doesn’t it seem that the folks who just got diagnosed are in denial & bargaining (they want fast answers), the venters are in the anger/depression stage, and the researchers are in the acceptance stage? Just thought I would throw that out there for food for thought. I know I am personally grieving the loss of myself as I used to be and I go in and out of the different stages.

    We are all working towards the same goal – to heal ourselves and support each other. I think the conflicts arise because we each have different needs at different stages. Not to mention the brain fog and the speed at which the board moves. We all need each other so please no one leave – we need everyone!

    Below is an article I found on grief and loss that I thought was relevant to our situation. I left out parts about death, but the entire article can be found at caregiver dot org.

    Love,

    Sharon L


    Fact Sheet: Grief and Loss
    ©Family Caregiver Alliance

    Grief is a natural process, an intense fundamental emotion, a universal experience which makes us human. It is a process that entails extremely hard work over a period of many painful months or years. People grieve because they are deprived of a loved one; the sense of loss is profound. The loss of a spouse, child or parent affects our very identities--the way we define ourselves as a husband, wife, parent or offspring. Moreover, grief can arise from the survivor's sudden change in circumstances after a death and the fear of not knowing what lies ahead.

    Anticipatory Grief

    If someone has had a prolonged illness or serious memory impairment, family members may begin grieving the loss of the person's "former self" long before the time of death. This is sometimes referred to as "anticipatory grief." Anticipating the loss, knowing what is coming, can be just as painful as losing a life. Family members may experience guilt or shame for "wishing it were over" or seeing their loved one as already "gone" intellectually. It is important to recognize these feelings as normal. Ultimately, anticipatory grief is a way of allowing us to prepare emotionally for the inevitable. Preparing for the death of a loved one can allow family members to contemplate and clear unresolved issues and seek out the support of spiritual advisors, family and friends. And, depending on the impaired person's intellectual capacity, this can be a time to identify your loved one's wishes for burial and funeral arrangements.

    How Long Does Grieving Last?

    Grief impacts each individual differently. Recent research has shown that intense grieving lasts from three months to a year and many people continue experiencing profound grief for two years or more. Others' response to this extended grieving process may sometimes cause people to feel there is something wrong with them or they are behaving abnormally. This is not the case. The grieving process depends on the individual's belief system, religion, life experiences, and the type of loss suffered. Prolonged bereavement is not unusual. Many people find solace in seeking out other grievers or trusted friends. However, if feelings of being overwhelmed continue over time, professional support should be sought.

    Symptoms of Grief

    Grief can provoke both physical and emotional symptoms, as well as spiritual insights and turmoil.
    Physical symptoms include low energy or exhaustion, headaches or upset stomach. Some people will sleep excessively, others may find they are pushing themselves to extremes at work. These activity changes may make an individual more prone to illness. It is important to take care of yourself during this period of bereavement by maintaining a proper diet, exercise and rest. Taking care of your body can help heal the rest of you, even if you do not feel inclined to do so.

    Like grief itself, people's coping strategies vary. Some people cope best through quiet reflection, others seek exercise or other distractions. Some have a tendency to engage in reckless or self-destructive activities (e.g., excessive drinking). It is vital to obtain support in order to regain some sense of control and to work through your feelings. A trained counselor, support group, or trusted friend can help you sort through feelings such as anxiety, loss, anger, guilt, and sadness.

    Stages of Grief

    Often portrayed as a grief "wheel," these stages do not necessarily follow a set order. Some stages may be revisited many times as an individual goes through a grieving period.

    · Shock.
    · Emotional release.
    · Depression, loneliness and a sense of isolation.
    · Physical symptoms of distress.
    · Feelings of panic.
    · A sense of guilt.
    · Anger or rage.
    · Inability to return to usual activities.
    · The gradual regaining of hope.
    · Acceptance as we adjust our lives to reality.
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    You are very perceptive. I have been touting the benefits of grief therapy for us and our families because we do go through a grieving process when we get sick. Our losses can be profound.

    Unfortunately, one does not go from Stage I to Stage II, and so on, in a timely and organized way. We can have one foot in denial and one foot in acceptance.

    Just understanding the stages and using that knowledge in our daily lives can have a big impact.

    Love, Mikie
  4. blondieangel

    blondieangel New Member

    and oh so true..........
  5. sybil

    sybil New Member

    i remember when i was first DX'd.it was hard to come to terms with the fact i had something that a few pills,or surgery wouldn't cure.i was very easily upset.
    then i got angry and sensitive.now i've calmed down a bit i accept what is wrong with me and i'm determined to try and get as well as i can be.
    i expect to have days where i feel dreadful,but i know i can bounce back again,to a manageable level.
    i don't have the zeal to spend loads of time on research,i want to enjoy myself when i feel well enough to be able to.even if i suffer for it later!

