Still trying to find me !!!!!

Well, not done this in a while

I have to say had a really rough day today, I think everything is going so well and then it is like something knocks me back down again.

I rang my counsellor and as usual she got me in, because she is used to me ringing in desperate need.  Even when I got there, I still could not stop crying, it has been like this all day.

So then what is going on, well not really sure, lots of mixed emotions.

It is like when I start and feel good, I then have doubts and guilt and I cant see through the fog. 

I am starting to find new friends that are out of the whole married friends circle, friends that I have found, but my problem is I can’t seem to cope with people being nice to me, I have always been the carer, the one to worry and cope with eveything, so to have people ask me how I am and to worry about me is a new thing.  I know this probably sounds very weird but when you have been in the cocoon I have been in, its hard to let other people to worry about me.  I always turn the conversation to them and how they are feeling, because that is what I am like and have been for a long time. 

Aswell as everthing else, I have started to feel anger, and that is very upsetting for me, but I have been told that this is part of the grieving process. I am unsure of what I am angry about, it is not that I am angry at Ade, but what really pisses me off is the way that, what he was suffering from, affected my life so much. I did not suffer from it but actaully I feel that it has made life hell. I was so busy trying to cope with someone, who at some points, never actaully wanted to be here that I totally lost myself, in fact I didn’t exist not really. Ade used to always tell me to go and forge my own life, but what he didn’t understand was I was afraid to go out and leave him with my daughter, not becasue of any danger but because she was a teenager, stroppy and irritable and he was also like a stroppy teen, and they would constantly butt heads. I would be the constant peacemaker, the calming influence to Rose, allowing her to express herself as she was growing up, but also the mediator between an hormaonal teen and someone who wanted everything perfect and organised. This was never going to happen.

All this was going on and I was expected to cope with all this and still go to work and maintain a perfect neat, tidy and organised house. Answer me a question….how the fuck was I supposed to do this. I was not a friggin miracle worker !!

So after thinking about this, I came up with yet another anaolgy ( i like analogies).

I believe I was a caterpillar, going along my daily tasks, struggling by slowly,and then I curled up and felt like I went to sleep for a long time (chrysalis)

As time goes on, I begin to feel like a butterfly slowly emerging. I feel like one of my wings is flapping in the breeze but as my body starts to emerge, something is holding me back, and I dont know what it is.

I am a butterfly, seemingly ready to fly, but cant, it will come with time but I feel like I have been tied down for so long that, flying away is hard.

I also was talking to a great friend today, who I have not seen for a while, I explained that after being pinned down for so long, I need to find me, discover the real me that has been missing for so long, and then I can think forward. I need to be me before anything else of anyone esle enters. However she told me that when I truly find myself, do not loose it for anyone.

 

This is a lot for me to take in and deal with, but I will find my wings and I will learn to fly solo and enjoy all that it entails.

Until that time, I shall still have days that i shall write off, but I am hoping that writing it downwill help me to move forward and let people care about me and I will accept it.

So onwards and upwards and one day I shall find my wings and truly fly..

 

 

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Another day……another emotion

Hello all,  I am back again

And yes it is the continuation of my story through grief. For me, I feel I need to write this stuff down, it helps me and hopefully it will help someone else, but if it only helps me then that is fine.

I have had a weird emotion yesterday, and it comes after the epiphany of earlier in the week of the (3 year or 8 month grief) blog

Got upset yesterday, not really sure how it started. I got up and did the washing and had breakfast etc, went and hung the washing on line and was just pondering what to do and then I thought, actually I can do whatever I want.

I don’t have someone to look after anymore. (This is going to sound weird and probably rotten) but it is all part of me being honest.

For many years, and especially the last five years or so, I have pretty much stopped my life to care and look after someone who…for want of a better description..was clinically depressed and now I don’t.

I loved my husband so much, he was my best friend , but especially when he was feeling really poorly he would say that I would be better off without him, that I could get on with my life. I was so caught up in the life of looking after him that this was never an option, I could never imagine my life without him.

