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The Odd Combination of Grief and Gratitude When You're in Survival Mode


Whether we plan to or not, we often end up re-creating ourselves after a significant health crisis. Researchers like Dr. Kathy Charmaz call this phenomenon “the loss of self,” a type of grief experienced while we’re learning to somehow adapt and adjust to an unfamiliar new life.

Nothing is as unfamiliar to us right now as the profound changes introduced by the COVID-19 virus. And just as Dr. Charmaz identified in those of us with chronic illness, we can also experience this loss of self during a global pandemic.

Dr. Charmaz explains: When everything about our former life is turned on its head, we may be left with the unsettling awareness that we don’t even know what’s real or not real anymore.

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