Every year the entertainment industry congratulates itself with a myriad of awards, culminating with the film industry’s Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Awards. Many tune in to see the fashions, learn who wins what, and listen for political, humorous, poignant or controversial acceptance speeches. Winning an Academy Award makes careers and elevates winners, especially actors, directors and producers, into the coveted “A-listers” group.
Those who have suffered a loss are plunged into a new role of griever, for which they are often not prepared to play. They also find out very quickly that our society does not celebrate this role and unless played just right, they risk being cast down and treated as pariahs. They learn that the culturally preferred way to play this role is to be strong for others and put on a happy face. As a result, grievers are rewarded for covering up their sadness and pain with a smile and act recovered, when in fact they are far from it. The Grief Recovery Institute calls this “Academy Award Recovery.”
In this effort to prevent being ostracized and isolated, grievers instead suffer from emotional isolation and denial of their feelings that can significantly impact their ability to grieve and truly recover from their loss. One of the hardest things grievers must do to begin their recovery is to put aside this role as defined by our culture and to acknowledge to themselves that they are not okay, that it is okay to not be okay, and to seek assistance in recovering from their loss. It is a cultural myth that asking for help is a sign of weakness. There is no shame in seeking help to mend a broken heart. It shows tremendous courage at a time when grievers are most vulnerable.
I encourage all grievers who find they are playing the role of Academy Award Recovery to take that first step. I know it is difficult, and I commend you for your courage. Although it may not feel that way now, you will be glad you did. Please call me at (404) 771-9335. I can help.
The Grief Recovery Method® provides a safe, confidential opportunity to gain a better understanding of grief and the myths and misinformation our society perpetuates about grief and the grieving process. This method teaches specific action steps you can take to say goodbye to the pain and heartache caused by loss. It is an effective way to complete unfinished business, such as coming to terms with the things you wish you would have said or done differently, better or more. It also helps you to let go of negative feelings such as anger and contempt. By doing so, you will be able to move on and be happy once again. The Grief Recovery Method® is not therapy, but an educational program. It is available in an eight-week grief support group or a seven-week one-on-one format.
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