I think it is fitting that I have chosen the topic of endings as my last blog for The DMC Clinic.
I admit I am not very good myself at endings, from my years in personal counselling I have realised it stems back to my childhood when my mother passed away and so I work hard to be accepting of whatever way anything from a relationship to a job ends in my life now. With my mother dying it was a long goodbye, she had been sick for most of my childhood and so subconsciously I had been preparing for her ending all the way through her illness, however it did not make it any easier when she did pass away but what it did do was prepare me for the end.
However, life as we know it, and as Covid 19 has proven, is messy and you do not always get the chance to prepare for the end of something. In the last two years that could have included; primary school ending to start secondary school, ending secondary school to move to college, marriages ending after years together, not been able to do the practical ceremonies to grieve the death of a loved one and most importantly the years that could have been and was not because of Covid 19. However, the process of grieving your loss can be the same regardless of the type of loss and by letting yourself go through the stages of grief, it will help you to let go and be accepting of an ending.
If we look at the 5 stages of grief, they are;
Denial is a human being’s defence mechanism. We as human being’s do not want pain; we will avoid it like the plague and so to be in denial of the pain of something ending can be ok.
Anger is something I feel people think is a negative thing and it can be. However, it is also a very powerful emotion and with the right support and understanding it can be something that needs expressing.
Bargaining is my favourite and I think it is because I see myself in it sometimes, especially working as a relationship counsellor. My clients can sit in front of me and tell me one week they are finished with the relationship and the following week be back with the person they were finished with the week before. I smile and remember I have been in their chair and also remember its part of the grieving process which eventually bring us to Acceptance or letting go.
However, you do need to go through the depression also because the sadness is not just about what you lost but remember it is also about what it could have been. When a marriage breaks up, people spend most of it grieving what was wrong with the relationship or the idea of what it could have been more than the reality of the marriage.
The stages of grieving are often overlooked but they are so important for your healing. Just remember you can move back and forward through each stage and grieving is a personal thing. I spoke about my grief for my mother at the start of this blog and 21 years on, I can go into a depressive state around missing her. So be patient and have good support around you as you navigate this process. And most importantly support yourself. You know you better than anyone.
I have loved writing these blogs, it has helped to reignite my love for research and learning new things. It also reminded me of what I already know for my own process and that of my clients. I hope you have enjoyed reading them.
Take care of yourselves and each other.
The article is written by Emma, newly qualified and pre-accredited Counsellor at The DMC Clinic. If you would like to discuss how any of the topics mentioned above are impacting your mental health please contact The DMC Clinic to arrange an appointment.