Yes, You Can Get Over a Crisis

Aug 27 07:21 2008 Sandra Prior Print This Article

Whatever it is – heartache, rape, the death of a loved one – there are stages you need to go through to heal. Here’s how to deal with them and move on.

Crises can strike at any time – robbery,Guest Posting rape, retrenchment, a relationship break up or a car accident. But crippling as they may seem at the time, we can get over them. The secret is understanding the process you need to go through and getting help when you need it. Having information about your response to a crises empowers you because you know what to expect.

‘I couldn’t breathe. It was as though someone had dropped a load of bricks on my chest,’ says Judi, a 29 year old bank clerk. Early one August evening in 2006 she learnt her partner of two years had died in a car crash.

As with most crises, it wasn’t just the pain of loss that shattered her but also the practical repercussions. Judi found James had debts he’d kept from her. ‘He’d just opened his own motor workshop so there wasn’t much money and he loved to spoil me’, She came close to losing their flat, which was in his name, although she had paid half the deposit. ‘If my sister hadn’t helped for a few months I wouldn’t have got by financially. But feelings take longer to fix…’

Her grief was mixed with an anger that surprised her. ‘One moment I’d be crying, the next I’d be ranting.’ She was angry with James for dying and leaving her in a mess, angry with God and angry with herself. Judi’s confusing clash of emotions is normal. Whatever your loss or crisis, it plunges you into different stages as you grieve. The best way to heal is to be prepared for these stages.

Spot the Stages

Your loss or other trauma may be great or small but it’s always personal so your response is individualized. It will be shaped by your personality, family, culture and spiritual beliefs but it will fall into certain universal stages. Grief starts with denial before moving on to anger, depression and finally acceptance.

You can respond on a physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and spiritual level. Shock, convulsions, numbness, detachment, disbelief and disorientation are all normal. Common symptoms are nightmares and sleep disorders, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, a dry mouth and repetitive movements such as involuntary rocking.

Where violence has been involved you may have hallucinations in the early weeks, as well as mild, temporary dyslexia (when phrases are reversed unintentionally).

Trust Time

Grief can take months, even years, depending on the extent of your crisis or loss, your ability to cope and the support you have. Get counseling if you find yourself stuck in any stage, particularly depression. It’s important that, over time, you deal with your loss so you can reach a point where you can take meaning from it and grow. Generally, time is a healer. In the end, time will change things. Life will eventually start to re-emerge. This will not happen because we come to understand (the loss) more clearly but because, as time passes, the unanswered questions will become easier to live with.

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Sandra Prior
Sandra Prior

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