The “Nine Stages” I wrote about in 2009 is an article everyone should read. In it I comment, “ ... whether it is death or some life-altering event, everyone (yourself and your family) going through the event has to experience most, if not all, of the stages ....“
The Nine Stages1. Denial
Denial is something most everyone experiences. It is often followed by shock and anger. “why me” is the most common question asked at that time. Bargaining is interesting because I believe many people use prayer for this (e.g., If you will heal me, I will promise to ...). Guilt is something I write about quite often (it seems to come and go in my life). Depression is something I have not experienced, but I know several others that have and it is a traumatic. Loneliness is experienced by many of us at some point because so few know of this disease and you have no one to talk to or confide in that share your experiences. And I believe acceptance is necessary before you can find hope.
Clinging to our pastIf we cling to our past capabilities (the way things used to be) we do not look for new ways to accomplish our daily tasks and our thoughts are often accusatory or self-defeating. We become more frustrated as we sink further into the quagmire of doubts, questions and accusations. Thoughts like, “why me,” “why can’t I,” “what next,” and “if only” do not help anyone. If we are to survive, at some point we have to “LET GO.”
Yes, it is natural to hope and pray that a miracle will happen and the progression will slow or stop. When I write of hope, however, I am referring to the hope that researchers will find a treatment. I don’t believe there will ever be a miracle drug in my lifetime that restores my dead motor neurons and atrophied muscle cells. But, I do believe that researchers will discover a drug that can slow the onset or progression of this disease.
It is important that we understand where we are in the Nine Stages mentioned above. Just knowing what stage we are in will help us move towards acceptance and give us hope.
Two QuestionsAsk yourself the following:
- What stage are you in?
- How can you release yourself from your current restraints so you can move forward again?