So, there was this female pioneer in the 60’s, who founded what we now know as the five stages of grief and loss. You might have heard of her if you’ve been grieving and doing mass Google searches on anything remotely related to loss and break-ups. Her name is Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American smarty-pants (1926-2004).
I wish she were still alive and I could sit down and talk with her right now. This moment. Actually, maybe yell in her face. Scream bloody murder even. Because I’m stuck, somewhere in these five gosh-darn stages that she concocted, and I could use her help, her insight.
I’m stuck at a point that I can’t quite identify because it looks and feels like a lot of things, but I’m sure it could be named something appropriate. Such as, “I Hate this Fucking Place-ville” or “Get Me the Hell Out of Here” or even, “You’re Own Personal Emotional Purgatory”. Imagine the big red tack on a map at a rest stop along some random super highway that says, “You are here” and you’re trying to figure out how many more miles until you reach your final destination, or a Starbucks.
I still have 3 more stages to go.
Fuck! My! Life!
Okay, if you’ve been reading (anything) I’ve put out, you’ll quickly gather that I’m navigating a very raw and painful breakup. It really sucks. In fact, it’s downright unbearable, which is why I’m choosing to rant in a public capacity, because then I don’t feel so pitifully alone…*sigh*…and it’s quite cathartic, but I digress.
So this Kubler-Ross chick, she had a pretty decent grasp on the process of grief and loss. The original layout looks like this:
Now, you may (or may not) experience these stages in the order they are outlined in the above model, because there are stages that you might possibly skip (lucky you), and if you do skip a stage I would call you a “fast-tracker” and then possibly turn a little green. Now, a person can spend an indefinite amount of time in each stage and in any random order. There is no rhyme or reason, since each persons grief/loss is unique unto them, just like their fingerprint.
For me, I’d say I’m quite definitely stuck somewhere between depression and acceptance. Or maybe not. Maybe I’m still firmly planted in the “what the fuck just happened” stage? Sheesh! Some days, it’s incredibly hard to tell. FML (again)!
I certainly experienced anger and it came very early, at the onset of the break-up really. One, because I found out some information that backed-up the fact that the man I am in love with had been lying to me (for a long time) and two, because I couldn’t believe he would actually lie to me for so long. I was angry because I felt like a complete and total rube. Like I got “had”, tricked, misled if you will. But, the anger burned out as quickly as it had set in and I eventually moved on to the depression stage and that’s where I have been ever since.
I’m not sure denial has been entertained yet, or will even enter the process. Or maybe it has and it piggybacked on the anger and therefore went undetected? Ah, for fucks sake. It’s all a mess. This emotional crap.
Anyway, after Kubler-Ross introduced the five stages of grief model, someone else came along (not sure who) and decided to add their two cents and expand upon her model by contributing the “upward turn” and “reconstruction” stages. Ummm….okay. Because five stages of processing all the emotional crappola wasn’t enough of a drag, someone thought it would be fun to toss in two more additional stages, just for shits and giggles? Cruel I say. Just downright cruel! It must have been a man…just saying.
Well, I’m going to show him! I’ll call your seven stages and raise you one more! HA!
Wait! Shit! Did I just create more work for myself? Well, maybe I’ll luck out and skip a stage, or three.
This is the updated model and where I currently am residing between the stages, and yes, I have added my own input (seen in blue), because I like nice round numbers. So now, the new model has eight stages. You’re welcome.
Waffle for an indefinite amount of time.
It’s like you’re a cool couple of steps ahead of depression, but you feel like a fruit loop because one minute you’re all like “I’m so ready to move on” and “I got this shit” and the next it’s like you’re frantically looking for the spoon to devour an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy (or whatever flavor floats your emotionally shipwrecked boat) in the darkest closet of your house and hope the twenty extra pounds you put on during the grief process is just an illusion to you and everyone else around you.
You are here…
And the only thing you can do is honor that space, of “here”, and do the work and process the information. It’s okay to defend your right to heal at your own pace. Take your time. You are allowed. And when you are ready, you will move on the next phase, or, if you’re a lucky bitch, you’ll skip a couple 😀
On my journey of healing, I’m fighting to remind myself that I am NOT and will NOT be defined by my grief, but rather I’m being shaped by God to be stronger yet more vulnerable; to be more loving and to trust in my faith that I will be ok.
I’m learning to heal with a heart that is wide open…
Until next time…