The other day I was enlightened once again by my “little big sister”. I call her that because, although younger, she’s wise beyond her years. And I’m not ashamed to say that I love that about her.
This particular discussion had to do with the grief my heart still feels over a lost love.
Read Previous Post Mourning Until Morning
She related it to a detox, the process of cleansing your body of toxens and free radicals. If you’ve ever done a detox, you know that the potential side effects can be unpleasant-headaches, fatigue, weakness, intense hunger pangs and cravings, just to name a few.
Read the article Detox and Body Cleansing
How fitting is this illustration to what I’ve been going through!
Physical: Varying in intensity from tension headaches to a full blown migraine. Interestingly, though, “it is highly discouraged to take anything for the headache since it can disrupt the cleansing process and may even cause further discomfort.”
Emotional: Memories of a lost love can vary from a passing thought to an intensifying feeling of being haunted by what once was your reality. However, as tempting as it may be to numb the emotional pain (i.e. medication, alcohol, etc.), this is counterproductive to the healing process.
Physical: Suggested remedies include ice and/or massage. Ice “cuts pain by reducing swollen vessels”. A firm, but gentle massage of the temple area may also relieve pressure.
Emotional: Reflecting on good times and lessons learned can both ease the pain and comfort your heart.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, But a crushed spirit saps one’s strength.” (Proverbs 17:22)
2. FATIGUE AND WEAKNESS
Physical: “The body is naturally programmed to crave nourishment from solid food, thus the feeling of weakness and fatigue even in the absence of physical exertion.”
Emotional: After having someone in your life for a period of time, you’ve become accustomed to their presence. Therefore, the absence of him/her can cause your body to feel weak, physically and emotionally.
Physical: It is suggested that “the best way to deal with these symptoms is to avoid all types of physical labor and exercise” during the detox.
Emotional: Be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Your life must go on. However, during the grieving period, you may need to limit social activity. This is especially important when, as in my case, you’re recently divorced. Jumping back into the dating scene too soon can be detrimental to your healing process.
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3. INTENSE HUNGER PANGS
Physical: “Hunger is by far the most difficult side effect to handle because it can cause other symptoms as well…as the body struggles to adjust to the absence of solid food, or reduced food consumption.”
Emotional: It goes without saying that the absence of someone you love can cause extreme pangs and cravings. As you struggle to adjust to life without them, it’s natural to yearn to feel their touch, hear their voice, smell their scent.
Physical: A suggested remedy of lemon water or increasing liquids, in general can help stave off hunger pangs.
Emotional: In order to fill the void, we must increase what brings us joy and provides nourishment to the soul. Spending time with friends and family, volunteering to help others, and expressing gratitude for what we still have, will take our minds off what is missing.
Just as with a physical detox, grieving doesn’t last forever. It is a process that has unordered stages, which eventually come to an end. Some are able to complete the detox in a shorter time frame than others. Sometimes, we fail to allow the detox to do what it is supposed to do, and we end up starting over.
Whatever your circumstance, know that your heart will be healed…in due time.
“Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” -Revelation 21:3, 4