    sybilxxx
  6. sean

    sean New Member

    but I have done much research, and it does not stop me from venting from time to time. Sometimes it is more a case of how you are feeling at a particular time, that can dictate a reaction. For instance it is far easier for me to be positve when I'm feeling better than when I'm at my your worst. I would agree the importance of keeping positive at all times is beneficial, but can be easier on some days than on others. I don't think it matters how long you have had the illness, as to what stage you are in, really there are no set stages. It's often an up and down illness. Just because someone expresses an opinion that does not fit with how a person feels it does not mean they are in denial. It could just mean that they have strong views themselves, and at the time of expressing them, are not in the most diplomatic of moods. There is nothing wrong with with venting anger, for some it is a good release. As long as you don't set out to deliberately upset other people then debate and differing views can be important. It can eventually if done in the right way lead to a good balance, between those who are extremely negetive, and those who believe they are cured and believe you should do as they do in order to get well, you could actually say that a person like this is in denial. I believe the middle path is the best. You can take something of value from all the posts on this board, we can learn from each other. No one person has the best way of getting better that will suit everyone. So lets take away the bits that are best and throw away the rest. Only we as individuals partly through advice and partly through our own experiences can make the right decisions, towards improving our health. This is my ten penneth worth anyhow, it is just my opinion, it would be good to find that perfect balance, if we can learn to communicate with each other in the right manner I feel sure we can achieve the right balance, and we will all be better for it.
  7. tes

    tes New Member

    You are right as to what your saying. Speeking for myself, I find that I will be in denial, accept my illness etc. When I'm having a bad flare(which I am now), I somehow get myself into the denial stage. When I start to feel better, I think "o.k., this is good and I start to accept this debiliating illness, and when I get back into a bad flare, I get angry and depressed all over again. This type of illness most definetly has it's ups and downs and how can we not feel these 3 stages of grief. Like I said, I'm speeking for myself and I'm confident that there are many others out there like me.

    Tes
  8. stillafreemind

    stillafreemind New Member

    we are all in different places with this disease/s..I would also like to say that other peoples acceptance of these diseases has played a HUGE part with me. I have been (different) than everyone else since I was a kid..had the anxiety attacks ALL the way through..I hurt..ALL the way through life. Then .. FINALLY people gave it a name. But still those who I wanted to know and accept these diseases..acted like I should just buck up..there is nothing wrong..

    Welll..I have bucked up all my life. I am still bucking up. If someone wishes to disbelieve that there is such a thing..fine by me. If someone wants to give me a bad time about..hey..go for it. After thirty or forty years of battling this dd..I have come to the decision that I do not care..plain and simple. There is absolutely nothing at almost 50 that someone can say or incenuate(SP) that I have not had to go through as a kid, a teenager, etc.

    Also as a newbie here..It seems real apparent that treatment methods can really be a hangup on here. For me..I have no treatment<G> or so some would say..I do supps...and I try to move as much as I can..and ultimately I pray to the Lord that He help me get through whatever is ahead..sometimes minute to minute. Heck..If I would have started taking meds while six or seven..I highly doubt that there would be anything left for me to try now!LOL..

    Just some observations..its great to have such a mix on this board. For the people that take meds..its great for comparison etc. For people who do not..hey..we are grappling for relief too..its nice to find alternative things being discussed.

    Hope you all have a great night..
  9. Cactuslil

    Cactuslil New Member

    I could not have written a more ominous portent of what a systemic illness/condition can do to a person's soul.

    As our soul, inner being, whatever you name that within you, journeys through the changes wrought about by this that we fight against, don't want and all continually pray or meditate the researchers are pointed in the right direction, the body does suffer some real visible changes, as does the psyche in our cognitive losses.

    I just finished a crying jag (what others call it; I call it a healing of a hurt that will not go away any other way) as I went out back, humid, sticky fall texas night; all my day buddies were there except our latest loss, Elvis. He and Monkey (ya'll ole folks have read of my letters to Lucy) weren't there...it hit me like a ton of bricks.

    No one to throw the ball for...Elvis, our eldest runt, his parents comfy under the tall pecan, a beautiful array of native river rocks marking their respective places, died last Wens. He died before his time as did our dear "Monkey Dog". It is quieter now. His barking and little nub of a buggered up docked tail are heard in the spirit world all about us; but for me a new grief began.

    I pray, sincerely, that I never suffer the growth that many of you have experienced.

    I'm shifting to the writing board to write my thoughts; caregivers have too much on their plate...right? Love CactusLil'
    [This Message was Edited on 10/22/2002]
  10. lucky

    lucky New Member

    Although I am not too long on the board, but having read many memos before, I do agree with your observation. Can I say more? I exactly went through these stages myself and until one finds acceptance and control and ultimately peace over this illness, it is a very hard road one has to go. Thank you, Lucky
  11. sybil

    sybil New Member

    you are spot on!

    even though i manage to keep fairly optimistic,some days if the pain has taken a turn for the worse,i can plummet back down again.i tend to stay off here on those days,just in case something someone says upsets me!
    we do have an..up and down...DD...when you accept that,it becomes easier to cope with,

    sybilxxx
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    You are right on. We do have to go through the stages before we can even begin to stop swimming uphill and fighting the world--a losing battle. Acceptance brings the ability to take our personal power back and start regaining some control over our lives. The key word here is "some" control. There will always be things we cannot control, but we can learn to control how we react.

    As Sean has pointed out, these are roller-coaster illnesses, and even when we have progressed to the Acceptance Stage, it's easy to revert to denial or anger, depending on how our illnesses are treating us. However, until we do go through the complete grieving process, we can easily get stuck in one or two of the earlier stages of the process.

    Love, Mikie
  13. lucky

    lucky New Member

    you said it well, Mikie, when you mention that we are sometimes reversing to emotions which we thought we had under control. Anger is the one which does creep up, no matter how we have achieved to handle it. The many disappointments and most of all the little understanding most of us are still getting, are one of the many culprits that it does flare up at times. What is very helpful, of course, is also to know how to vent anger in a constructive way in letting people know without 'attacking' them on how we feel and why we feel like that. This I find is a very helpful tool to cope with it. Talk to you again, Mikie. Lucky