“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
All of us experience major disruptions at certain points in our lives. In fact, this is an expected and predictable hallmark of the human condition. For some, these hard times come frequently – the impact of the trauma is overwhelming and recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow. Others show resilience and are able to glide through these times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life again quickly. Resilience – the strength required to adapt to chaos and hardship – lies at the heart of mental and emotional health.
Most divorcing people are forced to come to terms with a number of fears. What will people say? Who can I trust to talk to? How can I handle my partner’s anger toward me? How do I deal with my own anger? Am I a complete failure? How can I be a single parent? Will I be able to keep my children? What about money? Can I do the banking and buy groceries and pay bills and fix the car? Can I handle my loneliness? Am I completely unlovable? Will I ever love anyone else again? Do I have the energy for this much change? When we hold on to our fears and refuse to do anything about them, we increase the likelihood that these will be the very areas where we experience trouble.
The incidence of depression in our society seems to be on the rise. Recent estimates suggest that as many as one in three of us will experience some form of depression within our lifetimes. Others claim that depression may even represent a symptom of our times which are characterized by alienation, lack of strong community bonds, and hopeless economic situations for many.
It is normal to feel sad and experience down days occasionally. Most people go through normal periods of feeling dispirited, especially after they experience a loss or any other period of stress.
But what specialists call clinical depression is different from just being “down in the dumps.” The main difference is that the sad or empty mood does not go away after a couple of weeks – and everyday activities like eating, sleeping, socializing, or working can be affected.
Losing your job hurts—plain and simple. For some, it’s devastating.
Not only can it hurt your financial welfare, it can cause emotional pain and suffering. Depending on your reactions to this crisis, it can severely impact your relationships with family and friends. In fact, for some people a job loss is similar to hearing about the death of a loved one. And there are reasons why you may feel this loss so deeply.
It’s a common practice in much of today’s society to place our identity in our job and in our career. For example, you may have based your self-worth and self-esteem on your job responsibilities, or on your coworkers’ respect for you, or on your job title, or your workplace relationships, and losing any of these can mean losing part or all of your personal identity.
The grief that follows a job loss is a natural and very real. Like most significant losses, the side effects can be painful and often happen unexpectedly. But there is a way through this loss that can create growth and healthy changes.
Let’s look at how this might happen and what steps to take going forward.