How to cope

I am a 21 year old student currently in my 4th year of studying at university. In 2014 within 3 months of each other, I lost my grandma to ovarian cancer and my cousin to cystic fibrosis. The following year I lost my uncle to cancer, and a family friend in a tragic accident. Then last year, I lost my Grandad to cancer. At the time I thought I had grieved. But, after the death of my Grandad I put up a wall to stay strong for my mum and I didn’t shed a single tear over him. I have since tried to cry, tried to grieve, but I physically couldn’t. In the past few months, I have felt myself slumping into a depressive state, not wanting to do anything, wanting to just not be me. I have been having horrible nightmares and sleep paralysis, all involving the people I have lost, and my fight to say goodbye to them. The people around me have noticed that I’ve not been myself and have called me out on it. And the only way I can describe it to them is that I’ve been on a nice long walk in the sunshine, listening to my favourite song. And suddenly, it starts getting dark and I’m trying to find my way home, and I get lost in a dark alleyway, and I can’t find my way out, and a song I really dislike has come on and I can’t turn it off. And I’m currently stuck in this dark alleyway, listening to this rubbish song, trying to figure out how to find my way home. I have good days and bad days, good nights and bad nights. And I just want to be reassured that I’m not the only person who feels like this? I don’t like to admit and be that person seeking attention, but I have been through a lot in my life. I lost my nana at a young age, I’ve lost numerous other family members along the way, I was moved 200 milwas away from my home town, my parents divorced and my dad moved 200 miles away. My mum battled breast cancer, my dad battled testine cancer, my dad suffered 2 heart attacks and is now suffering from heart disease. And I don’t like to burden anyone with my problems so I just suffer in silence, and make sure everyone around me is ok.

You sound like you have had more than your fair share of loss. I have had such dark times in my life and struggled to finish university because of the heavy load life gave to me. It does feel difficult to talk to our friends as we don’t want to burden them or because we think they wouldn’t understand. Some friends, some people do and they may surprise you. If you feel you need to unload fully, a councillor at Uni may be one direction especially if it’s affecting your studies?
It has been proven that getting out and about can soften the edges of pain and alleviate sympoms of depression. I don’t know your prefered bag but I enjoy a walk on a lonely beach with my dog, connecting with nature in a woody walk. I think of my loved ones often and think how they would have loved this place. Is gives me comfort. Maybe you could take up hill running or wild walking to help relieve your burden somewhat?

Thank you for replying, it’s nice to know there are people out there going through a similar situation. I’ve taken up walking as I find it a good way to clear my head and has a minute to myself to reflect on everything. And I find that writing it all out helps a lot. My friends have been really supportive and very understanding but sometimes it’s just easier to talk to a stranger who knows nothing about me, you know?