This may fall on deaf ears, but perhaps a word of explanation might help those who suffer from grief/anxiety.
Your aches and pains and your emotions are raw. It’s like touching a raw wound. Where a normal touch is only felt, an experience in anxiety/grief can be overwhelming. I use the expression ‘anxiety/grief’ because I believe the anxiety felt in grief is often different from normal anxiety, although they have a lot in common. They both can be brought about by trauma. When we laugh it may sound almost hysterical. Tears may come in floods or not at all.
Something we may have looked upon as sad can bring us to tears.
A chance remark that we would have overlooked can make us feel sad and depressed. The weather can have an out of proportion effect on our mood. Meeting a neighbour and trying to chit chat can be unbearable, whereas before we would have laughed. Going away from home, where once we enjoyed going out, can be painful in the extreme because sights and sounds and even smells can set us off. We were there before with out loved ones. The realisation that anxiety in grief is exaggerated emotions can help.
The loss we have all suffered is a life trauma. Many say it’s about the worse experience we can ever go through and it’s true. I suggest we should all try and avoid ‘triggers’. Forcing ourselves to go to a party or event at the behest of some well meaning friend can often have bad consequences after. I am not suggesting that you go nowhere. But go only if you feel up to it. No forcing. Your energy levels are low and easily depleted so take it easy and take care. John.
This may fall on deaf ears, but perhaps a word of explanation might help those who suffer from grief/anxiety.
Thank you. Jonathan.
What you say is so true.
Hi John, how true, once again such understanding and I certainly can relate to what you say as I am sure so many more members of the forum can.
Avoiding triggers can be hard but I find it best not to force the issue if I know I am vulnerable. I have spent a year quietly plodding along, not forcing myself. Walking away if I find things hard. However now I am managing to cope in these very same situations.
I went out last week with a neighbour, I didn’t know she was meeting up with other ladies. It was pleasant but about half an hour in I could have got up and walked out, it was enough. I didn’t and managed to get through the evening. One of the ladies said that she had grown up with Brian (no idea how she knew who I was) and what a lovely man he was. This was a trigger and it took every ounce of strength to hold it together. So it doesn’t take much does it, but what I am learning is to handle these situations now and to understand what is happening to me. Perhaps part of the real me is starting to return.
I I have a weekend booked at my friends house in two weeks. I’m dreading it. I’m trying to come up with every excuse to back out of it. Then I feel bad. I just don’t think I can face it. It’s a three hour drive. And I already do a lot of driving going home to see dad.
My friend is very forthright and can be very judgemental and before mum died it used to take all my energy to deal with her so knot sure I Can now. I think it will be hard work. I just hate letting people down
I dont think you have to try and find excuses not to visit your friend. Your mum died 6 months ago.
Just tell her you are not in a good place right now and need to to take a rain check.
Why dread something when you arent in a good place? If your friend is a good one, they will understand.
I agree with Cheryl, why should you have to do something which you are dreading, You have a reason for not wanting to visit your friend, not an excuse. I decided some time ago, that I was only going to do what I want to do, it may be selfish but I do not care. All the members of this forum are in the same position, grieving for the loss of a loved one, it is going to take a long long time before we feel like putting others first. I have never driven, but the thought of travelling for 3 hours in a car fills me with horror, Take it easy and do what is best for you.
Thank you Mary and Cheryl. I think I’m going to have to rain check it. It’s filling me with anxiety. X
Good. This is about you now x
Thank you so much for this, this is exactly how I’m feeling right now
Thanks for the posts. It’s a topic that is complex because so many have different ways of coping. My old mentor used to say ‘avoid those who are vexatious to your spirit’. I think most of you will know what he meant.
Now I should perhaps emphasis that Facing and Accepting is important. Facing our problems head on and accepting, for the time being, how we feel and how painful it all is. We have to face certain appointments we may not want to attend, but it has to be done.
It’s very difficult to avoid ‘triggers’. They can jump out on us when least expected. But we can make an effort to avoid people who cause us problems. What I am going to say may sound selfish, but taking care of yourself, physically and emotionally is very important. If you think you may upset someone by saying NO, then so be it. If they don’t understand then maybe they are not the sort of people you want around anyway!!
This can be a difficult and long journey. The road can be very bumpy at times. But we can make it easier by avoiding pitfalls and triggers, well, as much as possible.
Take care all. Blessings. John.