With hindsight, looking back I can see how much over the last few years how much of him I lost to depression, it was literally eating away at the man I loved.  However when you are in that moment you don’t really see it, or want to acknowledge it, you just want to do everything in your power to save them.

Today though, I felt a relief that I no longer had to do this and I felt awful, like I didn’t care. I know I did but I realised that although he was the one who suffered with the depression, it is only now I am starting to realise that his depression was affecting me.

I also lived in a bubble, and in this bubble, I managed a job, and to care and look after someone, who sometimes didn’t want it and also a child who was becoming a teenager and all the problems that entails. I didn’t exist, I just went from day to day doing whatever they need to get through the day. This was not me!!!

I can know do what I want, when I want, I have a life.

Now then, I have my counsellor sat in my ear, telling me that I should not justify or feel guilty for anything I say or do…….but I know what I have written might sound awful, but nobody actually lived with this but me, so really nobody has the right to say anything or judge me.

The weird emotion that I have this morning was……..” I am glad it is over”

I think looking back I don’t know how I did it, day in and day out. I suppose it was love!!! 

That is what you do for love, I don’t know how long I could have carried on for, probably for ever.

It is only now that I think…..how the hell did I do it for so long without caving in and believe me there were times when I could have smashed something or even said I can’t cope. I never did, he needed me and I was there…..always

However hard it was and however different it is now (being able to do whatever, whenever) I miss the hand holding, the hugs, the giggles and the closeness.

Is it wrong that I now feel free…….my counsellor, daughter and friends would probably say….no it’s not wrong 

So then, another day and another emotion on this roller coaster ride we call grief. 

And since writing this, yet another shitty day has happened, just want a magic wand to get through this. Not gonna happen unfortunately, so there will still be tears and upset and anger, etc

Feeling useless and unable to do anything or help anyone and soooo tired.

Grief is tiring, no one tells you that. It’s friggin exhausting and I don’t think everyone understands that. They see the face, the mask that you wear to get through each day. People say be honest about how you are feeling, but sometimes all you will end up saying is, no feeling crap and how repetitive is that gonna be. It is easier to say…yep doing ok

I always remember that when we asked each other if we were okay(texts between us) 

There were different okays

There was ok (generally meant bit off, not quite right and feeling bit low)

Or there was OK (meant feeling good)

I think I should carry cards that say ok or OK

Even when I say ok it will sometimes mean ok and sometimes OK

So off we go to continue this journey and we shall see what crap hits the fan next, deep down I shall conquer this because he would want me to.

Big squish hugs and kisses to all. 

Be kind to each other, live every day

Is it 3yr grief or 8mth grief

Well hello again

It’s me,  feeling a little better since my last blog. Feeling slightly more together.

We have had a lovely holiday, which was quite difficult being abroad, but we conquered it and all in all it was good. A mid week melt down but these things happen especially when hormones come into play. (Hormones can really screw up your emotions) just when you think I can handle this……bang…..hormones and oh look quivering blubbing wreck!!!!

Some days I feel really good and quite positive and my friends say how well we are doing and the I think ooh, ok we are good

This came up again today with my counsellor, I had a tough session today, mainly because I could not get my words in any sort of order to actually say what I wanted to say.

Then wham, I had a sort of epiphany. Big word…I know

 Although it is very nearly 8 months since my husband past away, I sometime feel like it is longer than that and this was very hard to explain, but then I realised that what I am actually suffering is what I now describe as two phase grief.

I perhaps need to explain this a bit better, as many of you are aware from reading my ramblings before, is that my late husband suffered from anxiety and depression and did for many many years. However 8 months ago he lost his battle. (Or as we look at it. He finally took control of his life and no longer was ruled by the black dog).

However, nearly three years ago, he did attempt to take back control of his life and failed. I realised today that actually in some aspect I have been grieving for the last three years.

So I am actually having two phases of grief, there is the grief of losing him three years ago and then the grief of actually losing him 8 months ago.

