I Feel Like An Orphan

Hello, I think I need some advice and support if that’s ok?
My dad died in 2009, due to heart failure, after spending 4 weeks in intensive care. At the time, myself and the rest of the family convinced ourselves that he was getting better (even though, looking back, this is not what the doctors were telling us) so it came as a massive shock when he died. I’m still not over his death 7 years down the line but it did inspire me to re-train for a new career and I’m now a community nurse.
However, this past 18 months has been a dreadful time for me. I started my job in the community in January 2015 and at first I enjoyed it. Then a few months later, doctors think because of the big change in jobs (I previously worked on a ward and had worked there since I qualified in 2013), I started to suffer from crippling anxiety attacks. I was put on medication for these and given cognitive behavioural therapy and things did start to improve.
And then it all started going wrong…
*October - early miscarriage
*March - early miscarriage
*June - ruptured disc in back caused by violent patient (I’ve been off work since 15th June)
*June - death of a close friend from cancer
*July - exactly one week after my friend, my mum died suddenly from liver cirrhosis
*July - both funerals on exactly the same day
*July - what would have been my mum’s 70th birthday
*August - what would have been my dad’s 80th birthday

I’m really struggling to pick myself up from where I’ve been floored and get on with my life. I’m still in pain physically with my back and emotionally/mentally I’m all over the place. I feel incredibly alone even though my husband tries his best to be supportive and I have a small number of good friends who are reaching out to me trying to help. I feel like, although I recognise that I need help, I don’t want to accept the help. I don’t want to socialise, I don’t want to see people and I definitely don’t want to go out of the house. I can’t drive because of pain/medication/anxiety so this makes me even more isolated. I get angry and fly off the handle at the slightest thing, then I feel out of control and it frightens me so I cry. I seriously think I’m going out of my mind and don’t know what to do to put things right. I’m also worried about work, I don’t feel ready to go back but my sick pay has now reduced to half and I can’t afford to be off much longer. Please help.

Hi Shirley,

I am so sorry to read about everything you have been through in the past 18 months - it really has been a terrible time for you.

I’m glad that you’ve found this site and been able to write down your experiences - I hope it helps even a little bit to have this outlet. You will find a lot of understanding and support on this site. I’d recommend you check out this recent conversation, where you’ll find Andy_29 and jamestoo2too2, who are also coping with the loss of both parents:


You say that you find it difficult to accept help from your friends. I wonder if it would help to get support from a neutral person, instead? Have you considered trying counselling, for example? You can speak to your GP about a referral.