I have a confession. It concerns the reason for the long delay of my writing Part II to my last post. It also discloses a bit of personal information. I offer it, however, as a way of illustrating the grief and recovery process.
My mother passed a few months ago. Honestly, it was rather unexpected. Yes, she had been ill and hospitalized a few times. This last time was the worst and the doctor gave her a timeline—one year. He added that he had seen people live for up to six years. They released her from the hospital on a Friday and she passed two days later. I wasn’t even there. I live almost 2,000 miles away and since she was getting released from the hospital, I had decided to visit her the following week for Mother’s Day. It aches that I wasn’t with her and wasn’t able to physically hug her and tell her I love her.
Ironically, I considered writing about the grief process after I returned from her funeral. I have the information and training. I could use it to write about grief stages for others, I told myself. A couple of weeks passed. Then I had an ah-hah moment and began to write about how people can overcome their genetics (and contrary to the response from one commenter in the post, I actually have been in discussions with many researchers that believe our behavior is hard-wired by our genetics). Yes, I was on a secret mission to counter that argument and then give solid research on how we can all be more in control of our genetic predispositions and live healthier and happier lives.
Of course, now I can see that all of that was in reaction to losing my mother. She had diabetes and was only 62 years old. I began to get upset that her food and lifestyle choices are what took her away and left me alone and with all this sadness and guilt. (Funny how we make it about ourselves.) So in a classic grief move— where one feels out of control due to the internal mix of denial, anger, bargaining and depression—I took control. Taking control is a hallmark symptom of grief because we feel out of control, so we overcompensate and attempt to take more control. Usually our efforts fail.
That’s what happened to Part II of my blog. I wanted to tell people about all of the research on healthy living. I wanted to warn people about the dangers of sugar, obesity and inactivity. Heck, while I was at it, maybe I could address all the addictions in the world—from smoking to workaholism and all the isms. How about the dangers lurking in the 1,000+ invisible chemicals that saturate non-organic coffee beans? Or the dangerous phthalates that are leeching into the liquid of all those healthy looking water bottles? Is anyone remembering Chicken Littleright now? “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”
Takeaway number one—the next time you’re annoyed by someone preaching on their soap box about something, maybe you can be a little patient and realize that maybe, just maybe, they are feeling a wee bit out of control and it’s just their attempt to overcompensate. With that disclaimer, I’m still going to share how I have been arriving at that ethereal stage of grief—acceptance. It even provides the answer that was promised in Part I of my blog! (How’s that for making up for lost time?) Please Click here to continue reading full post on Psychology Today... Thank you!