Before I got sick with Lymes Disease, I had a lot of hopes, dreams and expectations for myself, especially when it came to physical activity. Before I met Chris, I was a runner. I played tennis and was actually fairly active. Shortly after we got together, we would camp and hike at 10,000 ft elevation nearly every weekend in the spring to early fall. When we were not camping, we would be planning the next hike or traveling. We even would camp in the winter on the eastern plains of Colorado in the snow and wind.
In 2001, I woke up from my 40-day coma unable to move nearly any muscle in my entire body. I couldn’t hold a pencil, talk or lift my hands. Since the doctors at that time didn’t know why I was so deathly ill, they said I should regain the use of my body. What they didn’t tell me was it would take many years to get my body back to a functioning level, to where I was prior to getting sick. The hope of camping at altitude and hiking every weekend was not in my future, at least not for a few of years, as long as I stayed healthy and worked on getting my body back in shape. So I lived the next 16 years expecting and hoping and dreaming I would be able to be physical once again. But my body failed me time and time again as Lymes Disease kept flaring up.
When we suffer a loss of any kind, no one ever tells us that we have to change or adapt our hopes, dreams and exceptions for ourselves. The Grief Recovery Method teaches us to look at these hopes, dreams and exceptions. Once we can examine them, we can make the changes that need to be addressed.
It’s easy to understand how the death of a loved one changes dreams, hopes and expectations for that relationship. The person is gone, and all your future changes in an instant.
It’s easy to understand how divorce does the same thing in your life. You had planned to spend a lifetime with this person. “To death do us part”. And yet here you are, sitting with your lawyers, dividing up your stuff, battling over custody and visitation rights for the kids. So long, Hopes. Bye bye, Dreams. See ya, Expectations.
What you are feeling is grief.
How did your hopes, dreams and expectations change with your loss?
(Coming soon… how “better, different and more” figure into your grief equation.)