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I feel like I'm going crazy. For a long time after the funeral I was just numb. I didn't feel anything. Now I cycle back and forth between crying all day long, then being angry that she's gone, then feeing numb again. Am I ok? Is this normal?

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Therapist Answer and Transcription

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Hi, it’s Jenna and this is such an important question. The question of why are these feelings states cycling back and forth so chaotically in my life? One minute I feel numb, the next minute I’m sad, the next minute I’m angry, and then I go back to feeling numb again.

This is completely normal! As chaotic as this feels and sounds to you, as you’re describing it, I want to let you know that you are simply getting the very chaotic and unpleasant, but necessary, stages of grief. There are general stages of grief such as shock and denial, bargaining, anger, sadness, even acceptance, but we tend to cycle back and forth through these stages in a very nonlinear way. It’s a very chaotic process and one moment we might be enraged and the next moment we might be overwhelmed with sadness and not be able to stop crying and then a moment later just completely numb.

Sometimes these feelings states will last a moment, or an hour, sometimes they last days, or even weeks ,and that’s okay your process is your process. The only thing I would say is try to have a place where you can really be honest about exactly what you are feeling, where you can name these feelings and give voice to them, first of all to yourself and in a journal perhaps. Just writing out everything that you’re feeling. You might want to give one journal to give voice to your anger and a different journal to give voice to your sadness and perhaps a third journal to let your numbness or your shock have a place to speak. It can be helpful in whatever way feels right for you to have just an area or a person or a group that you can share these feelings with. But, if you notice that you are getting stuck particularly in the sadness or the despair, part of this cycle for a long period of time. If you’re having trouble functioning having difficulty getting out of bed or going about the daily tasks of life and that’s the last thing for longer than a handful of weeks, do reach out to a clinical specialist for some additional support. You want to be speaking with someone who can help you, just to kind of keep a gauge as to whether or not you are dealing with the normal process of grief or whether it may have stepped over into clinical depression, in which case there are therapies, medications and other processes that we can bring on board to help you as you navigate your unique journey of loss.

Thanks for asking. You are not going crazy. You are experiencing the normal stages of grief.

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