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Am I Going Crazy? 
Started by LostNakedAndAfraid
08 Feb 2017, 9:42 PM
I have never been the one to ask for help for anything in my life- partially due to the way I was brought up and how I brought myself up. My common law husband of 6 1/2 years had succumbed to Stage 4 lung cancer, Stage 3 osterosarcoma and Stage 4 brain metastisis all in the course from his diagnosis in February last year to the day he left in April of the same year. 

In the time that he has been gone, I have been trying to wrap my head around everything prior to his diagnosis and the weeks leading up to his passing, until now to have a better understanding of why and what I could have done differently to how I'm supposed to move forward in my new life without him as he was my rock...my everything. I have days where I am so angry, sad, lonely and frustrated, just as I'm sure many people experience when they lose a loved one who had a very special significance in their life. I am trying my best to allow myself to feel these emotions and also go through my daily routine of work and family, but I feel that I am truly alone in this journey, yet knowing that I'm not. It's been almost 10 months since he passed, and although I know everyone grieves differently, I feel and fear that I am consumed by his loss that I now suffer from anxiety on a regular basis, cry at the drop of a hat, have difficulty concentrating and sleeping where it now affects my work. 

I have reached out for professional help but find that I have difficulty answering some of the most basic questions about my grief that I stopped my sessions. I don't know if it's because I had to move from our residence and have an expectation of where I should be versus where I am that I am in this, or if it's because the winding down part of settling his estate (which I've done all on my own) is coming to an end and my body and mind are telling me that it's time to stop putting on "a front" and allow myself to grieve 100% and go through the motions that is. Please...I just don't know who I am anymore... 
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Reply by Wingman
09 Feb 2017, 3:19 AM
Hi LNAA,

When I read your post, I felt like you were in my head. The struggle to redefine who one is, is challenging and at times heartbreaking for sure. This I understand.
My best friend died almost 6 months ago.....And I have had a hard time adjusting to how quiet my world is now. She had no family and I had a big part in settling her estate. When I think of how much time has passed, I do get little worried too...Because I still feel the same. How can this much time have passed.....And how have I not become who I was before. I was strong, confident, sure and handled all of the challenges of her illness with an instinct I didn't know I had. The truth of it is.....I am not the same person now as I was before this all started..And this is unsettling and monstrous at times.
I admire you for your truth in what you need....I too have found it difficult to admit I struggle and while some have advised seeing someone to work thru some of these thoughts...I do want to but am too......?Proud?Strong? Independent? to seek them out.
Here, on this board, you can find the struggle of others and see how everyone has a different story. This can be a relief of sorts, I hope you find that, to realize that others struggle, and that it's ok to do so.
It is frightening to expose yourself..... especially for a private type.....And I am the same.
Feel safe to express what you feel. These things are better out of your head, I hope you can find the balance of that somewhat settling.
WM 
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Reply by NatR
09 Feb 2017, 4:45 PM
Dear Lost...,

thinking of you and knowing how strong you are to write your thoughts out here.
glad you have already had a response from wingman who has great insight.

there is nothing worse than losing your loved one and then trying to move forward.
It's not an easy path but friends sure help along the way - whether it's a real close friend you can have a hug and conversation with over tea ☕️ or coffee 

despite those in real life moments - there is a real need to be able to type it into a forum ( like this) and get things out that often don't come out -

your feelings are real, everyone who reads these messages can relate to your comments and understand how lonely and lost you, and each of us can feel

like wingman said - it's really awesome to be able express and unload it all - and reach out

i hope you feel better just knowing you are not the only one
I hope you continue to keep journaling your journey

I know you are working hard to get through this - don't ever give up

i encourage you to continue to keep busy and keep writing
despite our best intentions and getting lots of support we can still struggle with each day.
today - I wish you hope for the future, friendship across the miles, and to say it's okay to feel the way you do.  We all have our own rate that we heal at
just don't be discouraged

life can be hard enough without recovering from a huge loss - and I believe we all recover but in different ways, different lengths of time

sending you thoughts from northern Ontario  where it's been too cold and snowy for too long ☀️

Just in responding to your note -  I feel better for reaching out, and I hope in the same way you will feel the virtual hug from me to you

Big Hugs and good wishes
NatR  💕👍🏻🤗
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Reply by Xenia
09 Feb 2017, 11:34 PM
Dear Lost:

I have just finished reading your message and my heart goes out to you as I too lost someone I loved very much and the loss was unbearable.  

