The Seven Stages of Grief
Updated: Feb 25, 2019
Today I was thinking about the seven stages of grief and thought it was time to do a mental check-in to see where I was. Stage one is shock and denial; I am happy to say I am clearly past that one. Next up is Pain and/or Guilt; I still have a touch of pain, but absolutely no guilt. I gave my best to him in this relationship. With a narcissist you can’t ever give enough to fill them up, so this one is on him. The third one is anger and/or bargaining. I definitely hit that stage and did some great writing of letters never to be sent to work out the anger. (Suffice it to say I am a Jersey girl and my Jersey dialect came out in those letters.)
The fourth stage is depression; while I was initially devastated, medication has most definitely helped with this stage. Never be afraid to ask for help, especially medicinal help. It takes a brave soul to get on medication knowing there are often side effects that go with them. When you understand the magnitude of this situation it really takes a sane person to know when to seek help. Even on medication, I still had those days where getting up and dressing was a hardship, but I didn’t stay there and wallow in it for too long.
I like to combine stages five and six, as they are about finding some calm in the storm, getting used to your new life alone, and starting to rebuild. Luckily, since the ex narc gave me virtually nothing, I didn’t have a lot of rebuilding to do. Hey, there is one positive thing I can take from this relationship, since he gave nothing; I really lost nothing but his presence. I own my own home; have a great job, my own car, checking/savings accounts, and a wonderful circle of supportive friends. It was still hard for my heart to lose him, but I liken that now to being addicted to crack. Detoxing has been tough, but I am starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel.
The final stage is acceptance and hope. I am happy to say I am about 70% there on this one. I lose points for still having some pain in my heart over this, and for not being fully in control of my monkey mind that swings to his memories often. But I have faith it will get better with more time.
I feel fortunate to have moved through these stages rather quickly; he left in November, told me he was in a romantic relationship with his prehistoric hag in July, and I am feeling hopeful in mid September. I have to give it up to all of the professional help I enlisted along this journey and some wonderfully supportive friends.
So I will continue to focus on the rebuilding of my heart. More to come…….