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Completely emotionally numb

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Hey guys

I lost my Dad in November 2016 after he battled cancer for a year. Since his diagnosis and up till now I've been completely emotionally numb. I've not come to terms with things at all really and I have held back any emotion I've had for the last year. This might seem extreme in an ordinary scenario to be numb this long, or maybe not, but it was normal for me because I've had an anxiety disorder since 2013, depersonalisation and derealisation to be precise. So naturally the prospect of losing my Dad plunged me deeper into the detached numb state that this disorder creates. The only problem is I didn't make it any better because I actively numbed myself too.

The result is now I feel nothing like myself, not one cell in my body feels like my own or like me, and I haven't done since basically 2015. I want to be who I used to be, who I am deep down, who everyone knows me to be, the nice compassionate human being that used to exist before all this but right now I feel like a venomous devil. 

So I know that I need to release the emotions but I find it almost impossible. It's hard for me to focus or to not get too scared that I distract myself. Having to feel these immense emotions after a year of feeling nothing I imagine will be like being smashed in the face by a 100 ton boulder. But I can't live like this anymore, anyone who suffers from DP/DR will understand the horrifying state it puts you in. On top of this state I have lakes of emotion trapped inside of me which feels like acid burning up my insides.


So anyone who has been through something similar, where emotional expression seems damn  near impossible, what would be your advice? How did you get through the thick wall of denial and numbness and release the pain? I just need to know it's possible!


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Dear Ndigwe,

We all handle grief differently. There is no right way or wrong way. Please consider talking to a therapist, counsellor or joining a support group. Try accessing some resources through the community or church. I also find these websites very helpful, What's Your Grief and The Grief Healing Blog. Also considering writing, drawing or painting as another way to express your feelings.

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