Horizon PT - March 2020

physical therapy and rehabilitation March 2020

3600 Miller Road, Flint, MI 48503 • 810-620-8042 • horizonptflint.com

FACING THE SHADOW OF LOSS Time and Living We don’t talk about loss as often as we should. We all are going to lose someone at some point in our lives. I imagine that many of you reading this have already gone through the pain of loss. It’s part of life, but because it’s painful, we don’t usually talk about it. Most people pretend it’s not there, which is why it’s so much harder to deal with loss when we do lose someone we love. One of the most difficult losses I’ve ever faced was when my grandmother passed. She and I were very close, which made the loss that much more painful. At the time, I was already a physical therapist and had opened Horizon PT. I had professional responsibilities to manage, but I wasn’t present mentally. Ultimately, I had to take a little bit of time for some self-reflection. I thought the best thing for me to get over my grandmother’s death was to do the things I enjoyed to take the pain away. I spent a lot of time with my family and tried to keep myself busy. These things help to an extent, but the only thing that really helps you overcome the pain of loss is time. Part of the reason loss is so hard to overcome is because we want it to be over right away. But that’s not possible. When you’re faced with the death of a loved one, there’s an aura of sadness you have to come to terms with. It weighs heavy on every aspect of your life. This is the grieving process, and that process takes time. You have to accept what happened and work through that anger and sadness. Everyone deals with grief differently. There came a point during my grieving process where I felt like I needed to disconnect from everything. This probably wasn’t the healthiest approach. Eventually, I was able to get past the grief with time and living. All I could do was keep living my life and enjoying the moments I had with the people who were still here. Slowly I was able to get away from being upset and get to a place where I could focus on my life and my work. I could do the things that were needed fromme again. It wasn’t an easy process — in fact, it was a very hard, long process — but it wasn’t something I could avoid. I wanted to talk about loss this month because I know there are people out there who are in the middle of that aura of sadness, struggling beneath their grief. I want to let them know that it’s okay to feel however they are feeling right now. The pain of loss is not a weakness.

If you are struggling to get through each day, my biggest advice would be to find what makes you happy and give yourself permission to continue enjoying those things. Once you identify these things, make sure you still stay connected with your family. Loss affects everybody, and there are other people who need you right now. Make sure you’re there for each other. The last thing to help deal with grief is to get it off your chest. No matter howmuch it hurts, you need to talk about your pain and loss with other people. If you feel like you can’t talk to friends or family, find a support group. The only way to deal with the situation is to address it. If you push it down and pretend you’re fine, then that pain is going to express itself in unhealthy ways. Make sure you give yourself time to address what needs to be addressed. “Part of the reason loss is so hard to overcome is because we want it to be over right away.”

Loss is inevitable, so let’s talk about our loss more and remind each other that we don’t have to go through it alone.

-Dr. Jerome Adams

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