The stages of grief


1)  Shock and numbness

This is often the first reaction and the hardest. This is a body reflex that usually occurs right after the loss. It is a way that the body shuts down our emotional system and provides a temporary cushion against the full impact of our loss.

It does not usually last for more than a couple of weeks but can occur when the pain gets too much. This is not usually a good time for making any long-term decisions.

2) Denial and withdrawal

This is the “oh no this isn’t happening” reaction. At this stage we are trying to absorb that the loss really happened .Some of the signs are feeling weak which happened to me quite often, feeling drained of energy it was like that for me nearly everyday, loss of appetite this is a big one for me, to this very day I still have this issue I even have my friends worried about me as I now have an eating disorder because of it I still only eat one small meal a day even then sometimes I takes me an hour to eat, sleep disturbances or not being able to sleep, for about five years now I have had this ongoing issue of not being able to sleep so unfortunately I am having to take medication every single night before I go to bed otherwise I will be up for days on end. This stage  can feel  very confusing and it can feel like you are going crazy. This stage will come and go regularly.

3) Acknowledgement and pain

At this stage, we begin to know that the loss is true and ongoing I dealt with this for twenty-five years it was so hard for me. We feel everything. This is overwhelming.It is important to remember that these feelings will not last forever. We need long-term support at this stage as it can take a long time to recover as I mentioned at the beginning it took me twenty-five years to finally be able to let go.

4) Adapting and renewal

At this stage, we begin to feel like living again. A future seems possible and times of pain decrease.

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Things that I used to do to cope and survive


There are many ways that people deal with stress, and cope everyday, for me back in Sept 2009 after leaving my last relationship because my partner changed and at the end getting a hold of my throat and trying to choke me I ended up homeless living on the street trying to keep myself sane, it was so hard to the point I dread waking up.

There were many ways I dealt with my stress here are some of them:

My eating was a real problem, I had no appetite the sight of food used to make me just gag even the smell of it believe me when I tell you I lived off nothing but junk food and most days I would eat nothing at all it’s amazing I’m still here to tell the story.

Alcohol and drugs, I have never done either of these but came very close to doing so as a way of coping and now because I have been homeless I now have a deeper appreciation for the people who are and have a greater understanding about why homeless people turn to alcohol and drugs.

Self-neglect, You know I was at such a low point in my life I just did not care about anything whatsoever, in fact I was living in Victoria BC when I took a transit bus to the beach and started to walk into the ocean and to this very day I still do not remember what happened after that all that I remember was I had suffered from post traumatic syndrome for some time sad state of affairs.

Criticize myself, looking back, I really was my own worst enemy I did not feel like I was worth anything, thought of myself as a useless piece of trash should have, could have, would have kind of attitude on the path of self-destruction.

Keeping busy, when I was suffering from depression and still do to this very day, I keep busy to the point where people have to call me on my cell phone because they are unable to find me and I even drive my room-mate crazy because when I start cleaning and doing other things I will not stop even though my room-mate tells me to stop and take a breath I still keep going like a Duracell battery no joke.

Self-conscious, I have always been the type that is very self-conscious when people look at me I think whats wrong is my make-up on wrong, not color coördinated among other things, I guess I’m so used to being insulted that honestly I do not know any different.

Isolate myself, after all the things I had been through being in many shelters, homeless and then finally settling into Alpha House in Winnipeg, Manitoba I began to isolate myself from people sleeping most days away watching television at night the only time people saw me in Alpha House was when we had to go to counselling sessions the women’s group being the hardest.

Nail biting, although this is yet another way of how some people cope, for me, I have always had this nervous habit since I was young and still do to this very day.

Overeat, when I finally made it to Alpha House I was able to settle down for the most part keeping a regular sleep routine and doing a-lot of reading and overeating whatever was in sight I ate.

Call in sick to work, when I was finally able to start working a part-time job in Winnipeg it took everything I had to even walk out the door. I  did not feel like going to work and  still dealing with depression my job didn’t last long as I found myself calling into work most days and finally gave up.

Cleaning everything , this is something that I still do to this very day when ever I am upset.

People pleaser, I was one of these kind of people doing things people wanted me to do all the time ,  just to get acceptance I took a good hard look at myself  and found all I ever did was get walked on thankfully Alpha House changed all that as my outlook is much different now it’s not my problem if people don’t like me it’s their loss.

Cry,  when I left my partner in Sept 2009 from that point on I had many times where I would cry myself to sleep, feeling depressed, feeling so alone wishing the days would be over.

Counselling,  when I was going through all this trauma I went to counsellors hopefully to try to help me get through this and one counsellor told me “get over it” well after that comment  I never talked to another counsellor until I got to Alpha House.

Bottle everything up, this is exactly what I did for many years and now that I am much older I am paying dearly for it as I have many health problems now so learn from me do not bottle things up because it will only give you health problems in the end talk to a good close friend.

Completely shut down, this was me I became very numb did not care about anything pretty much,  lost everything I ever had and to the point where I wished I had not awaken the next day not to mention loosing my sanity in the process.

Break out into a rash, this was a constant thing for me and because I kept everything bottled up I paid for it by loosing some of my hair and breaking into rashes .

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