Coping skills

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Coping skills

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Kayla Thompson

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Dealing with loss can be a hard thing. Everybody goes through stages and emotions that sometimes can feel like they are losing themselves, whether it is from the decisions that are made during the depression period or from just shutting themselves from the world. The world of grief and loss is something that, if understood, can be simple to navigate when something drastic happens.

First off, death in a person’s life is not the only form of loss or grief. Ms. Emery, a Youth and Family Therapist at RHS, said that “when dealing with grief,” which has five stages to it, “it’s not always linear. It’s a mixed order, you can go from bargaining to denial to anything in between.” Now, this doesn’t mean that the emotional roller coaster ride will last forever, nor does this mean that it will end as soon as a person has experienced all five of the stages.

The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In the denial stage, it seems like the world is meaningless and just seems to be full of overwhelming things. In this first step, it is debated on if a person should go on and if so, why. They become numb to their surroundings. In the anger stage, which can begin at the drop of a hat, they get angered by anything that would normally seem unimportant when they were not in the middle of grieving. This anger they feel becomes sort of like a bridge, connecting them to the person or the incident that caused them to start grieving. The next step is bargaining, where they try to make deals with anybody and anything to bring back their loved one or the thing that was important to them. This is basically like asking themselves a bunch of ‘what if’ questions and getting nothing back in return. The second to last step is depression, which they must understand is a normal reaction. This stage will feel like it is lasting forever but it will not; it will cause them to withdraw from life, and they will be lost in the feeling of intense sadness. The last stage is acceptance. This is considered to be the final step to the grieving process and consists of accepting what has happened, but this doesn’t mean that they are ‘okay’ or ‘all right’. It just means that whatever happened, they know that it will not come back and that it is gone.

The best way to deal with loss, as Ms. Emery suggested, “Is to just go with the feelings because depression is caused by the avoidance of these feelings.” Now, sometimes that seems like a horrible idea and that sometimes it would be better if there were no feelings at all. The best thing to do is probably the hardest thing to do. Experience the emotions that comes with the life-changing situation. Ms. Emery says that “if you’re not hurting yourself or others you’re doing well.” This is something that is life changing to many people going through a tough spot in their life.

Some ways that can help people cope with the difficult situation is to create a memory book of the deceased or to think back to better days and repeat the mantra: “Life might be hard right now, but I am okay.” Sometimes writing helps people. The words that they themselves want to say but can’t seem to find the words, come out on paper. Creating poems, books, songs, and sometimes it’s just starting a journal that you can catalog how you feel each day, which Ms. Emery says are“good coping skills”.

When something happens in life, whether it is a death of a loved one, or something happens to an important thing in life, people will start to go through the stages of grief, and it is alright. Everything will be alright soon enough, not now, maybe not later, but soon.

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