When you are grieving, everything seems far away and not connected. It is as if you are looking at your life from far within yourself, and hearing everything as if it is through a paper tube. There is a lot of distance, both physically and psychologically. You may feel like you are walking through quicksand or molasses. Everything goes very slowly. It is hard to take care of everyday tasks, and so it is almost impossible to take care of unusual tasks like tending to your soul’s needs.
Grief isn’t just over a physical death. You can grieve over any loss or change. Changing a job, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, can bring on grief. Divorce, whether you wanted it or not, can do the same. Any change such as moving to a different town, having a baby, or getting a new health diagnosis, can cause big emotions. It is important to recognize this and take time to process it.
If we bottle these feelings up it is the same as swallowing our own sickness. It will only make us feel worse. Get it out! Yell, cry, wail. Complain to a trusted friend who can handle it. Seek therapy. There is a Jewish saying that it is important to have friends, and if you don’t have friends, it is OK to buy them. This is the source of why it is OK to have a therapist. A therapist or a counselor is a paid friend.
My suggestion is to first recognize if you are sick with grief and pain from a loss, and then to get it out. Don’t bottle it in. Crying is excellent medicine. If you don’t start to feel like your regular self in about a month, or if your grief is just too much for you, please seek professional help. Seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness – to NOT seek help is. Self-medicating also isn’t the answer – it just puts a Band-Aid over a severed artery.