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A tale of surviving loss and reaching closure…

 As told by a brother (Name withheld to protect identity)….

I had been a straight A student all along. I had always been a top ranker throughout school. Always a good student, making my parents proud!

But then suddenly, in my first year as an engineering student, my grades fell. From being a top ranker in my class to failing in subjects, my performance suffered a drastic shift.  

I also suddenly realized that I was watching a lot of porn. Every night, I found myself surfing on porn sites and I felt helpless about it. I remember trying hard to focus on my studies but not being able to. I just kept getting distracted and ending up on porn sites.   

Enter – my psychologist who eventually diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder. An emotional condition, that develops in some people after they have suffered from a shock, a loss or a scary experience in their life. She traced my problem back to something that had happened to my family a year ago.

One morning, my older brother had left along with his camera, on a photography expedition to Sanjay Gandhi National Park and never returned. We found his dead body a few days later in the form of a decayed skeleton. The authorities refused to investigate the issue on grounds of it being an animal that killed him or a spat between him and some dacoits. This shattered my family and me in unimaginable ways.

At 18 – I was lost, unable to understand what I was feeling. Unable to express what I was going through, unable to understand what had just happened to me and my family. I started to shut myself in. This is when my psychologist revealed that I was suffering from the Post-traumatic stress disorder. She made me realize how my porn addiction actually stemmed from my trauma and that I was still to reach closure with my brother’s death.   

“Closure – however is a complicated term! It is not a room full of memories that you can slam shut the door on, and get closure. The thing with closure is that you have to accept your loss, express your grief and deal with it rather than just slipping it under the rug” I remember my counselor telling me.

Here are 5 things that helped me deal with my grief and reach closure with my loss. Hope these exercises from my counselor that can help…

  1. Write a letter to the loved one you have lost. Express all that was left unsaid, let out emotions that are bottled up inside.
  1. A part of Gestalt Therapy is the Empty Chair technique. This exercise needs you to imagine that the lost loved one is sitting in an empty chair opposite yours’. You can now address that loved one and say everything that was left unsaid.
  1. You could also write a letter to yourself. If acceptance is key then writing to yourself and pacifying yourself about what happened might help you reach closure.
  1. Reading/watching inspiring stories of loss and how people (popular people) have emerged victorious is another way of telling yourself to get over what happened and move on.
  1. Remembering your lost loved one, honoring their memory as a family and learning from the mistakes that were made is another way of moving on from the loss. Talk it out or write it down either way, acknowledge grief to be able to get rid of it.

1 reply on “Reaching closure and the art of dealing with loss : A brother shares his story”

[…] Loneliness: If an individual has given in to curiosity, after having large streaks of time alone, soon for some of them porn usage becomes a part of their schedule before they realize it. […]