Feeling numb...

So alot has gone on these past few months… I was raised by a small family unit consisting of my Mum, Nanna and Grandad. I started university in September first time living away from my family that’s when things went bad my Nanna became diagnosed with cancer and it got worse and worse there was no treatment for her that didn’t have a high chance of Loosing her during the treatments. So they didn’t do any… everything has been so hard having my birthday and chritmas be my last, spending so much time trying to juggle university and caring for her. Trying to keep myself from thinking of or doing stupid things. She sadly passed the 10th of January and each day changes I feel fine then numb then angry then I break down. I’m sick of being okay one moment and broken the next. My nanna was like a second mum to me and I’m so lost so numb everything hurts and I feel so empty and hollow. So that’s basically my story and I just don’t know what to do with myself :frowning:

It is so very early days yet for you, I remember feeling numb like you for about 6 weeks, feeling numb, angry and crying are all part of the grieving process, don’t try and bottle them up as that will make them worse. All the emotions need to be released. You Nanna sounds a very special lady and I am sure she would not have wanted to leave you if she could help it. It is a horrible road we are all travelling along, but you are not doing it alone, we ar ehere whenever you need a bit of support.

I understand its early days and I suppose that’s the scariest thing of all, each day feels like a constant battle to get out of bed, leave my room and smile. I try to throw myself into things like social events with friends to try continue as normally as I can. I used to be a very open, very socialized person however, I now feel like shutting myself away a lot. I try not to bottle it up however, I feel its unfair on people for me to act this way around them due to it being inconvenient to them to deal with my emotions. Its also very hard to express myself as I am unsure of how I feel, as one moment in fine the next I am not, I don’t know how to explain myself and my actions to people as they claim to understand yet I feel as though no one does. I understand people have experienced a loss but I feel so alone and like the whole world is okay and I’m like a ticking bomb ready to explode and break down again. My Nanna was very special to me she influenced everything I have achieved in life and is the reason I am who I am, she helped raise me and has always supported and guided me hence the reason I’m so lost without her. My Nanna wouldn’t have wanted to leave any of us but she’s free from pain now and is at peace. Thank you ever so much for replying its just hard to speak to people about it all who aren’t currently experiencing it.

I understand its early days and I suppose that’s the scariest thing of all, each day feels like a constant battle to get out of bed, leave my room and smile. I try to throw myself into things like social events with friends to try continue as normally as I can. I used to be a very open, very socialized person however, I now feel like shutting myself away a lot. I try not to bottle it up however, I feel its unfair on people for me to act this way around them due to it being inconvenient to them to deal with my emotions. Its also very hard to express myself as I am unsure of how I feel, as one moment in fine the next I am not, I don’t know how to explain myself and my actions to people as they claim to understand yet I feel as though no one does. I understand people have experienced a loss but I feel so alone and like the whole world is okay and I’m like a ticking bomb ready to explode and break down again. My Nanna was very special to me she influenced everything I have achieved in life and is the reason I am who I am, she helped raise me and has always supported and guided me hence the reason I’m so lost without her. My Nanna wouldn’t have wanted to leave any of us but she’s free from pain now and is at peace. Thank you ever so much for replying its just hard to speak to people about it all who aren’t currently experiencing it.

unsure as to why it posted so many times sorry

Totally understand you can only send love and a hug as i have no answersxxxxx

Hugs to you titanic…your not alone on here… i lost my mum in november and it still feels like yesterday and then other times it feels a long time since i saw my mum. Its early days for you. Thinking of you.

Hiya,

I can totally relate to this. My Mum was diagnosed and died while I was at university. Have you heard of Hope Support Services? They offer support specifically for young people with a terminal illness/death in the family and we have a fortnightly group chat online with others in a similar position. They offer online counselling too

Also if you’ve not spoken to your supervisor/course lead it might be an idea to, it could help to reduce some of the uni stress that’s on top of your other stress Xxx

Honestly it’s fine, it’s hard to know what to say to anyone under the circumstances we are all unfortunately facing. My thoughts are with you xxx

Hugs to you to, no one is alone on here I have come to realise this however we all still feel that way. November still isn’t that long ago and your time to grieve in my eyes should be as long as you need to. Grief shouldn’t be measured by time everyone has their own time span to grief the loss of a loved one… it is not something you get over. I’ve been told it comes to you in waves sometimes smooth and manageable sometimes to big to handle that you feel as though their taking over you and pulling you under… just keep swimming even on your hardest days. I’m thinking of you also, I couldn’t imagine loosing my mother :frowning:

Hi I’m sorry sorry for your loss. No I haven’t heard of them, I’ve only just come onto this site and haven’t looked any further into the other help and support I can receive.

