Four Stages Of Trader Grieff

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The Four Stages of Reboot Grief

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Today’s Total Recall won’t be about video game history. It’s about dealing with what happens when video game history is dredged back to the present and coated in bright pink lipstick.

EA’s Syndicate is but the latest in an ever-growing list of games that are reboots of old franchises. And they’re reboots in the strictest sense: they reboot the thing, taking some core values or aesthetics and then changing pretty much everything else.

This makes many fans of the original work furious. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let me help you.

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After a few years of therapy, I’m a recovered reboot griever. What would once send me into fits of apoplexy now elicits a shrug at worst, and sometimes even enthusiasm for the complete reworking of an old video game property.

I mean, in early 2020, I composed myself enough to write a barely civil story about Lords of Ultima , EA’s re-use of the Ultima brand that had absolutely nothing to do with the classic RPG series of old. But behind the keyboard, I was furious.

Ultima Returns! Now For The Bad News.

Not content with kicking sand in the face of Wing Commander fans with the dreadful Wing Commander…

Then, a few months later, another of my favourite series, XCOM, came back from the dead . It too was looking substantially different. And by that I mean it was basically a new game. By this stage I was growing more cautiously optimistic about things; sure, it wasn’t the XCOM I loved, but maybe, just maybe, it might bring something new to the table that I can love just as much.

X-Com Is Back!

X-Com, the classic 90’s turn-based strategy game pitting mankind against alien invaders, is set to…

I mean, taking a step back from the VIDEO GAME RAGE I found that I’d grown to love plenty of other remakes. Some of my favourite movies of all time were remakes or reboots that often took major liberties with their source material or preceding films. Like Blade Runner. Aliens. Total Recall. Scarface. It didn’t stop me loving them for what they were, not what had come before them.

By the time Starbreeze’s Syndicate was finally confirmed, it was like water off a duck’s back. Having just come off the excellent Deus Ex: Human Revolution (which as a prequel and not a reboot I’m not alluding to in this piece), I was primed and ready for more near-future corporate warfare starring men in black using fancy weapons. And Syndicate was promising just that. I wasn’t looking at it compared to the Syndicate I loved nearly twenty years ago. I was just looking at what it was, what it was giving me at the time of its release, and got mildly excited accordingly.

Many of you, we can tell, don’t share my optimism. You see an old game being redone and you get sad, or you get angry, or you flit madly between sadness and anger like a busted fluorescent lightbulb. Since sadness and anger are emotions that, well, generally suck, I’m going to share with you a guide to the stages you’ll need to progress through to begin accepting these reboots for what they are.

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The first and most dangerous step is longing. This actually occurs pre-reboot. This is the stage where you reminisce about your favourite old video game, perhaps publicly, and dream of a AAA modern developer taking that game and bringing it faithfully into the contemporary era.

It’s dangerous because you’re letting nostalgia get the better of you. Chances are that old game is ugly and hard to control, and it’s almost certain that if it was remade faithfully it would be lambasted by fans and critics alike as either simple, outdated or both.

In all but the rarest exceptions, our love of old games is formed by where we were as a person when we played it, and the time it was released. It does not, in all but the rarest exceptions, mean anybody can pick it up years or even decades later and love it as much as you did. Because they probably won’t.

Oh dear. This is why they say you have to be careful what you wish for. That game you dreamed about being remade is being remade. And even from a piece of concept art, a teaser trailer and a press release you can already tell it’s nothing like the old game you love so dear.

You loved a quaint PC series that was either a role-playing game or a strategy title. This is going to be a first-person shooter. You loved a game with quirky sci-fi artwork drawn by the programmers in their spare time. This has been handled by a big-budget studio, and looks like everything else you’ve played in the last five years. And you loved a PC game, with all the complexity and eccentricities that implies. This will be a console game you control with six buttons.

So you fly to every message board and commenting system you possess an anonymous account on and you let fly, lambasting developers, crucifying publishers, wishing death, misery and ruin upon all those who dare sully the memory of an old video game you used to like when you were a kid.

None of this makes you feel any better about the situation.


