You’re stuck in grief, loneliness, anger, and despair. Talking with friends and family is exhausting. You feel horrible.
You can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep.
Some days you overeat, or have an extra glass of wine or two, or sleep too much to avoid the suffering you’re going through.
And you’re so tired. You don’t know how to move past this. You don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing. Some days you wake up and don’t want to go on.
You’re heartsick and discouraged and hate how you’re feeling but don’t have the energy to feel any better.
You know you need some help, but you don’t know where to turn or who you can trust.
What is Grief?
We grieve when we lose someone or something we love. It’s a normal reaction that people experience differently, meaning how you react to grief isn’t how someone else can react. Feelings of deep sadness and sorrow are common.
You don’t want closure on those relationship, with those people or places or pets or ways of living that’ve meant so much to you. They’ve become part of what has given you great joy.
We want to remember who and what we have loved.
However, for some people, those powerful waves of emotions can feel overwhelming. When that happens, help from a licensed professional such as a psychotherapist who’s trained in grief counseling is a wise choice.
These are sacred energies, and should be handled with gentle compassion and wise guidance.
You can learn to manage your emotions, and transform the feelings of isolation and hopelessness into acceptance, self-compassion, and the vulnerable strength that help you begin connecting to the people and things that matter most to you.
Connection is everything, in terms of life satisfaction, health and wellbeing, and happiness.
And when you become too isolated, you begin losing that life-giving sense of connection, and loneliness can then begin taking up way too much room in your head and heart. And then that can trigger a downward spiral of despair, anxiety, depression, and even physical illness.
I know you don’t want that for yourself.
Different Kinds of Loss
There are so many ways your heart can get broken. The grief of losing a person you love is something that most people understand.
Other times, though, the loss can be more subtle. There’s something called ambiguous loss, which is “an unclear loss,” according to Dr. Pauline Boss, the psychologist and researcher who developed the theory and wrote two books about it.
Experiencing ambiguous loss is poignant and personal for me. Many years ago, my son was diagnosed with a severe, chronic mental illness. He suffers from a hidden disability. His intelligence, humor, and musical gifts mask his underlying struggles. He looks “normal.” But parenting has been anything but that.
He has, of course, experienced many ambiguous losses throughout his lifetime, including his sense of self, and how the world is supposed to work. And as a mother, I experienced the loss of my ideas and plans and dreams about what it meant to be a mom.
The truth is that I didn’t know that I was grieving over the loss of so much, which Dr. Boss says isn’t unusual. Many of us don’t understand that we’ve experienced significant loss and need to grieve them so we can move forward and accept life as it now is.
Grieving Ambiguous Loss
Doing my own grief counseling allowed me to be the parent my son needed, which continues to help me find satisfaction and fulfillment.
Other examples of ambiguous loss include losing your sense of identity, which can happen with adoption, congenital birth defects, chronic illness, financial reversal, job loss, retirement, or becoming a widow.
As well, many people are grappling with loneliness, feeling sad, or feeling lost at the current political situation, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many others are experiencing grief as a result of the climate crisis.
It’s also true that your grief and feelings of hopelessness are compounded if the people around you don’t understand or agree with what you’ve lost, or don’t know how to support you.
How Does Grief Make You Feel?
One of the paradoxes of grief is that, even though everyone experiences grief and loss, we don’t like how it feels.
It can be earth-shattering, life-altering, and cataclysmically horrific. Who wants to feel these feels? Who would know how to carry such a weight? Especially if you’ve been trying to hold too much sadness for too long, all by yourself.
Here are some of the things you may be feeling or experiencing after a loss.
- as though everything in your world has flattened out
- things don’t matter the way they used to
- fatigue or exhaustion
- agitation or restlessness or anxiety or impatience and/or quick to get angry
- fuzzy brain or foggy thinking
- terrible sleep — not enough or too much; never feeling rested
- it’s hard to focus on anything for very long
- eating more or less than you used to
- it’s difficult (or impossible) to sit through a sitcom or read a book or enjoy a meal or spend an hour with a friend the way you used to
- working more, cleaning more, and/or trying to manage or control things or events or people in your life
- not feeling comfortable in your skin
- feeling numb, as if there’s a fog bank between you and the rest of the world; eating too many carbs; drinking more alcohol or smoking weed or using edibles
- swirling thoughts that keep you stuck in dark, lonely, isolated places in your mind
- sadness, emotional/mental/spiritual pain, suffering
Some Grief Can Become Traumatic
Even though it’s not unusual to some people to talk about grief and loss, other people may not know that what you’re feeling is grief. Grief then can become frozen.
That means that your pain and suffering become chronic, often overshadowing everything else in your life.
Your life can become frozen in unprocessed, unresolved pain and suffering. Then, you’re just going through the motions of living your life, desperate to look like you’re OK when you’re feeling lost and hopeless and helpless on the inside.
You can feel stuck, overwhelmed, worthless, hopeless, powerless, full of self-loathing or self-hatred, anxious, and confused about what’s happening.
Remember, grief is a normal response to losing someone or something you’ve loved. But when grief begins taking over your life, you need professional help from a seasoned psychotherapist who can help you recover your sense of balance and create more space to live with peace and joy.
One of my specialities is giving women the tools to cope with intense emotions. I use the latest neuroscience findings, and combine Western systems, Eastern wisdom, gentle Earth-based practices, as well as creative, innovative ideas to help you feel better as quickly as possible.
Grief Counseling in Santa Fe, NM
Sadness and loss are part of being alive. And grieving our losses is part of what it means to live a rich, full life. If you’re stuck in the past and can’t seem to move forward on your own, or living with ambiguous loss, please reach out to schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m Melanie, the Santa Fe Therapist. My compassionate, creative approach to grief counseling in Santa Fe NM weaves together my ability to hear below the surface of the words, advanced degrees, years of specialized training, professional experience, and personal experiences healing from loss.
Clients usually work with me once a week for 8-12 months. As we work together, you’ll process your sadness and loss in an emotionally safe space, and begin learning how to step into the world again, on your terms.
Please know that I welcome ongoing conversations about making therapy the best experience it can be for you.
The Santa Fe Therapist Offers Online Counseling in Santa Fe, NM
Online therapy helps women who are struggling with grief and loss find the time away from day-to-day pressures to calm their nervous systems. It also makes it easy and convenient to process emotions and learn new neuroscience techniques cope with challenges, heal the past, and begin building your future.
I strongly believe in the power of online counseling. Along with the research that proves its effectiveness, I see the positive benefits for clients every week. Click here if you’ve got questions about online therapy.
Online counseling from anywhere in New Mexico, including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, Los Alamos, Pecos, Las Vegas, Tesuque and El Dorado.
How to Get Grief Counseling in Santa Fe NM
You don’t have to suffer alone anymore. Please, send me an email, and let’s schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation: email@example.com, for grief counseling in Santa Fe.
Other Services From The Santa Fe Therapist
The Santa Fe Therapist specializes in several areas of health, wellbeing, healing and recovery. We know that one size never fits all. Our services are individualized to each client, and are based on your values, your needs and desires, and your goals.
We offer individual adult counseling and guidance in Santa Fe NM for: