Help for Anxiety in Major Life Transitions: Loss
Grief and loss are often fundamental aspects of major life transitions, and individuals confronted with such situations often need help for anxiety of the type associated with such experiences of loss.
No one wants to experience loss with respect to something that is valuable to him or her — that is, in some sense or other, treasured.
1. Can I Grieve for What is Gone?
Whether a major life transition is anticipated or feared, there will be feelings about the loss of the old way of life or old state.
Most often, major life transitions involve a big alteration in the way an individual experiences his or her own life. Even if the change is for the better, there is still often a great sense of loss that accompanies these fundamental changes. Sometimes the loss will be as tangible as losing a home, a workplace or a key relationship. Sometimes the sense of loss will be just as real, but less easy to identify or describe. In any case, such a loss will likely be something that we will carry either consciously or unconsciously.
2. Who Was I Back Then?
In many cases, the sense of loss may pertain to the attachment that I have to an earlier version of myself. Perhaps I have a sense that I was happier or more secure than I now feel as I undergo a major life transition, and I may yearn to go back to that state.
These feelings may be accompanied by a deep resentment toward any person or situation has disturbed my connection with this earlier time.
All of these feelings may be associated with a question that may provoke a lot of anxiety: who am I now?
3. Have I Lost My Innocence?
As the section above suggests, often, often a major life transition leaves us with the sense that our world is now more complex, or more difficult. Or perhaps, it’s just that I’m now living with certain kinds of consciousness of my world that I wish I was not. The dominant myth may be that of Adam and Eve cast out of the Garden: innocence lost, and a world suddenly full of shades of gray. And it’s painful.
4. Have I Lost My Connection to Others?
In the midst of major life transitions, part of a sense of anxiety may stem from the fact that my experience leaves me feeling that I cannot connect with others in the way I once did. It may well be that it’s not easy to relate to people who haven’t confronted this type of situation, who simply do not know what it’s like to live through this type of thing.
Is There Something to be Found in My Loss?
Part of the help for anxiety that we need in dealing with major life transitions may stem from coming to accept that such situations combine loss — and finding. Along with what is lost, the opportunity for new consciousness develops in us, promising a new awareness of the world and a new, deeper sense of our own identity — and of our own personal myth.