So you despair. You retreat from public comments on big gaming sites to a game’s unofficial forum, personal blog or other quiet corner of the internet to drown your sorrows. You share stories with other fans about the remake you’d have made, which inevitably ends up being the exact same game as the original, only with better graphics. And you soon end up talking about other games, because you just can’t bear to talk about this one any longer.


Grief doesn’t last too long, though, because like a furious caterpillar (furypillar?) it quickly cocoons and emerges a more peaceful, beautiful butterfly. You realise, shit, there’s no way in hell a major publisher in the 21st century is going to release a turn-based strategy game, or a world-sprawling RPG, when it’s not one of the three studios that still make money selling turn-based strategy games or world-sprawling RPGs.

They’re going to release a first-person shooter because that’s what makes money, and these businesses are in the business of making money. That’s a wound that never quite heals, as it’s facing up to one of the larger problems this industry (and make no mistake, games are more reliant on industry than most other creative mediums) confronts us with, but it’s a fact. You can either deal with it or. dealwithit.gif.

It’s also around the time you realise, shit, the game I loved still exists. Either I can buy it or I can acquire it, it’s still out there, and will either run just fine on my PC/laptop or can be purchased cheaply on a console’s online marketplace. So if I want to relive that original experience, I can go and play the actual, original game.

And then it hits you. When you process all of the above and realise this new game is so divorced from the old one that all it shares are basic themes and the name on the box, you can take it for what it actually is: an all-new game. One that’s to be judged on its own merits, not comparisons to an old franchise with which it has nothing in common.

In short: I’m going to play and judge the new Syndicate , and the next reboot like it, based on the game inside the box, not the name on the front of it.

Of course, you don’t have to take my advice. It’s free, I’m just some guy writing about video games, nobody is forcing you to do anything! Some of you, for example, may have shot straight to Acceptance. Like a Jedi Master. I applaud you. May your next 900 years living on Dagobah be as rewarding as your time on Earth’s internet.

Others may not want to progress at all. If you want to get angry and stay angry, knock yourself out: you won’t be the first person on the internet to be angry about video games, and you won’t be the last.

But if you want to shake some of that rage off your back and take what I think is a more measured view of the subject, feel free to try it out. Take a deep breath. In. Out. Look at the big picture and remember a few things: the old game is still there, the new game is a new game, and there’s a chance that new game might even be awesome.

* Note: None of the above applies to Wing Commander Arena. Fuck that game.

Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

7 Stages of Grief: A Guide To Mourning

Grief isn’t the easiest thing to talk about. It can come in many forms and stem from many things. Losing your job, a difficult medical diagnosis, or losing a loved one are all things that can make us experience grief. But what is grief, and how can we help overcome it?

Simply put, grief is an emotional response to loss. It usually refers to the loss of a loved one. Of course, there can be other responses, such as physical, behavioral, and others. How we respond to loss varies widely and the important thing to remember is whatever you experience is okay.

7 Stages of Grief

Most people are familiar with the 5 Stages of Grief, or the Kubler-Ross model. However, we think it combines two stages that people often experience, and this 7 Stage model has widely become accepted as more inclusive. Remember, the 7 stages of grief are there to help guide you back to a place of peace and happiness.

Shock and Disbelief

It is natural to be shocked upon learning of the loss. Especially if it was sudden or unexpected. You may not believe it on some level in order to avoid pain. It is a way of protecting ourselves from being overwhelmed. You may feel numbness or a lack of belief. A person can go through many feelings and even have some physical reactions in a state of shock, as well including dizziness and nausea. After some time, it starts to set in that someone we loved is gone, making other emotions and feelings come forward.

Trying to wrap our heads around a loss is incredibly difficult. There is no set time for how long this will take. Some people have described feeling a sort of out of body experience. The important thing to remember is to give yourself time. Whether it is someone’s death or a relationship, ground yourself where you are.


Denial in the grief process isn’t quite the same as the normal term denial. This doesn’t mean you deny the event. Instead, denial refers to how you express your emotions and feelings. Some people deny that their loved one has actually died. Some people deny they are having a difficult time or are deeply affected by the loss. Just as in all the stages, it can present in many different ways.

You can think of this as the tip of an iceberg in some ways. There might be many other things beneath the surface, but you are unable to acknowledge them at the moment. Denial can take quite a long time until you feel ready to move forward in the stages.

