“Talking to the Lawyer Assistance Program saved my life and my career” Anonymous
The Maryland Lawyer Assistance Program has assisted thousands of Maryland Lawyers
The Maryland Lawyer Assistance Program is available to all Maryland Lawyers no matter what state you live in and is committed to providing free, confidential assistance to lawyers, judges, and law school students by offering virtual or in-person assessment, referral, short-term counseling, and continued support to ensure long-term success. If you are concerned about another lawyer you can make an anonymous referral to the Lawyer Assistance Program. The Lawyer Assistance Program offers financial assistance for Mental Health and Substance Abuse treatment.
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SEEING BEYOND INTO THE HORIZON
- Be With Your Grief: As reflected in the interview, “Tending to grief requires us to be with it, in all its misery and messiness.” Take time to explore, to be with, and to nurture your grief. By doing so, we can avoid more suffering and allow ourselves to complete the tasks and process of grieving. According to psychologist William Worden, this includes accepting the loss, processing the loss, adjusting to one’s life with the loss, and reinvesting in the reality of this new life. In the case of a deceased loved one, the tasks of grieving may involve adjusting to one’s life without the person, and finding ways to maintain an enduring bond with this person in moving forward with life.
- Grief Is a Lifelong Journey: Grief is a process and can span a lifetime. While the intensity and frequency of the pain may lessen, the pain of that loss can remain, and can catch us off guard when we least expect it. Over time, as we befriend our grief, we can find ourselves settling in with it, and acknowledging when it is paying a visit. It may actually start to feel like an old “comfortable friend.”
- Grief Needs Expression: Grief is not meant to be tightly held in, nor does it need to be kept solely to oneself. Grief needs an outlet. Communicating our grief verbally or nonverbally through writing, painting, or dancing can make a huge difference. We can share our grief with trusted and supportive people in our lives. Having the experience of being heard and understood has a significant way of making us feel better.
- Pingponging Between Loss and Restoration: Healthy grieving means moving back and forth between our experiences of pain from the loss or change and the activities that soothe or give us contentment, relief, and peace (restoration). This can look like allowing ourselves to stay in bed to shed tears or to be angry, and in another moment, to get up for the day, go for a walk, or work.
- Meaning-Making: Meaning-making refers to allowing grief to change us and finding a way to create a new meaning in our lives even with the presence of grief. The meaning does not come from the loss but through what we decide to do in having experienced that loss or change. As shared in the interview, “In early grief, the change to your life is unwelcome. But grief is supposed to change you. And for many of us, the healing period brings new passions and sometimes an entirely new direction in life. . . The term that we use in counseling is ‘meaning-making,’ . . .You make meaning out of your life.”
In addition to the above, each ethnic, racial, or cultural group addresses grief, loss, and death differently. For example, some grief practices may mean connecting with spiritual or religious leaders, sharing of sacred music, meals, prayers, cultural pipes, memorials, and a gathering of family and friends. When grief surfaces, reconnecting with or incorporating the traditions of our own cultures or communities can help us to process our encountered losses or changes. By adopting grief practices that work for us and allow us to make sense of our experiences, we can begin to shift the overcast or stormy clouds of discomfort, and eventually find ourselves seeing beyond into the horizon.