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jackie1951

Im no me

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My emotions are jumping all over. I dont know me without him

 We were married 41 years. He took care of me. Did everything. Im lost. Or at least the person i was is lost.

I did to much too soon after his death. Im in a completely different world.

One second im angry at everything and everyone i trust no one. I dont cook anymore and i use to love to. I snap at people. I pretend to be happy,so as not to make people feel bad. 

Just totally lost

 

 

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I know what you mean.  I don't feel like myself either.    My husband Matthew passed away suddenly and unexpectedly 7 weeks and 4 days ago.  He had just turned 40 years old and we have 2 children.  A 15 year old daughter and an 11 year old son.  I'm just numb most of the time or full of mixed emotions constantly.  I can go from crying and being so sad to angry at him for leaving in a matter of minutes even though I know it's not a choice he made.  I hope that one day I will feel more like myself again.  I know though that we will never be exactly the same as we were without our loved ones here with us anymore.  I get up everyday and my first thought is how am going to get through today without Matthew.  

As for doing too much too soon I feel that too.  I went back to work last week.  I'm only doing 2 days a week right now and told them that that is all I can handle for now but even that seems like too much.  I'm trying to maintain some semblance of a normal life for my children but it is so hard.  All I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry while I listen to music that reminds me of him.

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1 hour ago, jackie1951 said:

My emotions are jumping all over. I dont know me without him

 We were married 41 years. He took care of me. Did everything. Im lost. Or at least the person i was is lost.

I did to much too soon after his death. Im in a completely different world.

One second im angry at everything and everyone i trust no one. I dont cook anymore and i use to love to. I snap at people. I pretend to be happy,so as not to make people feel bad. 

Just totally lost

 

 

Jackie1951, I'm so terribly sorry for the loss of your beloved. 41 years, it sounds like you two made/make a great team. I can imagine the pain and anguish you're suffering through. 

Your emotions are completely normal, you've suffered a world shattering experience, along with your works, your emotions have been shattered. It's okay to be angry or sad or numb, there aren't any rules, just self care, you must do that. Sleep, eat, hydrate. 

I understand losing part of your identity, you've lost half of that couple you belonged to, it's easy to lose sight of who we are, what we're supposed to do, what tomorrow even looks like. I know, I'm struggling with some of this myself, it's so d@mn hard. You may not realize or believe it, but you're still that great young lady he fell in love with, you're still there, you just don't recognize it because of all the pain and sorrow getting in the way. 

I encourage you to seek a grief counselor or someone trained for this, or reach out to local grief groups, if you see things getting worse. Also, post here as often as you'd like, the people here have hearts of gold and are always willing to share their insight or just "listen".

Please take care and may you find peace and comfort,

Andy

 

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Thank you andy. I got to a greif group once a week. Bit i dont think it is enougj

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3 minutes ago, jackie1951 said:

Thank you andy. I got to a greif group once a week. Bit i dont think it is enougj

Nothing is enough but try to get to two a week if you can.  The more the better more or less.  I have worked several different grief programs.  Some grief components are better.  Unfortunately some feel worse.

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13 hours ago, jackie1951 said:

My emotions are jumping all over. I dont know me without him

 We were married 41 years. He took care of me. Did everything. Im lost. Or at least the person i was is lost.

I did to much too soon after his death. Im in a completely different world.

One second im angry at everything and everyone i trust no one. I dont cook anymore and i use to love to. I snap at people. I pretend to be happy,so as not to make people feel bad. 

Just totally lost

 

 

Jackie, I am so sorry for your loss. I loss my husband of over 33 years in February.  We did everything together, and he took care of me all the time.  Now I have no one to do that for me.  But I try to take it slow.

Just remember to take it one day at a time.  I was unable to go to a grief support group, so I try to get on this site as much as possible.  Try to find something you enjoy, like watching a movie, taking a walk.  It helps to just waste time doing nothing, at least for me.

 

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Jackie,

I am very sorry for your loss, I can understand your feelings.  It's good to have someone you can let down with, someone you can share how you're REALLY feeling.  It might help a lot to see a professional grief counselor.  This is a really hard thing to make your way through by yourself, sometimes we need help with it.

I want to share an article I wrote with you, I just did on another person's thread, but I want to with you too in case you don't read their's.
 

