Yes, You Can Get Over a Crisis

Crises can strike at any time robbery, rape, retrenchment, a relationship break up or a car accident. But crippling as they may seem at the time, we can get over them. The secret is understanding the process you need to go through and getting help when you need it. Having information about your response to a crises empowers you because you know what to expect.

‘I couldn’t breathe. It was as though someone had dropped a load of bricks on my chest,’ says Judi, a 29 year old bank clerk. Early one August evening in 2006 she learnt her partner of two years had died in a car crash.If my sister hadn’t helped for a few months I wouldn’t have got by financially. But feelings take longer to fix…’

As with most crises, it wasn’t just the pain of loss that shattered her but also the practical repercussions. Judi found James had debts he’d kept from her. ‘He’d just opened his own motor workshop so there wasn’t much money and he loved to spoil me’, She came close to losing their flat, which was in his name, although she had paid half the deposit.

Her grief was mixed with an anger that surprised her. ‘One moment I’d be crying, the next I’d be ranting.’ She was angry with James for dying and leaving her in a mess, angry with God and angry with herself. Judi’s confusing clash of emotions is normal. Whatever your loss or crisis, it plunges you into different stages as you grieve. The best way to heal is to be prepared for these stages.

Your loss or other trauma may be great or small but it’s always personal so your response is individualized. It will be shaped by your personality, family, culture and spiritual beliefs but it will fall into certain universal stages. Grief starts with denial before moving on to anger, depression and finally acceptance.

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