I turned to Canadian Virtual Hospice and there I found the support I needed to get me through my husband's illness, my anger, my sorrow, my virtual insanity dealing with his illness and then his passing.  The friends on CVH listened to me without judgement as they too had been through the same things I was going through.

I understand it is hard to talk to friends and families at times as often they do not know how to deal with your feelings and they have trouble dealing with their own.  Many times we have problems speaking with professionals as although they can offer us a lot of help at the time we are grieving we truly feel they do not understand the deep down hurt and pain we are feeling.  We have been grieving for a long time, in my case my husband had been ill for 4 years and then I did palliative care for 18 months so I grieved for him a long time and when he died I was very disoriented and had to learn to live slowly, take time for myself, cry when I wanted to, and do many of the things I felt were not ladylike.

There is no proper or given time for grieving.  Each of us have our own time limit to grieve and there is nothing wrong with what you are doing.  You do not have to put on a front for anybody.  As you I tried to strong and this did not help.  I needed to turn more and more to the friends on CVH and let my feelings out and share with them and listened to those who were going through the same feelings I had.  The support kept me grounded for many a day.  I felt no shame about telling them how I earnestly felt and did not have to put on a front for them as they understood.

I also turned to a counsellor at the local Hospice and if you have one available in your community please contact them as they have much to offer.  They have seen and been with those who have lost their loved ones and you can share your inner most feelings without being judged, even though we are not judged somehow in our time of grieving we feel we cannot let out our grief as we may be judged.

I was married 58 years and my husband died 5 days before our 59th Wedding Anniversary.  I have a family of 3 daughters and one son who were and are very supportive of me and without them I could not have carried on.   If you have family talk to them and let them know how you are feeling and ask for their support as this is a big help instead of going on alone.

I encourage you to keep in touch with your friends at Canadian Virtual Hospice and do ask questions and do speak of your feelings as there are so many here who have experienced many of the feelings you are now feeling.  You are very brave to have opened up and we all support you and care for you in your time of need and need for support.

With fond regards and sharing your loss.

Xenia

 
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Reply by NatR
10 Feb 2017, 12:55 AM
Hello Xenia
nice of you to write  
i think of you often and hope you are keeping well
i heard about all the snow out your way  
hope you were able to enjoy looking at it and not have to trudge through it
sending you hugs  
NatR 🤗❤ 
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Reply by Wingman
10 Feb 2017, 3:18 AM
I often write in prose. It keeps me safer.
For a  moment I would like to share my truth, as I read the posts here.

I have always been alone. I have never shared any struggles with those around me...
I am struggling for the first time. With the  loss of a very special person, I have lost who I was. I didn't recognize the change until after the estate had been settled and I found I could not continue with the same routine as I had for so many years- the routine of my life that made me who I was.
I made some big changes in the last few weeks. I have surprised myself in doing so....and have been unanchored since.
While I don't let on the truth behind my changes,  they have been questioned, with my standard responses.
My truth here, is that I am stuck...Because I don't want to let go. If I let go.....If I move on...What do I have left.  If I move from the place where I am, the only place where I constantly acknowledge that my world has changed....How have I served justice to this remarkable influence in my life...Who was not ready to die.
I would like to share my various prose writings with a professional, with different insights and perspectives....But I am too afraid to leave this place- this place of missing...And of sadness and of regret. I cannot bring myself to be the person to leave that behind.
I am wondering if that's ok.
How does one find peace, and acceptance?
WM 
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Reply by Wingman
10 Feb 2017, 3:32 AM
Adding....I have been having super vivid dreams for three weeks now. I started writing them down only this morning. They are so detailed and coloured....I can draw the scenes from them. While most haven't been of the caliber of some of the nightmares I had as a kid....They deal with negative things and human struggles. I have two every night....I wake up between them. Each is as vivid and random as the last.
Curious if anyone has experienced this.
Thanks
WM 
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Reply by Xenia
12 Feb 2017, 5:29 PM
Good Morning Wingman:

