Jump to content

I feel almost ashamed


Recommended Posts

I feel almost ashamed posting so much saddness. I'm totally exposing my heart to everyone, but I feel so alone.

Since my husbands passing on 10-13-09 I feel as though I'm not getting better....I'm actually getting worse. I have a disabled son that I have cared for for 36 years now. Then I spent the last 20 years spoiling my husband until he became ill in Feb 09. Since he passed in October, I'm feeling so lost. It does help me when I am able to help others yes, but no one seems to need me on this board I feel. Please don't take this personally, it's just that others seem to be on their own happy way into the holidays with family, shopping , decorating etc and here I sit alone. I play facebook daily for a distraction but even that doesn't seem to be helping much lately.

I don't want to admit this, to you but I think it's important. I can't hide everything and maybe I'm reaching for help....I don't know anymore. I've mentioned before about my excessive alcohol consumption. And yes, Randy has beaten me up for this and I understand. However, it seems to be the only way I can cope with my feelings of loss. I'm taking xanax and lexapro (highest dosages allowed) but I'm not feeling better. If this makes any sense to anyone who has lost a loved one, maybe you can help with words of advice? Each day that passes seems to get worse for me. The memories....the anger at cancer....and the fear of the future. I've had some panic attacks that are so severe they totally affect not only my concentration but my memory as well. I went to the grocery store the other day and on the way home the panic attack suddenly came on me. I couldn't remember where I was going. I "knew" that I needed to just pull over until it passed, but before I could do that I found myself at a four way stop sign...I didn't know who was there first and almost got into an accident. I pulled over on the side of the road and waited for this thing to pass. I was crying and shaking so badly it took about 20 minutes. Finally, when I was able to pull away from the curb I had no memory of being at the market at all. It was horrible and all I wanted to do was go home.....but what direction it that? I' totally terrified of leaving the house anymore.

WOW....I've exposed the deepest feelings of my life here and I hope you understand and not judge me. (other than Randy blasting me for the bottle LOL)

Please don't judge? I know it's easier for some, but in my case this is the most difficult time of my life. I've never felt such pain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I haven't been through this, but I don't think it is surprising that you are not feeling any better as the holidays are approaching. I would think it would intensify the grief you are feeling. It's only been two months and I think there is so much pressure to hurry up a finish grieving. You are just beginning this process, so I hope you will be a little easier on yourself because you still miss your husband and you are still grieving for him and adjusting to life without him. You've spent so much time taking care of your son and your husband, now it's time to take care of Michelle. She's worth it, you know. She's very much worth it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's just that others seem to be on their own happy way into the holidays with family, shopping , decorating...

Michelle, I think it's safe to say that for many, including some here, it's largely an act. Their grief is further in the past, and they've had time to practice that happy face defense.

It does help me when I am able to help others...

I do believe helping others is the key, and that can take different forms. Giving money, canned goods, etc. to an organization probably won't cut it — it needs to be a lot more personal. We have a large homeless population here in Central Oahu, and relatively few of them are homeless by choice. I have a friend (now back on the mainland) who received tremendous satisfaction from organizing help crews to visit those living under a nearby bridge, improve their living conditions there, and assist them in moving to a bona fide shelter when possible.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh now ya did it!! I can't blast ya for the bottle ya know! Ya scare me and I understand where you are coming from! The Holidays are very hard indeed. It does not matter if you lost a spouse or a parent. The Emotions are very similar it still hurts ! I don't want to see ya wind up in really bad shape! I hate to see people in pain around here, really I do but I know this is how we are! We have good days and bad days! I think part of it maybe the meds quite possibly I do not know! I know what works for me though and that's the best I can do for Ya for help and advice! I can listen all day long and Ya know I will!

My recommendations for this would be get out of the house for starters! be it volunteering at a Animal rescue or something similar or helping patients with transport problems for chemo or anything at all! get yourself on a different routine daily. I know its hard to do but Ya gotta do it! Try a spa day some time and have a take care of Michelle day! Shopping and a massage and a pedicure manicure!! OHH that sounds nice ! Gotta start savin some cash for that massage!

do some cleaning out around the house! I know it is hard to get rid of a late spouses things but think about the people you can help by doing this also if you have notalready done this.. that was tha hardest thing I had to do when deb passed but I felt better about helping others in a small way. art supplies went to the college to help a student who could not afford paints or brushes, canvases, sketch books etc. I have her paintings though and that's the important thing. Her jewelry except for her wedding and engagement ring went to my sister and my niece. Broke my heart but they are in the family though! Ear rings necklaces and such. Her clothes except for wedding dress are now with someone who needs a sweater or jacket of some sort to stay warm or go for a job interview!

lastly, Keep posting here ! We can help and at least listen to you and offer encouragement and support! We can help you and by posting you can encourage others new in this journey!

