Life transitions can really disrupt your outlook. They can be challenging, scary, exciting, or rewarding. They can be full of beauty or full of pain. Either way, they tend to involve a lot of grief and loss of the world you knew before — and they can be an important time to re-evaluate how you are relating to the world around you.
When you lose parts of yourself, your environment, the relationships you hold dear, or even something you imagined for yourself in your future, it can be difficult to adjust to the new feelings of vulnerability, uncertainty, and sadness you’re experiencing.
Loss can be experienced in many ways. It might mean loss of a role, a person, a place, a community, an identity, or a way of being. Sometimes these big changes are planned and other times they may be unexpected. But either way, loss can make you question everything around you and can stir up anxiety that you didn’t know was there. You are leaving the familiar behind and are being forced into adjusting to a new way of living — even if it is only temporary.
Even positive experiences, like getting married, transitioning into parenthood, starting a new job, retiring, or buying a house can create a feeling of loss. With every big life change, there is grief of the life you lived before.
Grief sometimes looks a lot like depression. It can make you feel tired, sad, overwhelmed, confused, or irritable. And although your experience of grief is temporary, that doesn’t mean you have to journey through it alone. Disruptions to your daily functioning are not to be taken lightly and, with the right guidance and tools, you can learn how to live more fully again.
How Therapy Helps
Finding a therapist to support you in your grief recovery is one of the first steps to feeling whole again. Through the therapeutic relationship, you’ll create the space and time for reflection and renewal. You’ll discover how to feel empowered even when you’re feeling the most lost.
With the help of your therapist, you’ll learn how to adjust to this new era of your life and heal through the grief that might be overcoming you. At times, this work starts with understanding your grief and learning more about how changes in your identity are impacting you.
You’ll also learn coping strategies, ways to reframe the changes you are experiencing, and how to see opportunities for growth amidst all of the heaviness. Your therapist will assist you in understanding more about your values and the things that you hold true. You’ll learn to identify your feelings more effectively and better see what you’re leaving behind.
Our therapists at Kalamazoo Therapy Group are compassionate, gentle, and experienced in helping clients understand and manage their life transitions. No matter how big or small the changes in your life have been, support is here for you.