Reading your message I felt I had to respond to the statement you made as I too went through this type of feeling.  You stated "I am afraid to leave this place - this place of missing-and of sadness and regret . I cannot bring myself to be ther person to leave that behind.

I wondered about those feeling as well.  I felt if I did not keep grieving, feelings of sadness, feeling of loss, I was forgetting about my loved one.  I was feeling that perhaps I would loose all contact with John when I stopped feeling the anguish of loss that was so prevelant at the beginning of the death of my husband.  I felt if I could not see him in my minds eye anymore I was forgetting him, but this is not so.  

I learned that the journed of loss will not last forever but I will come out this journey a better person with an understanding of myself and the loss of John.  I will always miss him but know he would not want me to grieve for him eternally.  I can move on as painful it may be as I am still alive and need to care for myself and live with his memories and remember our love for each other and yes, weep at times when something reminds me of him, perhaps a piece of music, a family get together, his favourite dinner or an artilce in the paper about his former work place.  These things remind me of him but they are bittersweet and help me carry on as he would have wanted for me.

I found a quote in some book I was reading and I copied it and it helped carry me through my loss of John and made me stronger as I was able to move along.

"Socrates wept for his dead son and a friend said "Why do you weep? Nothing can bring him back.
Socrates had replied "That is why I weep." 

This quote gave me strength as I realized all the weeping I did would not change the loss and death of John so I must move forward no matter how much pain I felt.  I had to move on and make changes in my life if I wanted to live the rest of my life in a productive manner  and enjoy my life with my loved ones and friends and use this time to be of help to others in some small way if only knitting mitts, toques and scarves for the homeless who were worse off than myself.  I had to give back to society as I did before John died and this helped me get back to some normallicy one day at a time, remembering and living with memories but carrying on.

This helped me and it may not help you but i thought I would offer you some of the feelings I had in my struggles with John's passing.

With best wishes that you find the answers you are seeking here on Canadian Virtual Hospice as I have and many others have as well.  We are friends who have been or are going through the feelings you have now.  We support you without judgement and understand your pain.

Xenia 
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Reply by LostNakedAndAfraid
13 Feb 2017, 12:05 PM
Hello Xenia,

After reading your response to Wingman, I finally feel like my emotions are verified. My husband's name was also John, but went by his middle name, so already I feel a connection with you on that part. I have been wrestling with my grief as everyone does, but it was more to the tune of going on in my life without out him, yet living life as he would have wanted me to. I had coined it as being a "professional mourner", because that where I thought I had to be so as not to lose the memory of him. After I posted this, it felt like a switch so to speak was flipped on, where I can see now which way I am supposed to carry on, and still be able to honour him, as he's with me always. I found that I have a new purpose in my life, with an extraordinary drive to live the life he would have wanted for me, especially for myself. Even though I do have family, it hasn't been easy talking to them about it whereas here, it is! 

My my thoughts are with everyone here. The struggle, while painful, is real, and it's nice to know that that while the support is here with loving words and support, that there is another side of life to embrace. Love you all 
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Reply by KathCull_admin
20 Feb 2017, 8:38 PM
Hello,

Thanks as always for the quotes Xenia - lovely and comforting.

Wingman - one think I have regretted is that I don't remember most of my dreams.  But it could be my lack of attention to detail - my husband and daughter were always able to remember and talk about them.

LostNakedAndAfraid, It is always reassuring to me to know that others have similar experiences, thoughts, fears and losses to my own. It doesn't change the sadness, loss and grief but it helps to know I am not alone. 

 Katherine
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