Good from me, too Jooles. x
My Mum in my teens told me that “in life there are only some things we really must do. Otherwise, if we really don’t want to something, then we don’t have to”. At the time i though, if it was offered I had to go.
Take care of yourself Jooles45. Do what’s right for you!
Hi Jooles. I’m inclined to agree with Cheryl if you don’t feel able to cope with the journey and your friend then back out for the time being. As Jonathan says “A chance remark can cause sadness and depression” and as your friend can be judgemental and proven difficult to deal with then you might well be going out of your comfort zone. Don’t feel your letting people down you are grieving and need to find your way back to being able to cope. Ask your friend to give you time as it’s too much to cope with just at the moment. I know for certain that I couldn’t cope with staying away from home at the moment. I wouldn’t be good company.
Yes I agree with others - best to stay in your comfort zones as much as possible right now. When the time is right you will feel more up to it. Also of course we have to face up to some unavoidable situations (like work etc) which may end up feeling more tiring right now.
I’ve recently managed to reconnect with some really good long standing friends I had neglected seeing for many years (due to the distractions of a busy family/work life mix) and it felt really good - And made me realise that the unconditional love I am missing from my mum and dad is all out there but I have to make an effort to reconnect with that. I’m lucky to have those friends and even though they don’t live round the corner and I won’t get to see them that much, whenever we meet it’s like we last saw each other yesterday. I must say I’m also very grateful for all my friends new and old who have certainly helped me along life’s bumpy road the last 25 years or so, mostly without me really noticing how much I needed them! I think I have given back to them too - I will certainly be more mindful of that in the future.
Oh yes, unconditional love!! Now there’s something to think about. Why have we so misused the word ‘love’? I love my car, my house, my work (sometimes), but unconditional love is none of those things. It’s stands alone and can in no way be interfered with, changed, altered, got at or lost. But it is unconditional. No 'I love you, but…!!! No ‘buts’ can ever into it. It’s purity cannot be over exaggerated.
“Love one another as I have loved you”.
Those words come down through the ages from someone who knew what unconditional love meant.
Yes Victoria, we have to look for it, and although we may have it in our hearts we may not practice it. There is no hate, envy or resentment in that love. Nothing can exist of a negative nature within it.
Do I have it? No!!! But I do try, and in this world it’s so difficult to feel it. The love we had for our loved ones comes close to it. I doubt anyone would be on this site if they don’t know what I mean.
And it is more blessed to give than receive. Why do we expect a return for kindness? The fact that you have given of yourself is enough. If it’s rejected it matters not at all. The fact that you reached out and offered is enough. If we meet those who are ‘vexatious to our spirit’, pass by and wish them well. Forgive them their so called ‘sins’. Every house we visit bless the house as we enter. No matter what circumstances arise we all have the innate power to change situations by offering love.
I often suggest loving each other on this site. Love has a way of easing pain. But it needs come from the heart and not the head.
Take care Victoria, and thank you for a lovely post. Blessings.
I contacted and offered nothing but help and love to members of Brian’s family even while in deep and early grief myself yet I didn’t receive a reply to any of my letters, phone calls or e-mails. I rang friends and tried to make contact. I really tried. I tried to be interesting company and not dwell on my pain. So now I have given up and not going to waste my time as their rejection knocked me back and I began to wonder what I had done so wrong. I don’t want them any longer. However I found the same response with divorce and by people that I thought were the best of friends Do I sound bitter, I suppose I was but now accept and making new friends, but will I trust again, I mean really trust, I doubt it. Sorry like to be positive bur now being realistic. Pleased some friend prove to be true friend though.
Well the thing with friends is you don’t need too many - just good ones. And I’m sure in time you will realise they are there for you or you will make new ones too. Never too late to make new pals I think, and worth the effort.
Hi Victoria. Time has told me that these ‘friends’ are not there for me and should I manage to trust new ones then that might be nice but I don’t particularly feel like being that bothered. I made the effort some time ago and it got me no where. Was it me, I have no idea. I am usually very sociable and get on easily with people but do not feel I need ‘friends’ around me to get over the heartbreak of losing my husband. I am sorry to say but all the pals in the world will not make up for not having that one special person with me, a person so important to me and cannot be replaced.
However I do lead a busy life and meet up and have connection to people every day, nice people that I call colleagues at the moment and this is enough. I have however made ‘friends’ on this forum. People that I hold dear although we have never met. People that understand whatever sort of day you are having., and always there with a friendly word of encouragement People that I give my thanks to.
Thank you Pat, I do understand what you are saying x