Feelings of denial can stem from a lack of understanding, so there are some things you can do to perhaps make yourself more in tune with reality. Journaling your way through what is painful and what has happened may help you make sense of your loss. Finding connections in our lives can often put things into some sort of order.


Guilt can happen if one has regrets about things unsaid or something they wished they did for someone who is gone. It stems from a desire to go back in time and do some things over again.

This can lead to thinking it is your fault. And your mind won’t necessarily determine between feelings that are logical or not. We are trying to make sense of something that is difficult to process in a process of complicated grief.

Life can feel pretty scary and chaotic during this time. In feeling this way, you put a lot of pressure on yourself emotionally. The key is to take care just a bit by letting the guilt go. A grief coach may be helpful here to give the griever somewhere to share the experience and put it into some more perspective.

Anger and Bargaining

Anger is a very real part of the grieving process. With a loss, feelings of disbelief can turn into frustration and anger. Thoughts of ‘why is this happening to me’ are quite common. It is also normal to feel anger towards yourself for not being able to change the situation or anger at the person for causing it. Additionally, you may become angry at someone who has nothing to do with the situation.

Another part of this is bargaining. This is often filled with many if statements, reflecting on the past and saying if this, then that. Bargaining for the loss and trying to find ways to turn the situation around are common. If we feel unable to have an effect, bargaining with the powers that be can help our feelings of anger.

Finding healthy ways to deal with your anger is key to overcoming it. Confronting situations that make you angry will help you not feel powerless. Keep from being down on yourself or lowering your self-esteem. If you can, ask yourself ‘What is making me angry and what can I do about it?’.

This is an important stage to be aware of because it can have some consequences after of the grief process. Permanent damage to current relationships is possible. A grief recovery coach can give a safe place to uncover and explore your anger.

Depression, Loneliness, Reflection

At this stage, you might be feeling more able to accept the loss but are unable to cope with it. One of the hardest things to do is feel alone in a bad situation. However, loneliness can accompany feelings of depression. The loss will start to sink in and depression can come and go in a person’s life. Feelings of wanting to be alone, complete isolation, and being overwhelmed are normal. It is a time for reflection, going back and thinking of the past. In some ways, this is the first sign of acceptance. You are opening yourself up to the situation, whatever it is.

It is a natural stage of grief so don’t let yourself be talked out of it by well-meaning outsiders. Their inclination to make you feel better right away is well-intentioned, however going through these feelings help you move towards peace.

However, now is the time to be working hard to not sit in this state. Being active can help a lot! Sign up for that dance class you have always wanted. Ride a bike or go for hikes. Ask a friend to go for coffee. Aiming for a goal and getting out of the house can help you see life from a more optimistic place.

Reconstruction and Working Through

As time goes on and you are able to be more functional, your mind will start to work a bit more like it did. This doesn’t mean the feelings of sadness, anger, depression, guilt, or anything else will necessarily be completely gone. However, you can now start to look at everything with a clearer view. You will start to sort out how to begin to live a normal life again.

This is a period where you can start to look at ways to move forward and past these stages in the grieving process. You might start to work on financial and practical problems to get back to a place of more normalcy. And yes, the sorrow and sadness will likely still be there. But you will be able to move in the right direction towards the last stage, acceptance.


This is the final stage where you are able to accept and cope with your loss. This doesn’t mean you will ever “be over it”. However, you can start to feel ok again. It comes with an ability to think about them again, talk about them, and have them on your mind without incredible pain or emotion.

It is truly a feeling of hope. Yes, life might never be the same, but life will go on. You can still find peace and happiness. It is a time of coming to reality with a complicated process.

7 Stages of Grief: Final Thoughts

There is no right way or wrong way to experience grief. You might not experience all these stages. Your friend might be in a stage of anger for weeks while you only experience it for a few days. You might skip bargaining.

You don’t need to make sure the first stage and fourth stage happen in order. We are all individuals and we all need just as much time as we do. However, getting through pain can be difficult to do alone. Seeking out help can make a huge impact in your life and in healing.