Big Hugs tonite For ya Michelle and take care of yourself for a while! if ya don't take care of Michelle how can ya help your wonderful son!!!?? He needs you as much as you need him. last but not least, Go outside with a Glass of wine and sit by the pool and have a long talk with Donald. Ya know he is listening to ya!!!!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have access to any support groups where you live? I have thought about finding a group, but don't have any near where I live. I find it helps me in my grief to talk to the occasional rare person who understands my pain. That is why I find comfort here. I think you have to experience loss for yourself to really understand it. I get depressed if I spend too much time at home, so I force myself to at least get out of the house on days like that, even just to go for groceries, and it does help me. I would think meeting regularly and talking with others who understand what you are going through might be helpful. Don't put any pressure or big expectations on yourself. Take one step at a time and one breath at a time, and don't worry about moving onto the next until it is time to do so. My best wishes go out to you. Take care of yourself!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I am so sorry for your pain. Please know that what you are going through is real and understandable. I have moments of raw grief over my dad and its been 1 and half years! You have been a caregiver for a long time and now you need caretaking and it sounds like you don't have much. I'm a psychology professor and can lecture on the stages of grief but its a whole other thing when you are experiencing it yourself. I agree with Randy, unfortunately the grief will still be there whether you are drinking or not. Grief takes time but if you can't function then I do hope that you can find some support whether it be individual therapy or a support group. Sending hugs and prayers your way.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michelle, I am over 5 years out but boy, do I remember that absolute total grief, it was heartwrenching. I still grieve - had a little teary moment just yesterday.

A couple of things. Earl's hospice sent a grief counselor to my house a few times. Check to see if that might be available to you.

One step, one minute at a time. The holidays will be tough, they are family times and your family is different this year. But all of us here will be thinking of you and praying that you can tough it out.

Time will pass and, while I have said for years. it doesn't get easy, it does get easier.

Are you getting help? A counselor, therapist, AA (only because you said that), a grief group, something, anything. Can you go back to work, can you volunteer? Being busy helps take your mind off of your grief. I raised my hand and said 'yes' everytime someone said 'do you want'. Being busy really helps.

Michelle take care of you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michelle you know that when we talked we discovered how much of what we experienced was the same. The one difference is that I was terrified of any medication and couldn't afford it anyway. I did try to use wine to help me sleep for a couple of weeks but it didn't work. It just gave me a headache. The only thing that really helped those first months was facing my grief and having something to do that seemed like a purpose.

I kept a journal and I also did a lot of research. My research was about medications because of the roll they had played in Johnny's death. It was hard but I made it. It didn't happen over night. It took weeks months and yes even years and as you saw a few weeks ago, I still have my meltdowns.

You need help my friend. Please get some kind of counciling and try to wean yourself from the drinks and the meds at least a little. They could be responsible for the episode of memory lapse.

You have to realize that you spent most of your life being a caregiver. As women most or us are. It may not be as intense as caring for someone with cancer or who is disabled but still we are caregivers. We care for our children and spouses and sometimes parents or siblings. Then all of a sudden no one needs that specal care and we are adrift in a whold that just seems to have no place for us. We have to have a purpose and a place to focus that energy we spent on our loved ones., If we don't we have serious problems.

Also make no mistake. You are helpfull to others on this board. So many times I honestly thought the same. Then months or even years later someone will write telling me that I have helped them in some way. Those things give me the strength to face each day and in time to ease some of the pain. Don't look for life to be the same. It never will. It was Ry who made the comment that we have to rebuild our lives from the bottom up and she was so right.

Please take care my friend and be kinder to yourself. I will be thinking about you and praying for you. Lillian

Link to comment
Share on other sites


First of all , I want you to know that you are helpful to others here. You are so open and honest about your feelings and it is helpful to someone else who may be feeling the exact same way. I don't know anything about panic attacks, but I do know about suffering the loss and grief of losing a husband and soul mate. The fact that your lost your husband right here at the holidays makes it extra hard. Holidays are always hardest, I know that's how it is for me. I would, however, talk to your doctor about the panic attacks and how you are feeling because in some people certain drugs can magnify problems rather than help them. It could very well be that the meds you are taking to help may be a big part of why you are having the problems. Thinking of you Michelle. Keep in touch and know we care.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one here is going to judge you, if we've learned anything, it is that we all have dealt with this thing called loss differently.

