Harder the second year

uncledave_ctApril 14, 2009


It has been a long while since posting... The short history is that my beloved wife passed away 2 years ago from a brain aneurysm. For some strange reason I have been having a much tougher time with it this year... I've become more deeply depressed and unable to focus on daily tasks, work, etc.

Last year I was still in a daze, just going through life on auto-pilot. This year, the sense of loss is more permanent and unchanging. I feel like I am completely stuck in an awful place with no way to escape. My job feels oppressive; my home has the stigma of loss surrounding it; and I am powerless to change either one. I know that I don't have it as bad as some people, at least I still have a job and a home and a terrific son who looks up to me, but my attitude toward everything is very poor and I can't seem to change it, no matter how hard I try.

I am in counseling but not sure if it's helping. Maybe I need medication... But really, I need something to look forward to, a goal to work toward. I feel compelled to make a career change but that's impossible right now as I have no training or schooling in anything other than what I'm currently doing, and I need the income. If I can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that progress is being made every day, that might help.

Sorry for going on and on but I needed to release.

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perhaps you are suffering from clinical depression - and there are meds for that. Have you had any actual 'grief' counselling (preferably by someone who has 'walked in your shoes')? I am seeing a pyschologist but also attending weekly grief therapy meetings- is your therapist someone with experience in dealing with grieving people?

Carolyn whose Mom died last August and husband died in February.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 7:51PM
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Sounds like you are in a depression and may need medication. You need to talk to your doctor and see what he/she says. I would suggest going to group meetings because sometimes they work better than just counseling one on one. You meet people that are in your shoes and most of the time you try to help them and in doing that you are helping yourself.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 9:02PM
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Meds are an option, but I've been resistant up until now. I will be seeing the doctor tomorrow.

One thing that keeps me going is coming home to a terrific 6-1/2 year old son. He has been handling the loss of his mother very well; he has been open and honest and is always willing to talk. I know things will look up, thanks for letting me vent.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 11:53AM
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"really, I need something to look forward to, a goal to work toward"

well, there ya go.
Get involved in a project, one that gets your blood oxygenated & that throws you into contact with people working toward the same goal;
build houses with Jimmy Carter,
work gardens with a community garden project,
join a week-end warriors group that helps elderly & homebound people clean, mow, paint, repair.

& take your little guy with you & hand him a hammer, a hoe, or a paintbrush.

I'd be *very* careful about medication;
it's unpredictable, it takes weeks to take effect, it has side-effects, & recent studies show that exercise, fish oil, & social interaction match the positive results of medication within one year & exceed them the second year

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 2:40PM
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dear dave

i too am a "2 yearer", i am on meds -- cipralax have been on them for about 4 years, they don't seem to make things better, at least for me, but everyone is different, and thank goodness it's april, hey the snow here is still up to your knees and i live in the city where the guy stole the plane and flew it to missouri!
anyways dave, we had christmas this year on dec, 21--didb't have it the year before, we didn't have easter, because of university exams and al was always in the hospital at easter, we will have it this sunday.
i went to the doctor yesterday and he tokd me how good i look, i told him it was the makeup i had on. we too got rid of all the furniture we had and got all new stuff, i will not move i have a huge yard a small home and i can walk anywhere if i need too.
i told my children (who are almost 21 and 26, the 26 yr old is still grieving and we have knnow counselling in this city, infact 20,000 do not have md's). it is now time to start new traditions and make sure that we mention "dad" everyday. i still visit my al everyday, infact, i lost my boot in the mud last weekend. i tell people that i miss him just as much today as thr day we lost him, they seem to look at me like i'm crazy, but i can honestly say that i was treated like a queen and was thanked everyday for looking after him.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 11:14PM
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Perhaps you might need some medication. I have been on cymbalta since my husband (only 55 years old) died suddenly November 6, 2008. The meds and counseling that I had have helped me alot. I no longer go to counseling, but I am still on the meds and probably will be for awhile.

Take care of yourself.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 12:02PM
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Losing a spouse is the most complete loss of all...I know.
What helped me was when I realized that, in losing my husband, my future plans were also gone. We were planning for retirement, all our plans were for two of us.
You talk rightly about this being a "permanent and unchanging" loss, and also about needing something to look forward to.
You're on the right track in year 2, in that what you miss is your future. Start thinking about not what you have to do, but what you want to do. I know it's hard to get out of the habit of joint discussions and compromises..but a few small steps, like taking a short trip to somewhere you have always wanted to go, but your wife wasn't interested. Volunteer your time to an interest that you didn't have time before when you were a couple.
These things are a start towards your new future.

And do something where you have physical contact with other people, even if it's just shaking hands.

Good luck...it's a new journey.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 11:18AM
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Hi Dave,

My best friend said the second year was the hardest after she lost her husband. She got through it and is doing very well now--as you will be.

I echo what Sylvia and Monica said about getting involved in an activity that has the potential to become something you look forward to. I think you're on the right track with that.

I also echo what Sylvia said about meds. I have no doubt that most doctors will be willing to prescribe something for you, but I question whether it's a good idea. Countless generations of widows and widowers dealt with their grief before we became a society that has a pill for everything. When anti-depressants first came on the market, they prescribed for chemical imbalances, not situational depression.

It must be frustrating for you to be told that "time will heal," only to discover that this year is worse than the last. Time really does help, though. It's just that sometimes it takes more time than we anticipate. I'm donating my daughter's clarinet to her university this spring. It will be eight years next month that she died, and only now am I able to let it go.

I wish you and your son the best.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 8:54PM
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