So as some days are harder, they obviously belong to the 8 month grief phase and then the days when I am in more control and more settled and feel more ready to move on I am at the 3 year grief phase.  However saying that, on the days when I feel at the 3 year grief phase, there is a sudden realisation of……no stop its only 8 months.

This is very difficult to explain to anybody who is not me, who has not been there.  I think that is probably why people see me as coping well.

 HAPPINESS IS NOT A DESTINATION, IT IS A WAY OF LIFE

I just have to keep going and slowly moving forward, (occasionally back a few) but generally forward and enjoy life. I know I will get there and the road will be long and probably bumpy but it will be there.

As well as that, still trying to be honest about myself. People that truly know me, know that I don’t have a problem being honest and quite blunt. This however is a very different scenario. I have to start and be honest about myself and my god that is hard to do. For many years I have controlled my honesty, aware that if I was truly honest about some things it would have not helped with his depression and would have made his anxiety worse. So therefore I kept a lid on it. All of a sudden the lid is off and I am struggling to be truly honest about my feelings and how things affect me.  I know people can’t help me if I am not honest with them, but for me it is like if I am honest then I feel vulnerable……and that is not me. I have never allowed myself to be vulnerable because I have always had to be the strong one to hold it all together.

 So you might ask ? Where do we go from here…..

Well one day at a time and ….yep that’s it

Big hugs to you all and thank you  xx

 

Seven months and counting

 

Well some days I think omg seven months since I lost my husband. Some days it feels like a short time and others it feels like soooo long ago.

 This last month has been very hard, and as usual don’t really know why. My counsellor would say, Well ‘that’s grief for you’

And yes I know….she is right

We celebrated his birthday, with a lovely walk and picnic and the day went far better than you think, but actually sometimes you think certain things are going to be horrendous and they turn out not so bad.

The thing is at some points this month, I have felt like I have gone back to November. Several things have come to light over the last month.  The main thing is I have to start and be honest with myself and the people around me at home and work.

I do think I am honest about some things, although if I am truly honest then maybe not….oops

For many years I have been the strong, the all together one, but this has been a very powerful mask that I am starting to realise I have been wearing.  The mask of ‘I can handle anything’

Well you know what I don’t want to handle everything now, I need some stability and things a little easier.  Is that to much to ask ??

I have got to start and be honest about how I am feeling and how things are affecting me, but for me this makes me feel very vulnerable. This may sound odd, because anybody who truly knows me would probably say that I don’t come across as vulnerable. 

I think this is because I have always worn a mask of strength, hence not showing any vulnerability.  Therefore this is a HUGE thing for me to come to terms with.  I was going to say it makes me feel weak, but I am not weak, just a bit scared ( my counsellor would say…its grief), she also informed me that it is a different type of honesty. Normal day to day things I am honest about, if they don’t work etc…….however honesty about me is harder than I ever expected it to be.

I was trying to explain to someone about my daughter, she is growing up and is a very lovely put together young lady, (teenager) however being the age she is, we have mood swings. 

As a general rule of thumb, we have a very strong mother daughter relationship that I am truly grateful for. However there are times when I feel like knocking her block off. (Any parent of a teenager, probably agrees with me).

When we butt heads and fall out (as everyone does) because of the grief, I feel very alone. This person proceeded to say….’no, you have a lot of friends and family, you are not alone’ 

However this is not actually what I meant. I do have some amazing friends and good family, but it’s the ‘couple’ bit that is missing and that is very hard to explain to anybody.

After having a very emotional counselling session, I do feel clearer in the head and actually speaking to a work colleague today, she asked if I had done another blog and I realised I hadn’t,  hence now writing blog…..thanks Adina for the prompt.

When I came home and sat with my daughter, we had a good chat which helped and between us, I have worked out that my teen falls into three categories.

Category 1. She is eighteen (very very soon) and is a clear headed, confident young lady, who has a life of her own.

