Have a Good Identity Crisis, Please
Events that cause big changes in our lives can be devastating. Lost your job? Laid off or fired? It may take longer in today’s economy to find that new job, than it takes to get over the emotional disruption you experienced. Studies say that it will take about two years to recover from a job loss and to get your life back in order. And if it was an unexpected loss, it may take even longer.
What if it was a significant relationship that abruptly ended? What about a divorce you didn’t see coming? How long does that take? It depends on how long you’ve been married. Some years ago, The Ackerman Institute in New York, a family therapy center, suggested it could take about 25% of the time you were married for a full recovery to be experienced. So if you were married 20 years, it can take up to five years for you to fully recover from that trauma. Some of that time could have started prior to the divorce being initiated, and certainly you are hopefully healthier at the four year mark, but any life disruption takes time for healing to occur.
Once you get over the shock of what just happened to you, you begin a healing process that could surprisingly be called a “good identity crisis.” At first, it won’t feel that way, as you will be anxious and distracted–all normal emotions in that situation. You don’t feel okay because you are not okay. Don’t minimize the disruption! During the next years, you will be in the process of reorienting yourself to the change, and that can and must be experienced as “good.”
Recovery involves two overlapping processes. 1.) There there is grieving from over has been lost. What is many times overlooked is the grief over what has be lost in terms of how you see yourself. And 2.) There is the restructuring of your daily life. Lost your job–what do you do with your time? Lost your marriage–who do you talk to about your kids? It may seem mundane, but those are the types of structural pressures you will face. Do these well and ow can called hopefully call it a “good identity crisis.”
What bout the loss of a loved one through death? We’ll cover that in a future posting.
Question: Hopefully this doesn’t relate to you, but we all know someone who needs to read this. Why not forward it to them?