I know after mom was diagnosed I stayed away from alcohol completely because I knew it would be too easy for me. I went I think 3 - 4 months without a drop...but during that time I felt EVERY feeling sharply. So I can understand that being hard for a lot of peop...it was hard for me.

One thing I did do was the week mom died I found a couselor. I wasn't sitting in a dark place sayng I need help...I did it to head things off at the pass. I didn't want to get stuck in a rut. And it REALLY helped.

I think you've done a great job of challenging yourself...getting out when you didn't feel like it. It has still only been 2 months...grief lingers and it sometimes gets very intense after a period where it is not. You aren't experiencing anything abnormal.

Things that helped me that I think will help you

COUNSELLING - it is great knowing you can talk and say anything you want because it's your dime.

COMMUNITY - Church wasn't the biggest support for me at my time of loss, but it wass nice knowing it was there. There are a few folks who I will always remember at the time of my mom's passing. One guy, easily 350lbs when he heard came up to me and gave me a hug that I thought would break me in half (I'm not small so I had never experienced someone bigger and stronger grabbing me) and I will never forget the emotion he conveyed to me through the hug. Another gentleman shared that he lost his mom 18 years earlier, and with a little tear in his eye assured me I would always miss her, but I will be able to live life again. And one woman there prayed with me for mom when she was sick and with me after mom died. I know church isn't for everyone, but I think these are the times to recognize it may have a part to play.

PHARMA - Yes, under a docs supervision, you may need the anti anxiety help, but don't undo the doctors orders by including your own perscripttion, easier said than done, but there are other pharma help which may help you stay away from the alchohol.

US - keep typing, know that we all live different lives, and maybe not everyone responds, but we hear you and we're on this journey with you and we want you to know we are pulling for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your loving words and support. I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

I went to the pcp this morning. My son had to drive me because with these panic attacks driving is out of the question right now. My son was so cute because there was "no way" he was going to wait outside while I spoke with the doctor. He knows me very well and knew I would not be totally honest.

Well, this wonderful doctor of mine spend a full hour with us talking about every little thing that has been happening to me and said that I "must" go to a shrink in addition to grief counceling. I have an appt for the grief on Wednesday morning. The pcp also changed my medication...took me off xanax and something called colanapin (spelling) and something else. He said that in his 20 years of practice he has never seen such a sever case as mine and said he will be calling me daily to check on me. WOW....between him and my son I won't be able to get away with much now will I?

Thank you again and I'll let you know how my appts go. Wish me luck and let's all hope they don't lock me up somewhere.

Love all of you...................so very much!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


It's all been said. It has only been a few months, the first few months for me after Mom died I cried every day, that's all I remember. Take your time do what you can and remember what Hubby would want for you. He would want you to have a peaceful, happy life, but as been said that takes time. How much time I don't know. One day you turn around and realize you haven't cried for a few days, then a week, it does get easier. Becareful mixing those med with alcohol. I also went and talked to my shrink that was very helpful. We need you here on this board, we are here for you like others were there for us.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michele, readcing your post hit me right in the heart. Thank G-d I have not experienced what you have. But I can, and it scares me to pieces. Please know that we can't physically comfort you but sometimes words from strangers can help with the anguish you are feeling.

I am so so glad that you are going for help. Your doctor seems like a wonderful human being to take the time and listen. See, something positive is happening. It is haoppening because you are reaching out for help and it is there for you.

Take one day at a time.... you will heal to a point where you will exsist and become that strong woman agan. It may take awhile as your grief right now is unbearable. But with help you will get through this as you have a wonderful son who would not let you go through this alone.

Your husband is very much with you. He may have left his physical body but his soul is very much alive. He is watching out for his family and somehow I know he will help you through this. Please know that he will always live on through you and all those wonderful memories you made together will last throughout eternity. One day (when the time comes) you will meet again and it will be a glorious reunion.

So this holiday (if you can) take the time to remember all those wonderful Christmas's past and consider yourself so lucky to have those memories and know his memory will live on through you and all his love ones.

My heart to yours,


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Bravo for realizing that you needed help and going out and getting it. That you and Lily and many more have shared your experiences with grief is so very special as although I have not had to go through this, I know it is not only inevitable but a fact of life and that our journey greatens the risk.

I can only imagine how difficult this is at any time let alone during a typical time of family celebration.

You have my deepest sympathy and my greatest admiration.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michelle - I have admired you tremendously for being able to be so open and honest about your feelings and what you were going through. That does not come easy for me at all, and I think it will benefit you in the long run.

I am so glad to hear you talked with your doctor and are going to be getting some counseling. I can't add much to what's already been said, but when it comes to loss there is no substitute for time. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.