Category 2.  Although the above is true, this category is when she is feeling poorly or just in need of mumzy hugs. This is the ‘I need my mummy’

Category 3.  Now then, this is MY category. This is me needing the comfort and not wanting to let her grow up. Now I know this is not her it is all me, because if we fall out, sometimes I can walk away and leave her and other times, I give it about ten minutes and I need a hug. Even my daughter has realised this. However this is me, it is the couple thing that is missing.

I know that this is not great and I am working at it and thankfully my daughter understands me and I am sure will help. 

So then, basically after all this rambling on it means that it is the ‘couple’ thing I need to work on and it’s gonna take time I know.

So if you are still reading this, then well done because I can waffle…lol

I do wonder if maybe I have done to much, but it’s done now, so that’s it. 

I need to find me, be me, be honest about myself, my work, my feelings and I have to try and not worry about what people think.

Maybe we are all vulnerable but just don’t like to show it.

Maybe showing that I am vulnerable and human will be a good thing. 

Maybe this will help me to move forward and start to find a new life 

Fingers crossed and get kettle on and have a brew.

Love and hugs to all xxxx

 

Treacle is a good analogy

People might be fed up with my blogging as it seems to always be about how I am coping.

I have so much going on in my head that it is good to write it down and if it helps just one more person understand, then it must be good.

I have been going to counselling for five weeks now, and I find it really helpful to express myself without any judgemental issues.

I do feel that some people (no names) think that once my counselling has finished I will be cured. Sorry folks doesn’t work like that.

As I have previously blogged, grief is random, the things that set it off are random and the times it happens are random.  I had a sort of epiphany about how I felt and it was like there is a cliff face in front of me and some days I have the climbing equipment on, the ropes, harness and all the tackle and I face that cliff and climb away.  However other times (maybe same day or different) I feel like pulling all the equipment off, taking the ropes down and throwing them on the ground behind me and sit down and bawl !!!

For me, I have become to realise that grief is like an invisible illness.(anxiety, depression, cancer etc) I don’t have a broken leg, arm. Grief is not something you can instantly see.  I also feel that my grief in some ways has been longer, because my husband suffered with depression for so long (parts of him were fading away). 

I shouldn’t have to explain my grief to anybody, they should just accept it.  However I feel writing about it helps me to deal with it and hopefully would help other people.  

I always remember a friend of mine who suffers with a rare cancer, describing to me how she felt and she pointed me to a blog called ‘The spoon theory’ which I would recommend to anybody to have a read. In a nutshell it describes people’s days in spoons.

For someone who is well, you have some spoons each day and each thing you do takes a spoon away. Such as getting up and dressed equals one spoon. Etc etc

However when you have an illness (invisible or otherwise) each thing you do takes a spoon, such as getting up =1 spoon

Getting dressed = 1 spoon.  The tasks that take spoons are smaller if you are ill. (Read the blog it makes more sense)

For me it is very similar, and I was talking it out with my counsellor today and I was trying to find a way to help people understand how I am feeling during this time.

TREACLE is the answer……why

Well let me explain:

My life especially at the moment is like walking through treacle.

When the treacle is warm, it is slightly easier to push through and get on. Without any warning the treacle can get thicker which makes it harder for me to push through, (this could be a different day or hour). Sometimes the treacle can literally set solid and no matter how hard I try there is no moving it, can’t get though and can’t get back and the only thing to do in that situation is to sit down and wait for the treacle to warm up again. This can sometimes happen reasonably quickly and other times it can take days.

It is dependent on how thick the treacle is as to how my confidence is. The thicker the treacle, the lower the confidence.

When I find tasks complicated or a little harder then this can cause the treacle to thicken, and as I said when treacle is thicker the confidence drops.

There is no rhyme or reason and I can never tell how long the treacle will be tough. I am ever hopeful that over time my treacle will settle down to be fairly smooth do not so sticky. I think life treacle will always have sticky moments but during grief it is harder.

Grief is random

People always say that grief can take all forms and can come and go in waves. There is no rhyme or reason to it.  Well I can officially say that is very random and can appear at any time.

The randomness of grief is when you can’t work out how to empty the Hoover.

