The Five Stages of Xenoestrogen Grieving
March 22, 2018
When you first learn that many common ingredients in your shampoo or body lotion can act like foreign estrogen linked to cancer, it can be shocking and scary. The 5 stages of grieving are universal and experienced by people from all walks of life. Mourning usually occurs in response to the loss of something valuable, whether that be a family member, a pet, or a belief system. People grieve over many things.
On my journey to educate the world about how dangerous xenoestrogens are, I've often seen people who give up their trusted brands go through something similar to the 5 stages of grieving. While the loss of a loved one is not on par with breaking up with your potentially toxic personal care products, I thought it was about time to write about the steps of letting go.
It Takes Time
Some people navigate through the bereavement process in an hour or less while others take weeks or even months. Each person moves through the steps in their own individual way with varying degrees of intensity. It is important to know that the five stages don't necessarily occur in order and are often revisited.
Once THE BOX is Open, There's NO Turning Back
Be aware that the death of your 'brand loyalty' might inspire you to evaluate other areas of your life as well. Don't despair, each stage will reveal a common thread of hope. "As long as there's life, there's hope. As long as there's hope, there's life!"
The first reaction many people have when they learn that their cherished personal care products and household cleaners are filled with endocrine disrupting chemicals that mimic estrogen is denial. You may want to deny the reality of the situation - that your shampoo and body wash have been poisoning you slowly for years and could be the cause of your hormone imbalances including infertility in both males and females. This is a normal reaction but recognize it for what it is - a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock.
You may want to block out the scientific studies that link phthalates in perfumes used by pregnant women to infant boys being born with hypospadias (a genital deformity that statistically affects 1 in every 100 boys). Or, that the endocrine disruptors in sunscreen and deodorants may be to blame for your endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and breast cancer. It's much easier to hide under a rock and pretend these things are not possible.
Denial is a normal response and is only a temporary measure that will carry you through the first wave of emotion. Please remember that as sad as these realizations are, there are solutions and hope on both a personal and global level.
As the mask of denial begins to wear off, anger about what xenoestrogens like Triclosan in your antibacterial hand soap have done to your family and the environment emerges.
If the information of estrogen mimicking chemicals has caught you unaware, your anger is usually directed at the government and/or the brands you have been loyal to for years. Unfortunately it may even be shot at the one (a family member or friend) who kindly informed you about the dangers of xenoestrogens in the first place.
Rationally, you know the person who shared this information with you is not to blame, but emotionally you may resent them for causing you distress. You may even feel guilty for being angry with your friend, making you even angrier. It can be a vicious cycle. Remember, grieving is a personal process that has no time limit or 'right' way to do it.
Ask the person who first told you about xenoestrogens to share the answers they've discovered since first learning this information. Take the time to explore Zero Xeno's education based website or Facebook page for clear answers to your questions. Discover the options available to you. There are a lot excellent resources available on what xenoestrogens are, where they are hidden and how to avoid them. Know there are answers and that many of them are within your power and reach.
If only you had learned the information about xenoestrogens sooner you would have made different choices. How can you be expected to change now? If you had paid closer attention to ingredient lists earlier, you wouldn't be where you are today - suffering from endometriosis, ovarian cysts or fibrocystic breast disease. You may justify that it's too late to change now.
You might be saying to yourself "But I love my perfumes and can't bear to live without them. Surely companies wouldn't be allowed to sell these types of products if they really caused these horrible hormone related diseases."
Secretly, you may justify continued use of your potentially toxic lotions and hair conditioners in an attempt to postpone the inevitable - throwing them away and/or changing brands. Unfortunately, it's just a weak line of defense against the painful reality that you have spent hundreds of dollars on products that promised to be healthy for you and the environment.
Know that you are not alone, and aren't responsible for believing the 'Green Washing Campaigns' that many company have been feeding you. No need to bargain and/or justify your actions, but rather become an educated consumer and make better choices with each piece of new information learned.
Don't live in the land of regret, but rather live in the land of hope and light. Better choices today lead to a better life tomorrow. If you vote with your pocket book, the corporations that have 'Green Washed' you will be forced to change.
The next phase in the traditional grieving process is depression. You may become distressed about the costs associated with changing brands. You may think you do not have the time or resources to research and purchase clean, xenoestrogen-free products for yourself and your loved ones. This phase may be eased by knowing that you don't actually need multiple different lotions for your body or host of household cleaners to keep your home sparkling clean.
Simple clarification and reassurance that there are reputable companies that offer xenoestrogen-free solutions will help you through this stage. There are alternatives! The work has been done for you and you don't have to become a chemist or scientist to purchase safe, chemical-free products. Purchase less and chose your products wisely. Less is the new more - it's also easier on your wallet!
Sometimes all you really need is a hug and the assurance that it's easier than you might think to make the switch to xenoestrogen-free living.
Reaching this stage in the process is a gift not afforded to everyone. Death from breast cancer (both men and woman), ovarian cancer and other hormone related cancers may be sudden and unexpected.
For those of us who are lucky to reach this stage of acceptance may wonder why we resisted this positive change for so long. There are healthy alternatives to keep you, your family and your home clean and beautiful. Even small choices can make big differences in your life and the lives of those around you.
The stage of acceptance is usually marked by calm, attentive and decisive action to use only clean, xenoestrogen-free products from reputable companies that are willing to disclose their full list of ingredients. This will be a period of happiness in your life that is often followed by sharing the information with others. The feeling of empowerment you experience after learning how easy it is to avoid xenoestrogens becomes intoxicating and fulfilling as you educate others and encourage them to join The Zero Xeno Movement!
Understanding which stage of xenoestrogen grieving you're in will help you through the process faster and bring you to the stage of acceptance and activism. You can and will make a real difference in our world that will last a lifetime!
Join The Zero Xeno Movement today!
by Bonnie Penner
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