I’ve spoken to university and I did have councelling via them for the months leading up to her death but they recommended it stopped as I need time to grieve her now and they don’t feel they can help me. Uni is very stressful… between her being diagnosed and passing I failed to submit two assignments which I’ve had to apply for mitigating circumstances in order to possibly get them marked and recieve more than a fail. Xxx

It’s frustrating when tey cut counselling off. Is there any other welfare support at the uni? At mine they have welfare tutors who I found to be really helpful.

It sounds like you could do with going to the GP, if nothing else to get evidence for your mitigating circumstances. I often found it was easier to pre-empt late assignments (and maybe/maybe not get them in on time, but cover my back in case) then to backdate it so that might be worth considering for summer.

Hope support services are here: http://www.hopesupport.org.uk/
And they teamed up with student minds to do an advice booklet which can be found here: http://www.studentminds.org.uk/family-health-crisis.html

They cut it off as they felt they couldn’t help me and having councelling straight after her death isn’t recommended. There’s a health and welfare officer and she’s been there for me from day one but the amount of students she sees per week is unbelievable. She’s helped me from the moment my Nan got diagnosed however she was told to put me onto councelling but the councillor just gives me methods for coping that don’t work and when I say that she’s like oh try this and try that then she said because i seemed okay before the chritmas period that she no longer needed to see me then upon return to university my nan died shortly after.

I’ve had help with evidence that wasn’t to much of an issue there currently taking it higher to see what can be done so fingers crossed. If I fail I can always do them again but it means staying behind in the summer.

Thank you for providing the link I shall have to have a look. Xx

That sounds really rough. I’ve struggled with services in that way too. Generally mental health support (NHS) said I coldn’t work on stuff while Mum was ill… then that I couldn’t work on it when she’d just died. Now they’re saying I’ve been under them too long - it makes no sense!

Could you get a referral back to counselling or do you not think it would be helpful?

Are there any other charities or organisations in your area who could help? Perhaps the health and welfare person could recommend somewhere? (Like, in our town we have a women’s centre, we have a random building who does crafts on the other side of town, there’s a christian counselling centre…).

It’s good you’ve got evidence for mit circs because that can be a nightmare!

If you’re not already under a GP it might be good to do that because they’re really good signposts and can also be a good person to just keep in touch with to make sure you’re managing as well as possible.

Are there any specific things you’re struggling with at the moment?x

That’s awful it annoys me how they tell you when you need help… they only took me seriously when I put my own life at risk as it all got to much. There meant to check on me weekly at a meeting and do a check on a night as I live on campus but the weekly meeting have been cut off and the night time check I’ve never had one.

I could go back to councelling but the woman who used to see me she’s not easy to speak to and she’s always watching the clock rather than listening to me properly it’s very off putting.

I haven’t really looked around in the area there isn’t much advice given its mainly for children like 16 and under and I’m 20 so they feel like your old enough to cope in a way.

I haven’t seen a GP but I may go seek one out and see what they can do.

At the moment specifically my struggles change alot… one moment I’m really driven and motivated the next I can’t even force myself to get out of bed let alone leave my room. I feel very anxious and nervous when in a classroom and at times I can engage in the lesson others I zone out and loose myself in thought about what if and I could have done this but obviously that’s not good to do. Sometimes I can go out with friends and one moment we’re all having a good time the next my mood changes suddenly because something reminded me of her and I break down all over again. I sometimes feel numb, drained and angry and often break down and cry I sometimes have a pain in my chest and it honestly feels like my heart is breaking. Some days I’m fine as I’m the eldest grandchild and I feel I have to be for my little brother and my cousins but it becomes so hard to try and explain to the little ones that Nanna isn’t here anymore and it’s hard to explain to them why your crying. My mum wanted me to become diagnosed with anxiety and depression a few years ago when my Nan became diagnosed will illnesses such as angina, epilepsy, copd and other things alongside that she changed completely and that made me change completely… then I got better in my eyes and now I feel as though I’m going back to this negative very emotional very untrusting person I used to be. It’s easier on here because our identities are kept secret but face to face I feel so judged all the time and I feel like I’m burdening people with my problems. Xx