The Five Stages of Grief

The five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

If you’ve ever read or talked to someone about grieving and loss, you likely have heard of the Five Stages of Grief. This is an idea that people refer to when they talk about the way people often progress through the experience the grief cycle, from the first news of a loss through a wide range of emotional changes.

Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross developed the Five Stages of Grief and introduced them in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying,” then later refined them further with her coauthor David Kessler. The five stages of grief were originally used specifically to talk about the way a person tends to react to news of a terminal illness. But they’ve come to be recognized as a normal part of grieving when talking about all kinds of loss, including death and dying.

Here are the five stages of grief as commonly formulated:

1. Denial

This is a refusal to believe that the loss is real. “This isn’t happening;” “This can’t be true;” “It’s a mistake” — those are all things a person might think or say upon hearing of a shocking loss. This is one way our brains try to absorb and process incredibly difficult news. Think of it as a defense mechanism to help cope with the loss when feeling overwhelmed.

Refusing to believe it gives the brain a little more time to take it in and begin to understand it.

2. Anger

Once we’re willing to admit the loss has actually happened, we might proceed to a very strong emotion: anger. This anger can be directed at any number of targets. We might be angry at the person who died, or at the doctor who gave us the news, or at our higher power, or even at ourselves.

Sometimes this anger isn’t white-hot fury, but more like frustration. “This isn’t fair!” “Why is this happening to me/us?” “How could she leave us like this?”

3. Bargaining

This can take the form of trying to make a deal with our higher power, as in “I promise I will turn my life around and be a better person if you take this news back.” This is especially common in reaction to news of a terminal illness.

But bargaining can also look like “if only” statements, in response to either a terminal illness or a loss. “If only he hadn’t driven that route.” “We should have gotten a second opinion.” “If only I had quit smoking 20 years ago.”

4. Depression

Once we’ve moved past refusing to believe the news, raging at the truth, and trying to get our higher power to take it back, reality sets in. The loss has really happened and our life is forever changed. There’s a hole that once was filled, and this can lead to both sadness and real depression.

Clinical depression takes many forms, and the depression stage can be long-lasting and include sentiments like “I don’t even want to get out of bed,” “My reason for living is gone,” and “I’m just so tired all the time — I don’t feel like doing anything.”

5. Acceptance

Reaching acceptance of a loss doesn’t mean grief is over. It’s probably more manageable, as we’re not fighting against the reality of the loss. We understand it has happened, and we know we can’t change it. But grief doesn’t turn off like a light, and accepting a loss doesn’t mean feeling good about it. The acceptance stage, in the case of a terminal illness, is the point at which we’re feeling able to acknowledge and prepare for death of a loved one – or our own.

In the case of a loss, acceptance is when intense emotion, frequent mood swings and tears begin to level out and we start to approach something like normal again — even though the feelings of grief are unlikely ever to leave us completely.

Other Grief Models

A newer model offers seven stages of grief, adding some key emotions that are not included in Kubler-Ross’ work. The Seven Stages of Grief begins with shock and disbelief, and it also adds guilt, neither of which is included in the five stages. The full Seven Stages of Grief proceeds: shock and disbelief, denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, depression, acceptance. Other models offer four stages of grief (reeling, feelings, dealing, healing) and six stages of grief (shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance).

If you’ve ever been through a loss, or observed a friend who was grieving, you probably recognize the overwhelming emotions described in these stages. But you might also be thinking that the grief you’ve experienced wasn’t quite that tidy. The truth is that grief does not always follow any specific timeline and that people grieve differently. As David Kessler of points out, one person might move straight from denial to depression; another person might skip denial altogether.

If you were to draw a picture of your journey through grief, it would be unlikely to look like a straight line progressing through the stages of loss. In reality, it might look more a tangle as you progressed from denial to acceptance to bargaining, back to denial, on to anger and depression, and so on. You might also find yourself “stuck” in one of the stages.

Perhaps your anger or your depression is persistent, and you can’t seem to move past it. This is as normal as it is to bounce between the stages out of the order that Kubler-Ross created — though it certainly doesn’t feel good, and it’s something you can work through with the help of a therapist or health professional.

