POST 16. Sticky Grief

Sticky Grief
Help,! I have sticky grief, and I can’t move on!
Everyone moves through the stages of grief differently. For some, the steps are just too  steep to climb, while for others, they are not.
And for as much as 20% of us, grief is like trying to climb up the front side of a sliding board. Try to climb a foot,  and you just slide back down, landing flat on your back.
Imagine repeating that cycle day after day, month after month, even year after year!
“Help! I’ have sticky grief,  and I can’t move on!”
This is a very real cycle for far too many sufferers of sticky grieving.
What’s going on? Why is your grief so relentless, so sticky?
Have you not really accepted the death of your loved one?Or do you want him/her to stay, so you just refuse to let go. A sticky issue, indeed.
Another person might be holding on to guilt, blaming herself for something, real or imagined. For instance, my husband Lou liked to have someone with him while he worked on projects of interest to him. But I didn’t share his interests, so I did not help him paint birdhouses, make binders of his life experiences, and so on. When he died, the guilt remained. Stickier.

I learned to kayak in Sea of Cortez and Alaska!

Then it dawned on me:  Lou never worked with me on my projects! We lived our lives happily ( for the most part) pursuing our varied interests, not uncommon in many marriages. 
Lou’s favorite pass time 

With that recognition, I was able to release the guilt! What a relief to bid farewell to my perceived wrongs! 
Someone else might suffer from prolonged periods of time where she constantly denies herself of normal pleasures, such as having lunch out with friends or resume a morning yoga class.
Let’s imagine 3 of  your closest friends invite her to lunch. She turns them down. Trying again, they offer,“Come over for dinner,” but she replies, “No, I can’t. I’m busy tonight!” Repeatedly.
To further your isolation, you arrange to get everything you need or want delivered to your door because you don’t want to be with others. You know, those ”normal” people. You’d rather be alone with memories of the past with the one you lost. Stickiest!
There are lots of symptoms of persistent grief. I described a few, those that were familiar to me. Please share your persistent, sticky signs of grieving … too much, or too long.
Please, I want to know!
Prolonged, persistent grieving can be compared to a serious illness. Your doctor tells you that you have high blood pressure and your kidneys are suffering as a result. Will you ignore her, or seek treatment? 
Just as prolonged blood pressure will damage your kidneys, prolonged grieving will damage your mental health.
Is there help for you or for someone you know?
Just like you seek help for a physical condition, you can receive help for complex grief.
Try not to hide your feelings from friends and family. Know they care about you and want to help. Seek one who has empathy and will truly listen …your mother, best friend, co-worker, pastor, social worker, or psychologist. 
Recognize that you do need help. Don’t be afraid! 
Do not ignore talk therapy and psychotherapy. Such care providers can help you realign your life goals so that you can learn to build a different life, a refreshed life!
Yes, you can! I just know you can  rid yourself of the sticky stuff that wants to stop you in your tracks!
Today there is reliable medicine to treat high blood pressure,  and there is medicine that can treat your anxiety, depression, or PTSD that may be the result of a  complex grieving disorder.

Oh, and I’m here, too!

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