I’m sorry the meetings and things aren’t happening - is there any way you can reinstate them? It’s hard when the person is hard to speak to. Clinicians seem to vary so much.

I found exactly the same with the help thing - it was for under 16/18s, or for over 60s/spouses/losing children. Very frustrating. That’s when I found Hope Support but they’re the only ones I’ve found. I even tried Macmillan but they told me the ‘ill person had to trigger the support’. Sometimes local hospices offer counselling so that might be worth a look?

I think finding a GP you trust can be good because they’re just areally useful point of contact.

I can completely relate to all of what you’ve said. It was hard explaining things to my younger brother. To be honest, a lot of it sounds like ‘normal grief’ - something nobody ever talks about, and too many people view as a linear 8-step thing when in reality it comes in waves, and the line is not linear but rather squiggly.

With regards to diagnosis - it’s hard to know when grief slips into illness, or illness merges with grief. I have 3 diagnosed mental health conditions that I’ve had since my teens and even with the diagnosies, it’s hard to know what’s grief and what’s that. To be honest, I’m not sure it even matters. A struggle is a struggle whatever name you give it and you deserve help. But again with all of that your GP is probably your best bet.

One thing I’ve found really helps with anxiety is to have different textured blankets on my bed that I can ‘self-soothe’ with. I have a ‘distress tolerance box’ too which I sometimes use.

With classwork - I let them know that I had to have my phone on at all times. And I sat within easy reach of the door in case I needed to leave quickly. All my tutors knew what was going on which sometimes was weird and annoying and other times was helpful.

Are your friends understanding? I’ve found that I’ve lost a lot of friends. But the ones who’ve stuck around are the ones that matter. Maybe try and speak to them a little, if you can?

I don’t know how helpful any of this is, but I do understand a lot of where you’re coming from and I have been there. I actually ended up taking leave of absence after Mum died (for a year). I went back part time in September, but to be honest it’s been awful for my mental health and I’ve taken another leave of absence but will probably just leave and not finish. I don’t think uni is really right for me and I’m learning that that’s okay.

I don’t mind as the meetings didn’t really help me… in fact the things they were asking me wasn’t even related to the reason I came they dragged up things about my past that I didn’t think was relevant.

The councillor I went to my friend has the same one and she told my friend she was making her nervous and uncomfortable and that she didn’t feel she should be here she needed help from a GP or someone which was rather off of her to say not the GP part but the way she made her feel I thought councillors couldn’t say that.

I’ll start having a look more into what’s to offer in my local area so far most places haven’t been a big help but it’s knowing who to ask. All uni do is ask me questions and they talk about sending me home again as I’m such a danger to myself and others with my negative thoughts.

I’ve never lost someone before so I don’t know how they diagnose what’s grief and whats not and what so called stages you have to face.

I never thought to have different textured blankets… I usually use my pom pom on my keys or my tassel as it has a different feel to it.

My tutors understand but I’m always getting letters about my attendance and it’s hard to explain to tutors why I need to leave because they don’t feel it’s important because she’s gone now and I shouldn’t need to leave as much.

My friends vary some listen and try to help… others avoid the subject and many have left or argued with me because I shut myself away or only come out when it suits me and I need someone.

Your helping as much as you can and I’m glad your giving me options as to what I can do to try and cope and manage things.

I wanted to take time out or transfer closer to home but because that would mean changing course or quitting for a year they won’t financially support me for it as I’ve signed up and been financially supported for a three year course if I leave now all money stops and I owe alot of money for wasting their time.

I’m sure in time you’ll find something you enjoy doing with your life… I dislike uni but due to paying campus fees and having a loan I can’t quit because then I’d have to pay it all back upfront they’d only support me if I do the full three year contract xx

Ah fair enough, that doesn’t sound so helpful.

