DEATH grieving process - use this when you’ve lost something or someone and feel crap.
Distraction, Emotions, Apathy, Truth, Healing
D: Denial and Distraction. Numbness and denial are big parts of this. We tell ourselves: “I’ll just watch a movie, I guess I’m just tired or bored today, I’m fine though, nothing’s wrong”. We use substances, people, and instant gratification to deny and distract ourselves from the pain of loss. We often use rationalisation to justify this. Without boundaries this can lead to addiction. It’s not to say we banish pleasure, validation and fun activities. The trick is to give yourself permission to feel before you fill the hole of your pain. Place boundaries on it. Start a 20 min timer. No distractions in this time
E: Emotions! Intense emotions usually follow when you face your fears, resentments and underlying sadness. It will help to temporarily, and safely (in private) amplify your emotions: Let yourself kick, scream, cry and punch pillows. Radically allow it, in a safe container, not aimed at anyone directly (although you may curse and blame them in private = hate-gasm!) Express your emotions fully and safely, and then you’ll be tired.
A: Apathy: otherwise known as depression - which is a natural state (DEEP-REST) There is a time for taking space, for dwelling on and internalising emotions. You may have many negative thoughts here. Write them down. Listen to something that is helpful or fits with your mood. I like the dark comedy of Bill Hicks, or philosophers like Alan Watts who tell it like it is. Life is pointless! But they can help us see that it is therefore also beautiful, just like the music of The Blues! Let yourself be miserable and listen to the blues for a bit.
T: Truth: After a while you’ll get bored of being miserable and then it’s time to re-engage with analysis of the facts. Write down what happened, what you did, what you felt. Bullet points or facts and feelings only. Separate out all opinions (should/ need/ must/ ought to/ judgements/ labels).Accept all these facts by speaking each one aloud, followed by an affirming sentence such as ‘These are the facts, I accept them’ or “and that’s OK”. Accept your imperfections of the past so that you can do better from now on.
H: Healing: Honouring the truth brings acceptance and harmony, but first we need time to heal. Healing of an emotional wound means allowing yourself to feel it but also to be gentle and loving with yourself. Give the body some TLC and cleanse it of toxins and rubbish. Do something nourishing and learn from the truth. The STOP technique may help here also, to convert the Stories and Truths into Opportunities and Plans. Forgive yourself and start looking after your whole self again - mind, body, relationships.
Copyright Neil Morbey