The grieving process starts with denial, and ends with acceptance.
The process is pretty much the same for all types of loss. From the death of a loved one, to the end of a dream career, grief takes place using the following 5 stages (indentified by psychologist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross) : denial, anger, bargaining, depression & lastly acceptance.
Getting diagnosed with a mental illness is like losing a loved one, but that loved one is you.
- Denial – I knew I was different from my peers at an early age, but that didn’t stop me from trying my very best to fit in. I would get in trouble alot as a teen because of my impulsive behavior and constant need for attention, good or bad. I shifted the blame on everyone else but myself until that got old. I had anxiety/depression issues to begin with which led to me being prescribed xanax, klonopins, and every antidepressant under the sun at 18. Even after popping a handful of pills just to stay afloat, you wouldn’t dare call me looney. After being hospitalized & going to treatment centers, I still felt like the doctors read me all wrong………
- Anger – Once I accepted my flaws I stopped giving a damn about myself and everyone around me. I turned my back on God and I hated him for punishing me. I grew cold and bitter, and everyday I woke up I cursed at God for giving me another day. What did I do to deserve this burden?
- Bargaining – Maybe if I quit smoking weed (more like slow down), go to a non denominational church, & start working out more all of this bs will fade and I will feel better. I wouldnt need to take any pills and could live a happy life. Boy was I in for a wake up call!
- Depression – I stopped caring about who I was as a person, any morale I once had, and what my future had to offer. I felt stuck. I stopped taking my meds & my drug use increased. I didn’t care if I lived or died because I didnt ask to be bipolar, I never requested PTSD from the menu & histionic personality disorder was a slap in the face to the amazing girl I once thought I was. I wanted out! (Led me to my 3rd hospitalization in January 2017)
- Acceptance – I packed my bags and drove to the hospital sick & tired of being sick & tired. I had enough! I was ready listen to what others had to say & digest it into every fiber or my being. What I have been doing in the past ceased to work so it only made sense to try something new. I learned so much about myself and my disorders during my stay at the hospital I started this blog! I came to terms with my illness and found peace.
I see the world through a different set of lenses now. I’m learning more & more each day about my authentic self. Finding new strategies on being the best I can be is enticing to me.
Even though I grieved over my old self, finding that strength to accept the truth brings me a sense of happiness I can’t even put into words 🙂