I think with counsellors, you have to ‘click’ with them and some people will find one really helpful whereas others will find the same one not so helpful.

Some unis do now have something called ‘fitness to study’ where if they decide that you’re not well enough to study they can inforce a leave of absence, so you might have that issue. It’s designed to keep you healthy but can be hard if home is tricky to.

I think grief is just so tricky, because it’s often such a taboo subject which is really not helpful when you’re going through it and wanting to know what’s ‘normal’ and what isn’t. A lot of my googling brought up the ‘8 stages of grief’ and I identified with a lot of the stages but not necessarily in the order they were written, and I find that I jump between stages a lot rather than it being linear. I found it useful to help me identify some of my feelings, and to know that some of what I was feeling was ‘normal’, but not so useful when it came to ‘boxing’ feelings as I find a lot of what I go through is very mixed up, rather than being segregated into nice neat boxes.

That sounds good! I’ve used ‘pea pod popper’ keyrings before. I also have a spinner ring which has literally saved me from scratching my hands which I used to do when I was anxious. But yeah i have 3 different textures blankets on my bed, plus a different textured jumper, a different textured poncho, and a few bears.

I think that’s a very simplistic way of your tutors to look at it. Do you have a main tutor/supervisor you could speak to about your attendance? Or you could chat to about working out ways that could help you to attend?

I think it can be really hard with friends because often they genuinely don’t know what to do and that can lead to arguments. I have one friend who helps loads because we just sit and craft/art journal/crochet/watch TV and there’s no pressure. There are a few others who I feel able to meet for coffee because I know they won’t mind if I’m anxious/have no make up on etc.

Is there a finance centre who you could chat to about that? As far as student finance goes, they normally support you for 1 extra year so it might be worth investigating. Also, you can often transfer credits between unis depending on what your course is/what you’ve done/how well you’ve done. At our uni we have an advice and support centre within the student’s union and I’ve found them the most helpful of all uni services, so it might be worth looking to see if they exist. There’s a finance help bit within the student’s union as well (there are uni support/finance services too, I’ve just found the students union to be the most helpful).

I’ve had weird finances with uni to, it’s so annoying! I’m now in a job that I enjoy though, and looking at picking up another bit of work, too. (Well, I’m currently signed off sick but hoping to go back at some point…).

Other things I’ve found that help recently include art journaling (I don’t know if you’re creative, but tbh you don’t even need to be, just make a mess lol), taking a photo a day (I upload it to insta and also project 365 and on the 365 site people tend to be older so I find that very supportive), ‘brain dumping’ each morning before checking social media or doing anything else (some people write 3 pages, I draw/colour/write song lyrics/whatever for half an hour/a page/until I’m done - I have a blank notebook, pencil, pen and colouring pencils next to my bed), I’ve found blogging really helps me, too (I self-host but also blog about living with grief/terminal illness on huffington post), taking my meds at the right time each day, trying to leave the house daily, trying to shower and wash my hair at least 3 times a week, trying to get dressed most days (occasional PJ days are essential!), trying to go to bed on time (that’s failed tonight, oops) and wake up on time, netflixing, pinterest/tumblr/other distractions, I used to love running but I’m currently not allowed to, pen palling with friends (nice post is always good!), having positive things up on the walls/noticeboard in my room (it’s rented but I use command hooks and string and then peg things on)… I can’t think of other things right now but I’m sure there are some. I think sometimes when services aren’t really helping you have to google a bit (when you have the energy) and work out things that work for you (it can take a lot of trial and error!).

It sounds like you could do with getting a GP appointment and some uni advice and going from there, though. You’re only 20, you have your whole life ahead of you, you don’t have to do uni right now. The most important thing, above money/education/anything, is your health because without your health you can’t do much else. xxx

Thanks for sharing the information on Hope Support Services, Lost. I wasn’t aware of them, but I’ve now added them to my list of useful support services that I can suggest to users of this site.

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Amazing! They’re really lovely and the only charity/organisation I’ve found who do specifically what they do. They’re always up for joint ventures and new ideas, to :slight_smile:

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