Overcoming Grief: Counseling Saved Me

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It was complete mixed emotions after I figured out that my father died two days before my graduation. I developed a strong feeling of sadness that eventually turned into anger. I lost a stable relationship with my friends and family because I shut down communication for about two months. I was in deep pain, and the more I tried pretending that I was okay, the more it hurts.

I Was In Denial

The first time I heard the call from my sister, I thought it was a prank. However, I knew (at that moment) she wasn’t going to tell me that it was. She just kept on mentioning my name while I was listening to her on the other line. Later on, I knew it was time to hang up. I didn’t desire to believe it, and as much as possible, I wanted to call my dad so I can make a confirmation directly. But who am I kidding? He’s dead, and there’s no way he will be able to say anything. According to Curt Drennen, PsyD, RN, “Sometimes people seem to deny, to be in a daze, but these are all coping mechanisms.” And I’m in it.

I Couldn’t Handle The Pain

When I started drinking a lot (almost every day), I knew that there was something wrong with me. I knew I needed help, but I just couldn’t find the right words to describe what I was feeling. I started to behave violently, and I regularly got aggressive for no apparent reason. I was entirely disoriented. There were tons of sleepless nights, and I couldn’t refrain myself from crying. The grieving process took longer than I expected that it almost destroyed my overall health.

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I Was Depressed

Though people told me that it was naturally okay to feel sad and to mourn the dead, I saw things differently. I lost control of the things that made me happy, and I didn’t consider doing stuff anymore. I felt the need just to do nothing. I became open to the idea of suicide and tried hurting myself a couple of times. I was unhappy and angry at the same time. I felt guilty and blamed myself for wasting my time spending it with friends instead of trying to talk with my dad. As I realized, “Depression is more than an emotion or a state of mind, it is really a process. It is a combination of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.” Robert Allison, MA, LPC was right when he said that.

I Was Destroyed

The last time I remember, I was almost out of breath due to intoxication. I couldn’t move my body. I was shouting for help but no one was available for assistance. Then I realized I was too harsh on myself. I let grief took over me and allowed it to destroy me dramatically. I was hopeless and frightened at the same time.

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I Sought Help

The moment I understood that depression was something that I needed to address, I started to ask for help. I went on a counseling session that made me re-think the essential aspects of life. I underwent psychotherapy via BetterHelp due to the damaging symptoms I had such as insomnia, too much weight loss, hallucinations, anxiety, and extreme sadness. The process of counseling gave me a chance to grieve properly. Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC explains that “Therapy is often necessary to help those left behind understand why their loved one took this action. It can be difficult to resolve feelings of grief and anger without professional help.”

My father’s loss is something that will traumatize me until the rest of my life. However, I have to explore the areas of my weakness and work on it positively so I can quite manage to move on. Though the adjustments I am about to take will not be easy, at least I’m proud to say that I initiated the step to recovery.