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All About the Fog of Grief

Waking up one morning to the realisation that your life has changed irreparably through no choice or decision of your own can cause a fog to descend upon you that you have never experienced before.

 

What is fog?

 

This fog is part and parcel of the grieving process.  A reaction to the trauma you are experiencing. Driving in fog can present a myriad of challenges, from reduced visibility to the heightened risk of accidents and collisions.  Similarly, loss and grief can bring its own set of issues, testing our emotional resilience and challenging our ability to find meaning and purpose in the face of loss.  Like driving in fog, navigating through grief requires patience, perseverance, and a willingness to embrace the unknown.

 

What happens?

 

The fog of grief works in the same way. You can transform very quickly from a fully functioning member of society to somebody who can’t find things, loses their train of thought, is unable to make a decision, doesn’t see the point of anything and even just staring into space without being aware of how long you have been doing it for.  It is emotional, mental, and physical. Life becomes confusing while you are trying to fathom what has just happened.   You may find you do not have any inclination to cook or clean.  Your normal activities and pastimes might come grinding to a halt.  For some women this might coincide with the menopause, so it feels like a double whammy.

 

How to deal with this?

 

Well, there is no concrete solution but here are some pointers:

1.     Accept help if it is on offer.  There is no need to go through this alone. Reach out to friends, family or a therapist/support group who can offer understanding and support. 

2.     Allow Yourself to feel and acknowledge your feelings of loss and grief. There should not be any shame involved and it is not a sign of weakness.  It’s ok to feel a range of emotions including sadness, anger, guilt, or confusion.  Suppressing these emotions can prolong the grieving process. 

3.     Take Care of Yourself and recognise that you may need longer to get things done.  Be patient and accepting of your newfound situation. Understand that this fog will be tiring and allow yourself to take regular breaks/rests. While it may seem obvious to tell you to prioritise your self-care by eating healthily, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep, the reality is that this may be very difficult to achieve at the moment, so perhaps remind yourself that you will just do the best you can and that is OK. 

4.    Creating rituals or routines can provide some structure during this difficult time.  It could be lighting a candle, journaling your thoughts and feelings, or visiting a special place you shared with your loved one. Finding activities that help you value your memories while you process your emotions and your bereavement can help you to move forward.

 

If none of this is enough, perhaps consider looking for a suitable therapist or a grief support group.

 

If you are living or in close contact with somebody in this situation, encourage them to talk to their GP or therapist if they need help.

 

Lucy is a psychotherapist working remotely via zoom

+44 7787 283895

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