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.]
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

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jackie1951, You are not alone. It might feel like it at times. You can always come here, just read posts or let your own feelings out when you feel the need. I am deeply sorry for the loss of your soulmate. I lost my husband suddenly 10 months ago and I am still struggling to cope with the hard truth that he is not here. When life is going good, we take it for granted. When facing hardships and loss, we feel life is unfair. I guess life has to balance the joys with sorrows. I don't really know or truly understand why things happen as they do. My identity was that of a wife for many years and now I have to learn who I really am as an individual. I am not going into this new life willingly but I have no choice. Everything you are feeling goes with grieving. It is good to hear you are attending a grief support group. I also understand when you say it is not enough. KayC made the suggestion of a professional grief counselor. Maybe you could add that in as well. We need all the support we can get. Sending you prayers of comfort and peace.  (HUGS)

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On 6/14/2017 at 6:48 PM, jackie1951 said:

My emotions are jumping all over. I dont know me without him

 We were married 41 years. He took care of me. Did everything. Im lost. Or at least the person i was is lost.

I did to much too soon after his death. Im in a completely different world.

One second im angry at everything and everyone i trust no one. I dont cook anymore and i use to love to. I snap at people. I pretend to be happy,so as not to make people feel bad. 

Just totally lost

 

I'm sorry for your loss and know your pain too well.   Like you, my Charles and I were inseparable and had 45 wonderful years together. I used  to think I couldn't go a day without his smile or without telling him things and hearing his voice back.   And then the worst day of my life came - the  day God took him from this earth came, and it was so damn hard, but the next day was even harder.  I knew with a sinking feeling it was just going to get worse and I wasn't going to be OK for very long time, if ever.  Losing my Charles was just not an event or date on the calendar - it just didn't happen once - it happens over and over again. I lose him when I pick up my coffee mug each morning; when that special song of ours plays on the radio, or when I find one of his T-shirts at the bottom of the laundry pile.  I lose him every time I think about kissing him, holding him or wanting him.  I lose him every time I go to bed at night; when I wish I can tell him about my day; in the morning when I reach for the empty space across the sheets.  

You will never be the same *you* again, nor would you want to be. You are different - perhaps good, perhaps not - but changed.     I think sometimes the hardest part of healing after you lose someone you love is recovering the *you* that died with them.  For your sake, I hope you do.  In my case,  that won't happen - that person no longer exist and I'm fine with that.  The *new* me has replaced her.  And if I'm honest with you, sometimes,  I don't like her.  Right now, she is angry, bitter, unhappy, snappy and cold.   She no longer has a heart because it was ripped from her chest; she only exist.  It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I pray you don't become that person and that God gives you the strength to make it through these difficult times.   Stay strong and God bless you, bless us all.

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On 6/14/2017 at 10:12 PM, jackie1951 said:

Thank you andy. I got to a greif group once a week. Bit i dont think it is enougj

It may not be enough or even close to it. It helps to add in weekly visits with a psychiatrist or psychologist as well as very frequent visits to your physician. Some changes are chemical and no amount of talk or supportive posts can help. Just make sure the pros are experts in the field. 

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On 6/15/2017 at 10:39 AM, KayC said:

Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.

I dont see anyway around this one.  Seems like this would have to happen but I am having trouble with this.  I have zero joy at this time.  I try to be thankful for a good cup of coffee, a hamburger that tastes good, even a smile from my coworker.  Its hard at the stage I am in right now.  I cant help but focus on how life "should" have been.  My brain is on auto pilot thinking about her and everytime I go to do something I wish she was with me doing it.  There doesnt seem to be a magic button to push.  My counselor wants me to do these things also.  She wants me to be thankful for all above and that I have family and that I have meetings to go to and that I have friends and that my business is improving.  But all of these things were there or could have been there anyway.  Its just the huge elephant in the room (figuratively, Nicole was small)  that is missing.

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What I'm talking about is appreciating the good that IS, and believe me, at this stage you really have to look for it.  Some days it's a stretch.  I started practicing this at 11 days out so I know it can be done.  It has become a way of life with me now and has really helped my attitude and focus.  I'm talking about things so small and fleeting as someone letting you merge in traffic, a phone call from a friend, getting to see a deer, an unexpected check, whatever good there is in life, embrace it, no matter how trivial or fleeting!  Acknowledge it and appreciate it!  It's nothing like having her in your life, and that huge joy that was her is gone, but we can appreciate what is.  My dog has helped a LOT.

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19 hours ago, bradley1985 said:

try to be thankful for a good cup of coffee, a hamburger that tastes good, even a smile from my coworker.  

