Friday, March 19, 2010

Stages


I was talking to a (civilian) friend of mine earlier today and probably complaining a little too much. I've known this girl since I was 8; she's been my best friend for a long time. She even knows Joe. At one point she gives me a reality check and reminds me that Joe is just deployed, not dead. But it got me thinking, a very dangerous thing for a wanna-be psychologist to do. In college, I read a book called "On Death and Dying." by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. She outlines 5 stages of grief.

The stages Kubler-Ross identified are:

Denial (this isn't happening to me!)

Anger (why is this happening to me?)

Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)

Depression (I don't care anymore)

Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)

I fully believe I am going through these stages. The day I left Joe at his company I came home and couldn't believe what I had done. I walked around the house repeating, "what have I done, what have I done? This cant be happening." And then yesterday, I ventured outside of my apartment. Every time I saw a man in uniform I could feel myself getting angry. I even mentioned it on Twitter and some people agreed with my statement and even said the emotions were normal. So today? I stared at my phone until noon. "I just need a phone call. I just need to hear his voice. I just need to know he's okay. Please call me." And at noon, I heard his voice. And my day got noticeably better. It dawned on me that I hadn't eaten since Thursday morning (I get what we have coined Depression Fasting, I actually forget to eat when I'm sad or upset. And when I am hungry, nothing sounds appetizing). I had even opened a box of girl scout cookies so I would eat something and they had been left on the kitchen counter.

So maybe depression is next? I'm not a depressed person, so this could get interesting.
Grief.
Wikipedia defines it as a response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed.
There is this huge void in my life right now. I knew I would be lonely. Anyone could predict there would be a little depression and a lot of sadness. But the stages of grief? I never saw this one coming.


12 comments:

*Jenn* said...

Im here for you girl! Even if we dont know each other very well. By the way- I do the same thing when im sad, or depressed. I dont eat for days and days. I know its not healthy, it just happens. I end up losing a lot of weight though. It all comes back after things calm down. haha

And your friend is right.. I have been thinking the same thing lately. He is just going to training-not to the grave. Its a weird thought, but it helps a little. :)

ABW said...

Google the stages of development. It's totally normal.

Hang in there, and my kids are on spring break this week, but if you want to get together, let me know.

Southern Belle said...

I admire you so much...at least you're aware of your feelings and not just a blubbering mess. If it hadn't have been for my sweet Grandma offering to take me out for a Grandma/Granddaughter Day the day after Jerad deployed, I would have been under the covers crying the day away. Stay strong!

HellcatBetty said...

Ohhh, that book was one of the biggest parts of my undergrad thesis. I know it well! And yes, there certainly are phases and stages. You'll go through them all more than once, I bet. I'm in the "enough already, just get your ass home" stage, lol.

Armywife101 said...

You are not alone in your feelings. there are times when I get so sad and miss my hubby so much that I talk about him in past tense without meaning too. This whole deployment thing is a period of adjusting.

Sara said...

Thanks ladies! I loved my On Death and Dying class. It was taught my a really great teacher. Sadly, he lost his mother to terminal cancer that semester. He was strong enough to use that experience to further our education.

Rachel said...

I totally anticipate feeling the same way, I've already felt as though it is going to feel like we have gotten divorced and re-starting my life without him. I hope today is a good day for you!

Expat Girl said...

I totally agree with you, I think these stages are totally natural with a deployment

Erin said...

I absolutely agree! I know we have to keep it in perspective that our husbands/boyfriends are deployed not dead, BUT I totally think that when they deploy we go through a grieving process. This is exactly how I felt during both deployments.

Kayla said...

I said goodbye last night. You're a few days ahead of me, but dang it its nice to see someone else feeling exactly like I do... right. now.
Everyone says this gets better with time. We'll just have to trust them right? :)

Dawna said...

I was doing some reading recently, and can't remember why I ended up coming across it, but it was with regard to anticipatory grief. I didn't realize until I was reading it that I had experienced that the last time Dh was deployed. I ended up in a really deep depression that time by the end...

The first deployment, though... while WE were at Fort Carson, I was really involved and too busy to get depressed. I had my moments, but nothing like the LAST deployment... The "successful" one is the one that I'm mentally trying to pattern this one after.

My suggestion? Think of things that you've considered learning or learning to do over the years or even ponder on the things that bring joy to you... Hobbies! Hobbies are very important and help A LOT!

BIG HUGS to you, Sara!

Army Well-Being said...

This blog post was featured on Army Well-Being! See Sara's guest blog post here: http://armywellbeing.blogspot.com/2010/04/deployment-and-stages-of-grief.html