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Thursday, August 5, 2010

How to Get Over a Major Disappointment

So you've been let down by someone you had trusted a lot, loved a lot, cared for a lot. Maybe you feel like a fool, maybe not. And if you feel like you've been made a fool of, so much the better, for it automatically takes you to the second stage of grief.

You may not neccessarily experience all the 5 stages of grief (Kübler-Ross model), nor will you definitely experience it in the order presented. You may even cycle through a few or all of the stages a couple of times.

Stage 1 - Denial (or disbelief)
Stage 2 - Anger
Stage 3 - Bargaining (or reasoning)
Stage 4 - Depression (or mourning)
Stage 5 - Acceptance (or enlightenment)

I've found that doing the following helps greatly in easing the pain and letting me come to terms with my loss. It may not neccessarily work for you but there's no harm in giving it a try.

1) Talk to someone close to you.

You could see a psychologist, but I feel that advice which is given by someone who doesn't know you well and/or who is doing it for money, tends to be rather clinical and sometimes off-the-mark. Talk to a family member, your spouse, your children even. Preferably someone with a great, but kind sense of humour who is able to cheer you up by making you laugh, and/or someone of sound judgement. Someone who has a positive attitude towards life and who is able to empathise (empathising doesn't mean agreeing with how you see things, but being able to understand why you see things the way you do). Slowly and surely, they will lead you out of the darkness.

2) Cry, throw a tantrum, break something cheap.

I can't emphasise how important this is. You need to find an outlet for the pressure before it drives you insane and further into the dark abyss of depression. If you watch a lot of television, especially sob dramas, you would have picked up a couple of ways to do this. Like going to the top of the mountain and screaming your lungs out. Just be sure you don't have any intention of jumping off.

3) Bargain, reason, rationalise.

Let the bevy of thoughts run through your head. Let them clash, fight, murder each other. It is important not to block. In my case, I pen my thoughts down in a journal or blog as well. I write, I edit, I write some more, until I have justified the situation. There is no right or wrong answer. You just need to come to terms with what has happened and be at peace with yourself. Sometimes you will not get an answer from the person who has let you down. Thus it is extremely important that you do this step until you are able to convince yourself that you have done what you humanly could, given the circumstances, and that you have no regrets.

4) Get out into the sun and do a little dance.

No, this doesn't mean you are taking things lightly. You do not need to feel guilty for loving and taking good care of yourself. In fact, you owe it to yourself to stay healthy and happy. Exposing yourself to sunlight means your body produces Vitamin D which helps alleviate depression. In addition, the fresh air and the gentle breeze on your face will soothe you and make you happy.

5) Have some fun.

Do something you enjoy, be it work, or gardening, or cooking, or painting, or shopping, or eating, or going to a spa. This isn't meant to take your mind off the situation. It isn't a way for you to block or ignore your grief, but to get your body to generate more serotonin, which will in turn help calm you down and keep your mood in balance.

6) Prep talk yourself.

You are wonderful, you are awesome, you are just short of being perfect (let's still reserve some humility shall we?) And if you happen to be grieving due to the loss of some jerk, there is no better moment for you to realise this. There are people who love you, and if you think otherwise, hey, I care enough about you to post this entry.


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