Understanding Grief

So the Five Stages of Grief aren’t intended to tell us exactly how our grief will go. Instead, the idea of the stages is to help us make sense of the emotions and impulses that are commonly felt during the grief process. If you’re still feeling anger months after a loss, you shouldn’t feel like there’s something wrong with you and you must progress to bargaining right away.

The framework of the five stages isn’t telling you what to do — it’s just giving you language to help you understand what’s happening in your head and your heart as you go through the grieving process.

Whether you’re just beginning your grief journey, or you’re “stuck” in depression, or you’ve proceeded through all five (or seven) stages and back again, you don’t have to go through your grief alone. You can turn to others who have gone through a loss for support and commiseration, and you can talk to a professional grief therapist for help with moving through your grief.

A grief support group is something you can attend online and/or in person — you can often find local grief support groups through a hospital or hospice. They may also be able to help you find a grief counselor or therapist. And you don’t have to choose one form of support if you’re feeling overwhelmed — you can attend a grief support group in your town, visit a grief counselor, and check in on an online support group, if you find that all three help you.

Although everyone experiences bereavement and grief differently, that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Join one of our Grief Support Groups.

What You Should Know About the Stages of Grief

Grief is universal. At some point in everyone’s life, there will be at least one encounter with grief. It may be from the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or any other change that alters life as you know it.

Grief is also very personal. It’s not very neat or linear. It doesn’t follow any timelines or schedules. You may cry, become angry, withdraw, feel empty. None of these things are unusual or wrong. Everyone grieves differently, but there are some commonalities in the stages and the order of feelings experienced during grief.

In 1969, a Swiss-American psychiatrist named Elizabeth Kübler-Ross wrote in her book “On Death and Dying” that grief could be divided into five stages. Her observations came from years of working with terminally ill individuals.

Her theory of grief became known as the Kübler-Ross model. While it was originally devised for people who were ill, these stages of grief have been adapted for other experiences with loss, too.

The five stages of grief may be the most widely known, but it’s far from the only popular stages of grief theory. Several others exist as well, including ones with seven stages and ones with just two.

The five stages of grief are:

Not everyone will experience all five stages, and you may not go through them in this order.

Grief is different for every person, so you may begin coping with loss in the bargaining stage and find yourself in anger or denial next. You may remain for months in one of the five stages but skip others entirely.

Grief is an overwhelming emotion. It’s not unusual to respond to the intense and often sudden feelings by pretending the loss or change isn’t happening. Denying it gives you time to more gradually absorb the news and begin to process it. This is a common defense mechanism and helps numb you to the intensity of the situation.

As you move out of the denial stage, however, the emotions you’ve been hiding will begin to rise. You’ll be confronted with a lot of sorrow you’ve denied. That is also part of the journey of grief, but it can be difficult.

Examples of the denial stage

  • Breakup or divorce: “They’re just upset. This will be over tomorrow.”
  • Job loss: “They were mistaken. They’ll call tomorrow to say they need me.”
  • Death of a loved one: “She’s not gone. She’ll come around the corner any second.”
  • Terminal illness diagnosis: “This isn’t happening to me. The results are wrong.”

Where denial may be considered a coping mechanism, anger is a masking effect. Anger is hiding many of the emotions and pain that you carry. This anger may be redirected at other people, such as the person who died, your ex, or your old boss. You may even aim your anger at inanimate objects.

While your rational brain knows the object of your anger isn’t to blame, your feelings in that moment are too intense to feel that.

Anger may mask itself in feelings like bitterness or resentment. It may not be clear-cut fury or rage. Not everyone will experience this stage, and some may linger here. As the anger subsides, however, you may begin to think more rationally about what’s happening and feel the emotions you’ve been pushing aside.

Examples of the anger stage

  • Breakup or divorce: “I hate him! He’ll regret leaving me!”
  • Job loss: “They’re terrible bosses. I hope they fail.”
  • Death of a loved one: “If she cared for herself more, this wouldn’t have happened.”
  • Terminal illness diagnosis: “Where is God in this? How dare God let this happen!”

During grief, you may feel vulnerable and helpless. In those moments of intense emotions, it’s not uncommon to look for ways to regain control or to want to feel like you can affect the outcome of an event. In the bargaining stage of grief, you may find yourself creating a lot of “what if” and “if only” statements.

