Frightened by the feelings

My mum died 5 months ago. We had a complicated relationship over the years as she battled with her own demons and wasn’t able to parent but she was still my mum. I grieve the mum I had and I grieve the mum I didn’t have at the same time. I have been in counselling on and off over the years and my counsellor has now told me she is retiring. She was like a second mother to me. I have been going through a second waive of grief. I wake up in the morning and feel like I want to crumble. I get anxiety in my body as I think about the day ahead, I feel unsafe. I dread how I feel and get really scared by how I feel and letting it go. I want to sob but can’t seem to cry. I’m a mum so have to get on with things for my son. Do other people feel frightened about how they feel, scared to let it go because it feels never ending, overwelming. Not every moment is bad but when it’s the first thing you feel when you wake up it’s scary and and then you get waves of strong feelings through the day. It’s hard to concentrate and function. It seems to never ending. I feel like a child who just wants her mum.


I have panic attacks surrounding the loss of my sister. I’m on anti depressants they help with the anxiety and attacks.

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Thank you for sharing all of that - I’m not surprised it feels overwhelming when you’re trying to grapple with so much at once.

I lost my dad quite suddenly almost 11 months ago now and I still go through awful waves sometimes. There are people in this community who experience the same after years. It’s important to remember though that there isn’t a ‘right’ way of dealing with it, that you don’t have to process everything in one go and it’s ok to be frightened by it all, to feel an aching hole in your chest one moment and anger the next and then somewhat doo-lally before being too exhausted to feel anything else (before you start over from scratch and do it all again).

Who wouldn’t be scared by the depth of all that? Sometimes I miss my dad so much my heart honestly, physically aches. He’s the one person I really wish I could talk to about it, because I know he’d find a way to make me laugh no matter how bad I’m feeling. I find other people to talk to about bits and pieces of that, when I’m feeling up to it.

It’s really good that you’ve been talking to a counsellor about it all and such a shame she won’t be able to continue with you. Perhaps you could ask her for some recommendations of other counsellors to try? As she knows so much of your story, she may have a good idea of who would be a good fit so you still have someone to share with when she goes.

Even talking around here can be a good way to release a little of the pressure. There’s nothing quite like talking to someone who ‘gets it’ more than most people in your life do.




Wow thank you for responding so thoughtfully. I have found some comfort in your words and I shall use this forum more. There are so many brave people on here baring their most painful soles that deserve support and caring thoughtful people like yourself who are prepared to share and respond. Thank you.

I am looking into anti depressants as well to see if they may help manage. Thank you

When my sister passed in April 2020 I slipped into a awfull depression but it was the anxiety attacks that were the worse. I plodded on for 3 months before speaking Dr’s help.

I feel exactly the same as you do. It’s really frightening and I worry I’ll feel like this for ever. The anxiety is unbearable and I’m trying all sorts of medications and paying for private therapy to try and get though it. I’ve been unable to work and trying to get back to work now but I’m finding it so hard to push through the anxiety every day. The mornings are terrible. I wish I had the answer but I don’t. People say time but it’s been 6 months of feeling like this now since I lost my dad. I lost my mum 3 years ago too and I had a complex relationship with her too. Since my mum fell ill 4 years ago and then after her death I became so close to my dad and losing him suddenly has been hard to accept. I didn’t know that it could cause this kind of anxiety. I feel so scared.

I to am experiencing big anxiety issues and consequently very low mood and feelings of being overwhelmed and dread. Have you found ways to handle the anxiety amongst your grief ?

I take citrolepam daily and this has helped with the anxiety I don’t get panic attacks, anymore.

I too take citalopram but at the moment things are proving to much for that.

My sister had a brain tumour she was told you’re dead if we don’t operate you could die if we do. She died anyway just 3 months, later. She was, so brave but deep inside she must have been utterly terrified. I have panic attacks and suffer with anxiety I take pills but I also try and tell myself Paula if she can face what she did with such strength and still smile then you can crack on even though you feal scared and panicky and I try. It’s how I cope.

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I am so sorry to hear about your sister. She would be proud of you.
My resilience is desperately low and I wish I had your strength.


I so feel for you. The feelings can be overwhelming. I have tried to be more honest with others about what I’m feeling and just accept how I feel. I find it hardest in the mornings too. I drink camomile tea, I run even when i don’t feel like it when the anxiety is really high as it uses up some of that excess adrenaline. I do jigsaw puzzles when my thoughts are racing or do some weeding in the garden. It is a battle. I look for the brighter days and drag myself through the really difficult with the hope it will pass at some point.

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It’s natural to feel frightened sometimes, I get that too and I really hate it but one way or another it passes. 6. months is very recent still and as you were so close to your dad I am not surprised its still painful. We have to have hope that that one day it will not be so painful but we will always miss them. x

Hi Triggers.

Do you find the running helps to calm yourself down, reduce the unsettled feeling inside ? I walk but not every day. Am thinking maybe I should walk everyday, even consider a starter running group ?

I have woken up feeling dread and anxiety every day for over 2 years. I have antidepressants but they make no difference. For me the terror comes from having my whole world smashed up when my husband died after 46 years together. When I feel I can contain the pain no longer I get out and just walk and walk, sometimes stopping to ‘just be’ it helps…

I try to walk when I can. Some times it helps but other times I simply carry the thoughts with me as I walk. I have been advised to try a positive mantra before going sleep telling myself that I will wake up a little calmer and I won’t feel sick with dread. I will be trying this. I am willing to try anything. Like a few of us on this site has said the anxiety is awful…crippling

I find if I can tell someone who will let me cry with them, it feels worse at first but then it dissipates after a while.But we are not encouraged to show our emotions in the UK except about Brexit etd
If you walk down the street crying few peope notice so don’t worry if that happens

Hi Nikki,

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your dad, 11 months ago, I lost mine 8 months ago, and I don’t know about you, I would not want to go back to that awful recent experience of sudden grief, as those were really intense feelings. Like yourself I still go though this now in waves, and what hurts is that as the months roll by it gets further and further away of what was. I have videos of him on my mobile phone and I do not want to play these, just only when I have really dared to do so before, as I know the floods of tears will just come back to the surface again. It just sometimes feels that you are now in control of the feelings and the grief has subsided but it appears not! I still have my mother and hang on to her dearly thinking of my God how will I cope when that time comes too! Have you talked to councillors? I feel I have managed to deal with my own grief. Your dad seemed a strong man, just like mine, that generation of men were gentlemen, always holding a family together.