May 15, 2022 12:11 am

After life: how to overcome a love duel

One of the first minutes of the series After life pans through the fictional town where the story takes place. “Changes”, can be read on a poster. So yes, you see the protagonist Tony (Ricky Gervais), whose life changes after the death of his wife. It could be said that In a duel, it’s the changes that hurt.

Bachelor of Psychology (UBA) Alexander Viedma Maintains that, In a duel, what causes the most suffering is the loss of the privileged place that one had, that occupied in the other. “Something is not and will not be, never again as it was. As mourning is an emotional response to the irreversible, the mood, the spirit of the person who is grieving and, sometimes, their life itself are modified”, he expresses. “Sometimes it is so strong what a person who lost someone important feels that it becomes disorganized, everything that is part of their days is disorganized to the point of negatively influencing their mental and/or physical health.”

The loving duel -agrees the psychologist Federico Gómez- it has that complexity: not only do we have to go through the pain of the absence of the loved one, but mainly it is about the loss of the place we had in the world of the other, that unique, irreplaceable place. “The gaze of the loved subject constitutes us, reflects us, gives us a place of privilege”, he reflects. And quote the seminar of The anguish of Lacan: ‘We are not in mourning, but for someone whose fault we were’. That other one who knew how to sustain our desire and at the same time placed us in the engine of his.”

This makes the impact caused by the loss of that place that constituted us as an essential being in the world of the loved one even more understandable. How to continue without that reflection in which I could observe myself, how to continue if what was for the other is no longer present?

“A certain part of mourning will be accepting that, in addition to hurting the loved one, we will have to mourn the part of ourselves that was lost along with the loved object,” says Gómez.

In After life Tony is seen as hurt and angry, depressed, with a very strong death instinct that makes him turn to alcohol and other drugs as a way to find peace in the midst of a meaningless life. Although he feels deep sadness, the sociocultural mandate of ‘we must continue’, ‘we must continue’, ‘get ahead’ is present. He goes to a failed therapy, unloads his anger and sarcasm against others, until in the cemetery he meets an old lady who is also visiting her dead husband. “What you lost is the very thing that can stop that pain,” she tells him, wisely, at one point. It seems to help him get out of his melancholy state.

In him, that moment to speak is already seen as an advance. As the writer says Edith Eger in his autobiographical book The Auschwitz Dancer: “Expression is the opposite of depression. Repressing feelings just makes it harder to get rid of them.”

Viedma, psychologist and writer, states that “mourning connects with loneliness, because mourning belongs to each one: a singular process, which is not transferable and must be gone through with or without help, but one has to do it”. And he expands: “One with his feelings, with his memories, with his sorrow, with his times. And precisely because it is so particular it is not questionable. Neither how much someone suffers nor how long it takes them to be sad and recover should not be judged. You just have to respect the subjectivity of each person”.

and clarifies that what you shouldn’t do is deny the pain, “Because everything that is hidden under the rug or inside a closet ends up overflowing”. So, he talks about people who overflow, exploit in various ways: some assume practices that contain the death drive; others, unexpected somatizations, such as, for example, panic attacks.

“Each person will have to search and find what they need, what is useful to them, what helps them to go through this stage of mourning, how to redirect that part of their libido that was left free, where, with what or in whom will they deposit it,” he says. . And he asks to give shelter to sadness, to allow himself to go through his emotions.

In love mourning, we not only have to go through the pain of the absence of the loved one, but also the loss of the place we had in the other’s world, that unique, irreplaceable place. Netflix

Your colleague agrees on the importance of identifying, acknowledging and accepting the feelings experienced when going through a grieving process. “Begin to understand that we are not only what we have, but that we are also constituted by our losses,” says Gómez. He recommends consulting a professional to learn how to deal with the reactions that loss causes us.

“The construction of social support systems is essential, as well as taking care of oneself, enabling one to resume pleasant and recreational activities little by little”, he proposes.

Viedma points out that, from what he hears in his consultation, The grieving process is more difficult when there are pending issues with the person who is no longer there. “When there are unspoken issues, unexecuted actions, it makes you feel guilty,” he says. And it also refers to troublesome duels when the situation of death is experienced as unfair, because “it coexists with stress and the feeling of impotence, emptiness or failure”. He advises against “exaggerating self-punishment” or remaining gloating over your supposed failures or mistakes in front of the person who is not there.

There are times when grief can become pathological. Therapists agree that this happens when the loss cannot be named, when it is denied, when it is denied. In reality, there are times when this occurs (there are certain stages in grief), but it becomes pathological when this situation persists over time, persists in intensity or even worsens.

According the model of the psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, son five stages of grief. According to Gómez, these stages do not necessarily follow a prescriptive order and there may even be cases in which some of them reappear after a while.

After life, after the life (of his wife) Tony continues his own life, with great changes. As someone in the series tells him: “Happiness is so wonderful that it doesn’t matter if it’s for you or not.”

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