I'm trying to do that too. I have not felt joy or true happiness for almost 6 months now. But I do try very hard to almost force myself to feel thankful for those little things. I think it just takes practice. The more I can appreciate the small things throughout the day, the less time I will have feeling the sadness. I am noticing a small shift. I still cry every day and I still miss him all the time, but the deep sadness is not there all the time. The joy and happiness are far from being back but there are small glimmers of hope. It really is all about learning to live a new, very different life, without the love of my life. And learning to live again while missing him. 

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You are so right, it is an art that requires practice.  Understanding there will never be that true big joy again, we can appreciate the small joys as I call them, perhaps better called something good, it takes concerted effort at noticing and embracing and appreciating them.

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16 hours ago, KayC said:

 Understanding there will never be that true big joy again, we can appreciate the small joys

Appreciating the small joys is wonderful, but both my doctor and psychologist have repeatedly told me that people generally should feel more than "small joys" by nine months, and if they don't please seek medical, not just "counselor" help, because nobody should be going through grief and depression at the same time. There is certainly no replacement for a deceased spouse, and perhaps the once in a lifetime "big joy" but both have assured me that major improvements are usual and expected, and if there are more than occasional grief waves by that time, and no frequent and consistent enjoyment of life, experienced and qualified medical treatment is critical.

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The point isn't even the kind of joy but rather that we look for and appreciate it when it's there!  That practice is life changing.  Most doctors and psychologists are not especially trained in grief, that's why it's recommended to have a professional GRIEF counselor.  Also, grief carries with it depression symptoms but that does not mean you are clinically depressed, although you may be.  It's good to have realistic expectations.  I wonder if they would have insurmountable joy if they lost their spouse?  This is harder than it seems to most people, even professionals and unless they're been there they really can't get it.  There IS no timeline but our own, our grief journeys are unique.

It is recommended that one see their doctor in conjunction with their loss, I did so and recommend others in grief do so too.  I wish sometimes the medical doctor and grief counselor could work together in their treatment. 

Ace, George was a huge joy in my life.  When he held me, I can't even describe the feeling I had, but suffice it to say it was the best place in all the world to be!  It's not to be expected that I should experience that again, but we can learn to embrace what IS rather than focus merely on what ISN'T. This is what I have learned and I have been under the tutelage of a professional grief counselor for twelve years...reading, listening, learning...she operated her grief site under Hospice of the Valley (HOV) for many years before funding cuts determined we operate with private donation and there she continues still.  (A common thing she tells us is to throw "should" out of our speech.)  I'm interested in posting your post on that site and see what responses it gets.

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I'm sorry, AceBasin, but I agree with KayC. Your doctor and psychologist are basically saying that a person should be engaging in life, at 9 months, as if nothing traumatic has happened. I wonder how they, themselves, would feel at 9 months if they lost a cherished spouse. Speaking for myself, my husband and I were soulmates. If you care to do any researching, soulmate love transcends above the usual. There are many partner relationships out there that are not good. Some people settle for second best. But when your whole heart and soul is totally wrapped up with another person and they leave this earth, it is a life long grieving process. Sure, I'm trying to continue on without my husband, but each day is still a struggle. No matter how I fill up my days, I still feel alone and lonely for him. No one is ever going to take his place. I have no interest in dating. Once you experience soulmate love, there is no one else, could never be anyone else. I am trying to appreciate the joys of living as much as I am able to. My pets bring me joy, being outside and listening to the birds, seeing the trees and feeling the breeze. Nothing is the same without my husband here to share living with. That is my opinion for myself.

9 hours ago, AceBasin said:

There is certainly no replacement for a deceased spouse, and perhaps the once in a lifetime "big joy" but both have assured me that major improvements are usual and expected, and if there are more than occasional grief waves by that time, and no frequent and consistent enjoyment of life, experienced and qualified medical treatment is critical.

To my perspective, this is their wisdom for where a person should be at by 9 months. I do not agree. I feel it is the subtle approach for drumming up business and going through prescription pads. I do agree that if a person, at 9 months, is still not engaging in life to some degree, isolating themselves and consistently depressed, they do require professional help.

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@AceBasin,

I went to the effort to post this on the other site where we DO have a moderator  who is a qualified grief counselor that reads All of the posts and she graciously took the time to respond.  I hope you'll hear her words which I've linked here:
http://www.griefhealingdiscussiongroups.com/index.php?/topic/10595-response-solicited/#comment-132673

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Thank you, KayC! I read through the links. Working through my loss, my way, is not going to place me into someone else's pigeon hole of month markers. Grieving and the resulting feelings of depression go hand in hand. It is only when the depression takes over basic functioning, social interaction, etc, that it needs to be addressed.

