Just Need Someone To Talk To

Hi All,

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

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You are not alone now :slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face::hugs::hugs::hugs::hugs::heart::heart::heart:

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Thank you- it helps to know there’s other people going through the same thing :slight_smile:

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Hi CBeeb93

You are not alone at all I just recently lost my mum early this year and honestly sometimes I dont know how I should be feeling which is okay because one thing I have now understood is there is no tick box to dealing with grief. if you can private message me maybe we can have a chat online and meet up sometime

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Bless you. It’s a mystery how the body and mind can keep going with all this anxiety and unhappiness. I wonder if with all your loss over the years you feel guilty to enjoy the things you do have and maybe an underlying thought that things could go bad at anytime, a loss of any kind.

As hard as it is for me I’m trying to think a long the lines that life is so short and certainly unpredictable that we need to try and enjoy the moment we are in. If I can achieve this then I can except that when my time comes, next month or year or years, who knows I will have at least tried to make a good fist of things…… no easy task I grant you

Take care
Dee xxx

I think it catches up with us eventually- I read somewhere that stress (of any kind) shortens your life span so that’s not helping with the anxiety (oh, the irony!)

I definitely don’t feel guilty (I did for a long time about my Mum, due to the circumstances surrounding her passing, but I dealt with that). I think you’re right about the things could go bad at any time, though- I had a seriously bad time after my partner’s Dad died. Of all things, my dog got ill and I lost my mind completely. I couldn’t be in the same room as my dog for months after that bout of illness and still freak out now whenever he makes a random weird noise (I literally run out of the room and leave my partner to tend to him because I just can’t cope at all). I think a lot of anxiety can be rationalised i.e. ‘how likely is X to happen?’ In my case, based on prior events, the answer is ‘very likely!’ and that just makes the feeling continue (I should add that these deaths occurring are like the peak of what’s been an ‘eventful’ life so it’s like they’re the straw that broke the camel’s back, really).

Mortality is definitely on my mind and trying to find some kind of life purpose or something fulfilling is at the forefront of my mind- I’m sick and tired of waking up, working, eating, watching tv for a couple of hours and then (trying to) sleep until the weekend arrives. I’m sure everyone has this moment in their lives at some point, but it seems harder when you’re navigating through grief somehow.
(sorry that turned in to quite a lengthy reply!) xx

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Hi,

I can really relate to your post. Not in terms of the number of losses you have experienced but your experience of grief. Each loss must be a big trigger for that huge loss of your mum.

I’m with you that CBT is not for me and I don’t think anxiety and feeling low in the context of grief would necessarily be recommended. You said you have tried Cruse but I wonder if you have tried 1:1 counselling to process all these losses that have cumulated? I’d also recommend an app by a grief Psychotherapist called Grief Works. It’s a really helpful step by step app of working way through grief which has been helpful for me at times. I’d also urge you to be kind to yourself in terms going easy with regards to your avoidance of things. Your trying to cope with something so big that’s it’s understandable and it doesn’t matter that you weren’t able to face looking through those photos or memories yet. There isn’t a time frame and this is too raw. The 30 mins you gave yourself to grieve per day sounds like a good idea in practice but again quite strict and punishing on an emotion that is so uncontrollable.

I lost my dad in June 2021 after a short 6 month illness of cancer. I’ve also moved in with a partner and feel that I ‘should’ be happy or that it must be a huge drain for what should be an exciting time for us. I’ve tried and tried to keep going and like you have been feeling chronically burnt out. Last week I took Friday off work, which then led to me taking the week until this coming Friday. I’m trying to decide whether I can give myself permission to take a bit more time off, maybe 2 weeks (luckily my employee is so understanding) as my mental health is just getting worse and worse. Can you give yourself some time?

Hi Holster,

I’m sorry you lost your Dad so recently… it’s still so early for you, so can completely understand why you’re feeling so drained, having moved in with your partner at the same kind of time. They say you shouldn’t make any big decisions like moving house or changing jobs within the first year of grief (I count anticipatory grief in that timescale) so no wonder we’re feeling exhausted and emotionally drained!
When I tried Cruse, it was 1:1 counselling after an initial group therapy session… I don’t know if it was the specific counsellor or the fact that I have to go into detail about the history of my life with my Mum in order to explain why I feel the way I do about her death that made it worse (I uncovered/discovered, during one of these sessions, that I’d been r*ped as a young adult, so that was way too much to process on top of the grief). I did better with the palliative counsellor, as her method was person-centred psychotherapy… unfortunately, there’s only a limited amount of sessions allowed per person and that ended in the Summer (when I had a better handle on things). Reality is that I’d have to uncover and recover from all the life events leading up to the deaths of my two people before I could even begin to recover from the deaths themselves (and we’re talking years of abuse that goes all the way in to early adulthood, so it’s gonna take me years of therapy to go through it all- something the NHS doesn’t really grant with it’s limited number of sessions… I’d hate to get so far through it and then have to stop because I’ve reached the limit on the number of sessions I can have (been there before, unfortunately)).
The time limit to grieve was from the Grief Works :smiley: Once you get beyond the initial stages of grief, they recommend that you don’t spend time wallowing and try to incorporate joy/normality back in to your life throughout the day, so you schedule in a specific amount of time to just feel your grief feelings so you’re not bottling it up :slight_smile: I recommend it, once you get to the stage where you feel you’re ready for it (and defininitely not before then!) :slight_smile:
I’m a speedy person so giving myself time for things is so difficult (for example, I’ll reach a life goal and immediately move on to the next one before appreciating having reached the first one- it’s a bad personality trait, annoyingly!) x

Oh gosh I can see how therapy was very, very difficult for you given your life events. Loss brings up so much other things aswell and it’s hard to separate them all in therapy.

Your right about the limits to NHS therapy. Some years ago I had 2 years of person centered therapy and I certainly had not experienced a traumatic event as you have not even a significant loss. As I was paying it meant I could choose the therapist who was a good fit for me. It was so hard to pay that kind of money as I was single and not in a well paid job but I knew I had to invest that time and money in myself. I had tried CBT and medication for anxiety to no avail.

Yes I think I remember hearing about setting the time aside to think of the person and be sad. It’s not that I actively think about my dad all day but I carry the grief in my mind and body all day. I am sad and anxious about a lot of things, some of which not to do with my dad but I am sure caused by these underlying feelings of grief.

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Bless you. You are not alone and everything sounds very difficult for you. Other people do not understand unless they have lost someone close. I have tried various therapies too. I hope you can find some help and support. Talking is a good thing, especially to other people who understand how you feel x

Thank you- I went to see my doctor on Thursday afternoon and she’s prescribed me some medication, which should help me. I honestly felt better just being taken seriously by someone professional so hopefully this is the start of ‘onwards and upwards’ :slight_smile:

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