Sometimes people just want a soundboard or they are dealing with temporary situations that they are struggling to cope with. Or they’re simply curious about a topic or subject psychology-related. That’s why we started offering online therapy pay per session options. One of the topics that has been a regular topic of discussion has been loss. In part because it’s such a universal human experience. As well as the fact that it’s probably one of the most misunderstood concepts that can have dramatic impacts on someone’s mental health for a certain amount of time. Loss and grief is not something that happens to someone with a natural hormone deficiency. Or someone with a genetic predisposition to mental health issues. It’s simply a natural part of being human.
But this is where things become tricky, because many think loss and grief only comes hand-in-hand with death. This is often why some find themselves in a very confused state and need an online therapy pay per session option to dissect and analyse their feelings and figure out whether this is a biological or chronic health issue or whether it’s a temporary state of being. The first thing that we often delve into during these sessions are whether a loss has occurred. These are some of the most common losses humans face in their lifetime:
The obvious one…
No human will be able to avoid death. Whether it’s the death of a family member, a friend or spouse. The concept of death comes to visit all of us at least once in our lives. And it’s that absolute permanence to the loss that makes it such an incredibly crushing blow to the psyche. But the same emotions one can feel regarding the death of a loved one, one can feel when losing a beloved pet. Many often disregard the intense grief the death of a pet can cause. It might be the family dog that’s seen every child in the household grow-up. Or it might be the only company an elderly person still had in their home. There are so many reasons why we should never disregard someone’s feelings or underestimate them when it comes to a death.
The loss of a love connection
We’ve all been there or seen Bridget Jones. The loss of a love connection can have a devastating effect on people’s lives. And it’s much more than just losing that person’s presence in your life, it’s the loss of that wedding day you might’ve started dreaming about. Or having kids. Or simply sitting on the porch together when you’re both old and grey.
No more tucking them in
Many underestimate the incredible toll custody in a divorce can have. Even if custody is shared, it’s still an agonizing loss to parents. Where they once were a household of 2 parents and children, they now need to get used to the idea of running a household as a single parent. They also need to get accustomed to the incredible silence that dawns down on a house when the children are visiting the other parent. And they need to make peace with the fact that they simply won’t be present for each and every milestone or moment such as baby taking their first step or seeing their child come back from their first date. And that’s in an amicable divorce situation. If there’s a custody battle at hand the loss can feel even greater with added frustration and even feelings of hopelessness.
It’s not just materialistic
In the case of a theft or a fire, the loss of personal property can cause great grief. And no matter how many times someone tells you how lucky you are to be alive and that materialistic things can be replaced, that loss takes time to grieve. One cannot get back the ring that once belonged to your grandmother. One cannot get back birthday cards the kids made you when they were toddlers. And the memories attached to your favourite sweatshirt from Uni cannot be replaced by buying a new sweatshirt. We add emotional and sentimental value to a lot of items in our homes that others simply cannot comprehend by just looking at an item. That is why it’s so important to analyse the values we’ve placed on the property lost during our online therapy pay per session and decipher where our grief comes from.
When they’re still there but they’re not…
Illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia even MS and Cancer can “steal” a person out of your life before they’re physically gone. It’s very tough for a child to take care of a parent who doesn’t even recognise them anymore. Or watching the strong father who used to carry you on his big, broad shoulders shrivel away ‘till he doesn’t even have the strength to pick up his own head any more. It is absolutely heart-breaking situations when someone is forced to say goodbye to someone they love even before that official goodbye.
Steven Cowell says no.
We’ve all seen at least one Idols show where someone walks in extremely confident in their capabilities and believing that they will be the next Madonna or Bon Jovi only to hear that the experts would rather listen to a lawnmower all day long. And whilst it can sometimes be quite a comical scene for those at home, the truth is that that moment can be overwhelming and crushing to many. It is the loss of a dream. And wanting to perform in front of millions isn’t the only loss of a dream that exists, that dream can be becoming a millionaire at age 30. Or dancing for the Bolshoi. Or just being accepted into Stanford University. The loss of a dream can be anything that you have envisioned in your future. And with any lost dream comes a grieving period.
Whether you’ve been fired or retrenched (especially after what’s happened to the economy during Covid), the loss of your job is a massive blow. Being jobless shakes the very core foundation of our survival. Suddenly we become extremely concerned about how we’ll pay the bills. And our days suddenly feel void of meaning and purpose. The worst part about this situation is that one doesn’t have the luxury of time to work through all these complicated emotions. Action is usually called for almost immediately.
This is one of the situations we’ve seen a lot during our online therapy pay per session due to the immense impact of Covid. We also often find that in these situations people just want a release since most don’t talk with others about it since they find the job loss embarrassing. Or they don’t talk about their concerns and emotions because they don’t want to burden their families or friends with it. But this won’t make any of these feelings go away. And it’s only by understanding and being able to manage these feelings that we can truly cope with the situation and productively and effectively search for solutions.
Where am I?
This is a question we’ve often heard during one of our online therapy pay per session consultations. We especially hear it from stay-at-home-mothers. In between all the household chores and being a wife and mother, they feel like their individuality has disappeared. But the same goes for the men. Many look in the mirror at the man in a corporate suit that hardly smiles anymore and wonder where that care-free guy with the long hair has gone. There’s quite a few losses we are faced with growing up. And as with all other losses, it’s necessary to grieve them appropriately and in a healthy way.
The stages of grief myth
Most of us are well aware of the five stage of grief. They are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Here’s how you can tell these stages apart:
We justify and simply ignore or avoid things. This is typically when we say things like “no, we didn’t break up, we’re just taking a break”.
This is not always towards a specific person such as in the case of a break-up, but it can also be towards the universe/god/the world in general. We may be angrily asking; “Why did you take that person from me?!”
This is probably the most bizarre of the stages. This is when we try to control the situation in some way. For instance, “if I lose 10 pounds he’ll come back to me”, “if I dedicate my life to serving others my wife will be healed”. Bargaining is our version of a heartbroken and desperate plea or last chance.
This is when you are completely emotionally drained, just want to sleep all day and eat a bucket of KFC all by yourself.
Although the hurt has not disappeared, we accept the situation and learn to live with it.
The biggest myth and one we hear often during our online therapy pay per session consultations, is that people belief these stages to happen consecutively. And then once they’ve been through Depression only to find themselves back at Anger it’s confusing and quite demotivating. They ask themselves; will there ever be an end to this? The simple answer is yes, but the only way out is through. You will need to go through all the emotions, feelings and thought processes necessary for you to reach acceptance. The key to this process is to give yourself the grace, self-love and support needed for you to healthily come out on the other side.
If you feel like you are currently struggling with a situation where you need to deal with a loss in your life, please reach out to one of our professionals here, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply complete the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible: