Question: My life's been really down lately and I'm having a tough time dealing with it. Any suggestions?
Answer: Loss comes in many shapes and sizes, from a death in the family to the loss of your "self" such as that experienced when you suddenly become vision impaired and feel like a different person entirely. Other losses that can put you in a tailspin are loss of a job, divorce, retirement, a serious illness, selling the family home, etc.
While they don't necessarily come in order, loss typically results in
1. Denial: You just can't believe this has happened and just carry on numbly.
2. Bargaining: You ask yourself what you could have done differently and pray for a miracle.
3. Depression: You just feel helpless and hopeless.
4. Anger: You may be angry at yourself, other people and/or God.
5. Acceptance: You accept the loss and make the best of your life.
This may sound easy. After all, it's just five simple steps. Not so fast!
According to WebMD, the grief process can take as long as two years. This is normal. One of my colleagues at the Susquehanna Association for the Blind and Vision Impaired found a lot of solid information on how to deal with grief and loss at www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm.