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My mother passed away from cancer 2 years ago in July 2015. It is July now and at the end of the month it will officially be the 2 year mark. I have been a mess all of July, even a few weeks before July came about, and it's been very hard for me to deal with. Along with dealing with my grief I also have anxiety, minor depression and some OCD tendencies. It is my own fault, but I don't think I have allowed myself enough time to grieve. I always have plans and I am always working and running around from one place to another. It is rare I ever put aside time for myself, I have been this way all my life. Approaching this month of July, for 2 weeks straight I had horrible knots in my stomach 24/7. This had never happened to me before and they would not go away. My throat also felt a lot tighter and it still does. Then, I started having all these negative thoughts floating about my head, a lot to do with my boyfriend, who I love very much and have been with for almost 3 years now. They were thoughts that I don't agree with at all, thoughts like "do you really love him?" "your stomach hurts because you don't want to be with him anymore" and stuff like that. I love my boyfriend so much - he has been nothing but a constant source of support and love for me, especially in this difficult time. I've also been 100% honest with him about these thoughts and what I've been feeling. I was just wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else and if so, what steps did you take to make it a bit easier? The last thing I want is to lose my boyfriend, and I truly don't think I will because he's been so understanding, but having these thoughts is so frustrating and upsetting to me. Part of me feels like I am just so emotionally bottled up and drained that I am feeling so many things and worrying about so much that I don't even know what to feel anymore. And of course, with it being July, I've been even more upset than usual. Anxiety and depression doesn't help, either. 

Any thoughts or input would be much appreciated - it's hard to feel strong and get through my everyday when I feel like I'm going crazy and questioning things I feel like I don't need to be questioning. 

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Dear bravelittletoaster,

I'm so sorry you are struggling so much.  I understand.  Grief really screws a person up.  I know.  I too am struggling.  I feel depressed and it's getting worse as time goes on.  I've developed coping mechanisms.  I've become obsessive.  I'm inwardly angry at everyone but can't speak.  Everyone annoys me.  Everyone is getting on with their lives and they're meaningless chit chat and I feel like I'm dying inside.  Quietly dying.  I tell you this because I can tell you're just doing your best to stay sane.  You are questioning your boyfriend because you are struggling so much.  You're depressed.  At least you can tell him, at least you can be open with him.  Keep talking to him.  I don't know when it will get better.  I don't have any answers for you but it does sound like you have someone who loves you who you can lean on.  So if you don't trust yourself, trust him.  I tell myself eventually people get to the other side of loss.  People do.  I don't know when but people seem to survive.  Be kind to yourself.

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Dear bravelittletoaster,

My deepest sympathies and condolences on the passing of your beloved mother. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know its hard. From what you are saying it sounds like you are going through delayed grief. I know you mentioned how your emotions feel bottled up. I grew up in a family where we didn't talk about feelings or how to deal with grief. Since my dad's passing I am struggling with all my feelings as well.

I know everyone is different but I have tried the following things: counselling, grief support, reading websites like What's Your Grief and the Grief Healing Blog, journaling, taking classes and meditation.

I think its hard for those around us to support us experiencing grief. I'm sure your boyfriend is doing what he can and he means well.

Please know we are all here to listen and support you and you are not alone. Thinking of you. Sending you all my thoughts and prayers.

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On 7/14/2017 at 5:40 PM, sadandlost said:

Dear bravelittletoaster,

I'm so sorry you are struggling so much.  I understand.  Grief really screws a person up.  I know.  I too am struggling.  I feel depressed and it's getting worse as time goes on.  I've developed coping mechanisms.  I've become obsessive.  I'm inwardly angry at everyone but can't speak.  Everyone annoys me.  Everyone is getting on with their lives and they're meaningless chit chat and I feel like I'm dying inside.  Quietly dying.  I tell you this because I can tell you're just doing your best to stay sane.  You are questioning your boyfriend because you are struggling so much.  You're depressed.  At least you can tell him, at least you can be open with him.  Keep talking to him.  I don't know when it will get better.  I don't have any answers for you but it does sound like you have someone who loves you who you can lean on.  So if you don't trust yourself, trust him.  I tell myself eventually people get to the other side of loss.  People do.  I don't know when but people seem to survive.  Be kind to yourself.

Thank you for reaching out, sadandlost. I completely know how you feel - it's tough, but we just have to keep hanging in there so we can eventually get to the other side. I believe in you <3

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On 7/15/2017 at 2:15 PM, reader said:

Dear bravelittletoaster,

My deepest sympathies and condolences on the passing of your beloved mother. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know its hard. From what you are saying it sounds like you are going through delayed grief. I know you mentioned how your emotions feel bottled up. I grew up in a family where we didn't talk about feelings or how to deal with grief. Since my dad's passing I am struggling with all my feelings as well.

I know everyone is different but I have tried the following things: counselling, grief support, reading websites like What's Your Grief and the Grief Healing Blog, journaling, taking classes and meditation.

I think its hard for those around us to support us experiencing grief. I'm sure your boyfriend is doing what he can and he means well.

Please know we are all here to listen and support you and you are not alone. Thinking of you. Sending you all my thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for reaching out, reader. The word "delayed grief" has really stuck with me - I have an inkling that is most likely what's happening to me. Thank you for passing along your experiences with me <3

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