Sometimes they are dreaded, sometimes they are welcomed. We all have to accept them and are part of everybody's lives. CHANGES !
We are continually challenged by them . Some of us adjust to them better than others. Illness, divorce, loss of a job, moving, loss of a parent, etc. takes a bite out of our sanity. Others like the birth of a baby, a better job, a new partner, winning the lottery are gifts from heaven. One thing is for sure, changes are part of our daily lives and the quality of our lives is reflected by the way we face them.
We all have our personal stories, some happy others sad. I personally had my share of "changes" to adapt to. My 18 month old child developed diabetes. That was a punch in the gut at the time. But you learn to deal with it. I never accepted it but I swallowed my tears and faced the challenge. Some days I was terrified and I did not want to get out of bed.
I could not bring myself to stick needles in my baby. Its just not natural. But if I did not do it, she would die. On top of it my mother had just passed away so there was no one to turn to for comfort. She passed away just before her first grandchild was born. I already had a heavy heart but this illness was more than I could bare. But I survived. I took it one day at a time. I was angry with God. I could not understand why he had picked my baby, why not me? I had to learn how to cope and quickly because my child's life depended on it. Its a real shock at first but you realize that the only way to go is forward. Slowly and I mean -slowly- you adapt until one day you realize its going to be OK. Sure there are real bad days where the least little thing just sends you into the deep end but you snap out of it a little faster each time. Psychologists say that when we are faced with major life changes, coping mechanisms happen in a cycle of 6 steps. Here is how they explain it:
Change has always been a necessary aspect of life and work,
and our world is changing more rapidly than ever. It is likely that
you will have to cope with a variety of changes
in the near future. Your success and fulfillment - your emotional,
mental, spiritual and physical well-being - depend on how well
you adapt to change. People react, respond and adjust to change
in a sequence of six predictable stages.
The Change Cycle model identifies the thoughts, feelings and
behaviors associated with each stage of change. There is no
better map to assist you in navigating through
the changes in your life.
Stage 1 – Loss to Safety
In Stage 1 you admit to yourself that regardless of whether or not you perceive the change to be good or 'bad" there will be a sense of loss of what "was."
Stage 2 – Doubt to Reality
In this stage, you doubt the facts, doubt your doubts and struggle to find information about the change that you believe is valid. Resentment, skepticism and blame cloud your thinking.
Stage 3 – Discomfort to Motivation
You will recognize Stage 3 by the discomfort it brings. The change and all it means has now become clear and starts to settle in. Frustration and lethargy rule until possibility takes over.
The Danger Zone:
The Danger Zone represents the pivotal place where you make the choice either to move on to Stage 4 and discover the possibilities the change has presented or to choose fear and return to Stage 1.
Stage 4 – Discovery to Perspective
Stage 4 represents the "light at the end of the tunnel." Perspective, anticipation, and a willingness to make decisions give a new sense of control and hope. You are optimistic about a good outcome because you have choices.
Stage 5 - Understanding
In Stage 5, you understand the change and are more confident, think pragmatically, and your behavior is much more productive. Good thing.
Stage 6 - Acceptance
By this time, you have regained your ability and willingness to be flexible. You have insight into the ramifications, consequences and rewards of the change -- past, present, and future.
So that's it for Changes 101 for today. Now its time to chill-out and relax!
I have always loved this song by David Bowie. I hope you do to. Enjoy!
PS My baby who was diagnosed at 18 months with juvenile diabetes is now 22 and will graduate this year with a degree in Environmental Science.
To my daughter: This post is dedicated to you and for all the courage you have displayed over the years. You have become my hero and my greatest teacher!