How Does Grief Change You as a Person
Grief changes us. That much, we all know. We know about the changes in our eating habits, in the way we sleep or the way we feel. We know we become a little disoriented, a little short-tempered. But we also know these changes are temporary. They happen when we’re dealing with the bulk of our grief, and fade away as we begin to heal, as we learn to keep living after loss.
Grief changes us, but not at all those changes are temporary. Some are long-term. And those long-term changes? They’re different for all of us. Grief may affect the same areas of our lives, but we won’t all change in the same way. The changes you will go through in your own grief journey are going to be very much your own.
The impact grief has on us can be so severe it changes our personality. Think back to who you were before your pregnancy/infant loss. Would you say you were generally cheerful and free-spirited? If so, it’s possible grief might push you towards the other end of the spectrum. You may become a little quieter, more reserved, more careful in the way you move about the world.
Of course, if you used to be more cautious and sceptical, you might find yourself opening up a little, becoming more carefree and trying to live day-by-day instead of trying to plan your life ten years ahead.
How You View Life
There might be a strong shift in your values, too. Things you used to tolerate might become unthinkable, unbearable. You might find yourself questioning your values, trying to figure out what really matters to you now, after losing your baby.
The way you view your future and your family’s future will change. Your plans will look murky and will be altered depending on what you realize you want and don’t want in your life. Maybe that fancy promotion won’t sound as nice anymore, or the city you wanted to move to no longer appeals to you.
And, of course, depending on how sudden or traumatizing the pregnancy or infant loss was, it can signiciantly alter the way you see the world. The world won’t seem fair to you, won’t seem safe. It will feel hostile and hard to live in, and who could blame you for feeling that way?
The Burdens You Carry
No matter what stage of pregnancy you experienced the loss, you will forever carry it with you. And whatever trauma you gained from that experience will follow you as well. But grief is an odd thing. You won’t just add burdens, loss and trauma to what you already carry, you’ll shed some too.
You might begin to let go of unnecessary worries. You’ll start focusing on the things you can do and change to make your life a little better. Some of that anxiety you used to carry will lessen because life has been put into perspective in a way that can’t be ignored.
How You Relate to Others
And of course, grief will alter the way you interact with the world around you. Maybe you’ll let go of the friendships and family ties that made you feel like you were drowning during the worst of your grief.
Instead, you’ll put some more work into the bonds you forged with the people who were there for you: friends and family who had your back while you were recovering, people from support groups who helped you and who you helped in return.
If you’re still struggling with the worst of your grief, then having a support network is important. Friends and family members may help keep you afloat, but it’s okay if you need professional help too. If that’s the case, then don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment. You don’t have to go through this alone.
To learn more about how Mindful Reflections can help, check out our Pregnancy Loss Counseling page.
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