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My primary reason in responding to this thread is not to argue with anyone, but to encourage new members to seek appropriate medical help when warranted, and to recognize that some symptoms may result from something other than the loss of a spouse.  

I fully recognize that many, perhaps even, most doctors are not overly experienced in grief matters. But, most major medical centers and University Teaching Hospitals have specialists with M.D. or Ph.D. degrees from top universities, who are very well qualified and have experience in assisting thousands of bereaved.

The same care, perhaps more, that goes into the selection of a medical team should go into the selection of a grief counselor if needed. Some grief certification programs take as little as four days.

It is very difficult to post links to multiple sites in a post due to the limitations of this site, but searching for the terms in quotation marks will take anyone interested to the source. From the AARP page on death of a spouse: “Grief is not forever. One of the most important new findings has shown that for most of us, grief is a severe — but self-limiting — condition, not a permanent state. In one study of older men and women who had lost spouses, George A. Bonanno, a clinical psychologist at Teachers College, Columbia University, found that the core symptoms of grief — anxiety, depression, shock, intrusive thoughts — had lifted by six months after the loss for 50 percent of the participants.”  Other studies indicate that for the vast majority many symptoms will resolve by 18 months.

A psychiatric journal recently published an article on complicated grief with several interesting statements: “CG, MDD, and PTSD often are comorbid in bereaved adults; however, CG can be distinguished from these disorders.” “Although the trajectory of grief symptoms varies among individuals and may progress in fits and starts, over time grief becomes more intermittent, less interfering, and is balanced with a sense of interest and purpose in life.”

It is possible that some people were depressed before the death of a spouse. It is possible that the death of a spouse triggered a MDD. It is possible to confuse normal grief symptoms with depression. “Importantly, the death may or may not be the main, underlying cause of the person’s depression. There are, for example, many medical causes for depression that may happen to coincide with a recent death.”

According to DSM-5, complicated grief disorder may be diagnosed when certain symptoms after the death of a spouse “last longer than six months.”

Complicating matters further, loss of a spouse and grief, can cause physical, not just psychological, symptoms, including cardiac and GI problems.

Almost none of these conditions may be diagnosed or differentiated online by a counselor. I stand by my doctor’s recommendations that “experienced and qualified medical treatment is critical” at a certain point. Some professionals may even encourage treatment as early as six months post loss.  It may be that after sufficient examinations that there are no physical or psychological issues and that a lengthy grieving period is normal for that person. Just because a statistically significant number of people have certain trajectories certainly does not mean that everyone does. But, it may mean that it is at least time for medical examinations.  It can be comforting to rule issues out, or discover them and begin treatment.  It may also be that some problems are unrelated to the death of a spouse and it is a mistake to ignore them.

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AceBasin, Very well researched and written. It all comes down to the individual, their circumstances, free will choices of grieving and when to seek out professional treatment.

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Grief can be forever but it changes form.  That distinction is important to realize.  It does not stay in the same intensity and is ever evolving.  There is nothing wrong with a person that continues grieving, it is normal.  We need help through this grief and that is important to recognize.  Claribassist13 brought up the changes in our brain when we're hit with deep grief that can bring on a need for antidepressants when it has been altered.  I was not depressed before losing George.  Whatever depressive symptoms I've had since are due to the grief but neither do I feel the need for an antidepressant, nor do I think it would change anything.  In my case, I've needed to get used to the changes this has wrought in my life and learn to accept and create a life I can live with, one with purpose and meaning.  It has been up to me to make that effort and affect change in my life.  That does not mean the next person doesn't need antidepressants!  That does not mean the next person's brain chemistry hasn't changed.  It IS important to see your doctor and keep them appraised of what is going on inside of you (that's what their questionnaires are for).  Bet that as it may, doctors are not required to have degrees in thanatology (death, dying and bereavement).  I'm not here to argue the point either, but do want these clarifications made as people here are in a vulnerable state.  I'm not sure if you read the links posted by Marty, but I did, they were good.

I've always advocated going to a doctor and seeing a professional grief counselor (not all counselors are qualified).  Again, I wish doctors and grief counselors could work together and at least have a discussion before something gets prescribed that may or may not be right for the person.

I found this to be a good article (to do with this subject from a different angle) https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-the-gifts-we-give-the-gifts-we-are/

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