I don’t have any friends and my partner doesn’t deal with grief in the same way I do… I don’t think he understands how my mind works, so I feel like I drag him down whenever I try to talk to him about how I’m feeling. I suppose I’d just like to talk to objective people.
I lost my estranged Mum suddenly in August 2017 and then lost my Grandma in Feb 2020, after caring for her for 18 months whilst she battled Motor Neuron Disease.
My partner and I had been planning to buy a house long before these deaths occurred, so we were really excited during the house-buying process at the end of last year. We moved in at Christmas and everything was going really well- I felt happy, like a fresh start, and busied myself with making our new home ours.
I threw myself into a regimented cleaning routine throughout the week for a while, but I quickly realised that this was turning into an obsession and, if ever I didn’t have the time to do the specific task I’d assigned myself for that day, I’d feel incredibly guilty and become very irritable/moody. I set myself a task, a couple of weeks ago, to stop being so regimented with it- I’m not sure how it’s going so far. I also joined my local gym in April and went religiously 3 times per week (again, I’d become moody, upset and irritable if ever I couldn’t attend)- I didn’t lose a single pound the whole time I was attending and realised it was just making me more and more anxious, trying to fit it into my day, so I gave it up after 6 months.
As you may have guessed, I believe I’ve been channeling my grief into all of the above and none of it has been working for me.
I’ve come to the understanding that I am suffering from chronic stress without realising I’ve been stressed for so long- it has manifested in both physical and psychological issues now and I am pretty terrified about what’s happening to me. Physical issues include a rash that has been present for over a year (now finally being seen by doctors), globus sensation and generally catching every cold/flu virus that comes my way (not ideal in the current pandemic situation). Psychological issues: constant anxiety (I can’t relax at all, despite trying things like yoga, colouring, meditation etc.)- sometimes, this’ll flare up into a full-blown anxiety attack. I also get panic attacks, which only ever used to occur sporadically when I was about to fall asleep, but are now occurring pretty much every day and creeping in to my waking hours (I have severe thanatophobia and my panic attacks are always about this). I’m currently feeling extremely low, but constantly wired (it’s a weird mixture).
I’ve tried everything to feel somewhat ‘normal’ for a decent amount of time and nothing’s worked (longest I feel ‘okay’ for is a couple of weeks at a time, before returning to either the anxiety or the depression). I finished palliative counselling at the end of the Summer, I’ve tried Cruse in the past, but that just brought up more issues than it resolved, CBT doesn’t work for me as I’m already an overthinker. I’ve been on citalopram, prozac, amitriptyline, sertraline and propranolol at different periods and none of them work for me at all. As I say, I’ve tried the more natural methods, too, like yoga, meditation, baths, warm drinks, exercise in different forms, walking my dog every day, watching comedies etc. Literally nothing is working.
I’m really angry because I’ve got absolutely everything I ever wanted in life (home of my own, a loving partner, a steady well-paid job)- I don’t understand why I can’t focus on this and just be happy with it.
When my Mum died, I cried continually for 6 months and I’d even been able to ‘wean’ off the grief after this period by giving myself a time-slot per day to just think about her and cry if I needed to get it out- it was almost textbook. With my Gran, though, I had a period of 6 months of numbness and being unable to cry… my partner’s Dad died in August of last year and the floodgates opened, for about a week. That’s when my anxiety started, too. Now, I can’t cry even when I want to and I force myself to think of something (anything) else when my mind flits to my Mum and, more particularly, my Gran. I can’t seem to stop with this avoidance tactic- I have a big box of photographs and memorabilia and I haven’t been able to open the box to look at them since a month or so after my Gran passed (something my palliative therapist was trying to encourage me to do until our very last session and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it).
I feel like a big breakdown is coming soon and I am terrified about it happening and what it’ll do to me both short-term and long-term.
Sorry if this post is a bit all over the place- I’m just writing as I’m thinking, really.
If anyone else is feeling in any way similar to me or if anyone has any methods to help with any of the above, I’d be really grateful. I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life in this state- I’m not even 30 yet and it’d be a long time to live like this.
(Also, sorry if this is the wrong place to write about this- I don’t have anywhere else to turn).
Thanks to you all in advance xx