Everyone  handles grief in very different ways and I think it depends on the life they lived.

I had a very happy, long life with my husband and as it is known, he suffered with anxiety and depression for many years.  Although my grief is very deep as I have lost my best friend and it feels like I have lost my right arm.  However I don’t know whether it is my perception, but I am not sat rocking in a corner wailing.

My husband and I were always honest with each other and we were very open to each other about his illness, although I personally didn’t suffer with depression I came to understand his illness.  After he passed away, apart from the shock there was a sudden weight lifted from me, it was the fact of not having to be the carer anymore.

On some days I feel OK and things tick along quite nicely, but the apple cart gets upset by the simplest things, such as not being able to empty the Hoover.  The uncertainty when making large decisions, always having the other person to bounce ideas off. (That person suddenly not being there).

Today I have realised something, a sort of epiphany :

When you have someone you love, going through something as horrendous as depression, for me, my escape to normality was going to work.  Work for me was escapism from the 24/7 caring.  Although work has its own stresses it was a place where I was me, the person, not the carer, wife, mother etc

Today though I realised that my escapism is now at home, peace, quiet and a place for me to be me.  I am not saying that I am a carer at work, but because I have now returned to work to help with a sense of normality, I feel like I am suddenly having to cope with more.

I am always open with what happened, because if people aren’t open, the stigma attached to depression will never be addressed.  I think when I see things written down ( occy health referral for instance) it all seems odd and that is what I find a struggle.  I don’t why, it just does.  Again it could be my perception of what people are thinking.

Realisticly, no one else’s opinion matters.

I know I will get there and things will settle and ease over time and work won’t be as scary, it does me good to get out and work and my husband I know would want me to continue on with my life, he wouldn’t want either me or our daughter to mope around, he would want us to get out and move forward.  We will, in his memory and I know he will be watching us and he will be proud of us.

So then, one day at a time, I shall either wake up and be able to conquer the world or I shall wake up and be on the edge of tears all day.  Whatever the day is, I shall get through it.

 

Who am I

Who am I

This week has suddenly become very hard, my emotions are right at the surface most of the time and have to say I am really tired.

This is my second week on phased return to work and it was right that I went back to work, to regain a sense of normality. I have suddenly realised what is normal !!!

For the past 3 months I have been trying to organise my life since losing my husband to depression, and I don’t know whether it is because I have returned to work, but all of a sudden I have thought……WHO AM I !!!

I have always been the wife and mother (which is right) because that is what I wanted to be, but for the last 14 years I have also been a career for someone who suffered depression.  As the anxiety and depression got worse, the caring got harder and the last few years I now realise, where did I go!

Don’t get me wrong, I loved him so much, he was my best friend also. I would do it all again at the drop of a hat because that is what you do for someone who was effectively my right arm.

My husband always used to say to me, you need help, who is there to support you and I remember saying ‘just knowing you are here is all I need’. I’ve decided that it’s time for me to find me and I know that it’s not going to be an easy road.

When you have put all your energy into caring for someone you love, it’s not until that person is gone you realise.

My daughter and I have a strong relationship and we will always look out for each other, but knowing that she is getting some help  with her emotions and feelings has eased the pressure on me. As a mother I naturally worry about my daughter, but knowing that she has support has made me relax.

This, I think is why my emotions have suddenly changed. I think it is partly returning to work and partly daughter getting help that has made me suddenly realise that ‘where and who am I’.

Throughout our life together,  we have never lived in each other’s pockets, we always had our individual passions and hobbies. This made us a stronger couple together.

I finally made the decision to call the helpline through work, and although I couldn’t speak for tears it was a huge relief to just talk.

I now will have some counselling sessions and the helpline will always be there if needed.  This was a huge thing for me to do, but I am glad I did it.

I know my husband and daughter are proud of me for doing it. Now is the time to go and find myself again.

I shall always have great memories and I know that we did everything we could for him.

I am in here somewhere and I will be back, I couldn’t do anymore for him, but I can start to do more for me now.