It’s also not uncommon for religious individuals to try to make a deal or promise to God or a higher power in return for healing or relief from the grief and pain. Bargaining is a line of defense against the emotions of grief. It helps you postpone the sadness, confusion, or hurt.

Examples of the bargaining stage

  • Breakup or divorce: “If only I had spent more time with her, she would have stayed.”
  • Job loss: “If only I worked more weekends, they would have seen how valuable I am.”
  • Death of a loved one: “If only I had called her that night, she wouldn’t be gone.”
  • Terminal illness diagnosis: “If only we had gone to the doctor sooner, we could have stopped this.”

Whereas anger and bargaining can feel very “active,” depression may feel like a “quiet” stage of grief.

In the early stages of loss, you may be running from the emotions, trying to stay a step ahead of them. By this point, however, you may be able to embrace and work through them in a more healthful manner. You may also choose to isolate yourself from others in order to fully cope with the loss.

That doesn’t mean, however, that depression is easy or well defined. Like the other stages of grief, depression can be difficult and messy. It can feel overwhelming. You may feel foggy, heavy, and confused.

Depression may feel like the inevitable landing point of any loss. However, if you feel stuck here or can’t seem to move past this stage of grief, talk with a mental health expert. A therapist can help you work through this period of coping.

Examples of the depression stage

  • Breakup or divorce: “Why go on at all?”
  • Job loss: “I don’t know how to go forward from here.”
  • Death of a loved one: “What am I without her?”
  • Terminal illness diagnosis: “My whole life comes to this terrible end.”

Acceptance is not necessarily a happy or uplifting stage of grief. It doesn’t mean you’ve moved past the grief or loss. It does, however, mean that you’ve accepted it and have come to understand what it means in your life now.

You may feel very different in this stage. That’s entirely expected. You’ve had a major change in your life, and that upends the way you feel about many things. Look to acceptance as a way to see that there may be more good days than bad, but there may still be bad — and that’s OK.

Examples of the acceptance stage

  • Breakup or divorce: “Ultimately, this was a healthy choice for me.”
  • Job loss: “I’ll be able to find a way forward from here and can start a new path.”
  • Death of a loved one: “I am so fortunate to have had so many wonderful years with him, and he will always be in my memories.”
  • Terminal illness diagnosis: “I have the opportunity to tie things up and make sure I get to do what I want in these final weeks and months.”

The seven stages of grief are another popular model for explaining the many complicated experiences of loss. These seven stages include:

  • Shock and denial. This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings.
  • Pain and guilt. You may feel that the loss is unbearable and that you’re making other people’s lives harder because of your feelings and needs.
  • Anger and bargaining. You may lash out, telling God or a higher power that you’ll do anything they ask if they’ll only grant you relief from these feelings.
  • Depression. This may be a period of isolation and loneliness during which you process and reflect on the loss.
  • The upward turn. At this point, the stages of grief like anger and pain have died down, and you’re left in a more calm and relaxed state.
  • Reconstruction and working through. You can begin to put pieces of your life back together and carry forward.
  • Acceptance and hope. This is a very gradual acceptance of the new way of life and a feeling of possibility in the future.

As an example, this may be the presentation of stages from a breakup or divorce:

  • Shock and denial: “She absolutely wouldn’t do this to me. She’ll realize she’s wrong and be back here tomorrow.”
  • Pain and guilt: “How could she do this to me? How selfish is she? How did I mess this up?”
  • Anger and bargaining: “If she’ll give me another chance, I’ll be a better boyfriend. I’ll dote on her and give her everything she asks.”
  • Depression: “I’ll never have another relationship. I’m doomed to fail everyone.”
  • The upward turn: “The end was hard, but there could be a place in the future where I could see myself in another relationship.”
  • Reconstruction and working through: “I need to evaluate that relationship and learn from my mistakes.”
  • Acceptance and hope: “I have a lot to offer another person. I just have to meet them.”

The key to understanding grief is realizing that no one experiences the same thing. Grief is very personal, and you may feel something different every time. You may need several weeks, or grief may be years long.

If you decide you need help coping with the feelings and changes, a mental health professional is a good resource for vetting your feelings and finding a sense of assurance in these very heavy and weighty emotions.

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