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Who am I now?


michellep

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I'm so lost. I don't know who I am anymore. I was a wife and homemaker for over 20 years other than a few part time jobs. My main job was taking care of my husband, our son and home. Now, my husband is with the Lord and my son is in love and quite busy, so where does that leave me?

With the depression and panic attacks I rarely leave the house anymore. I've applied for a few jobs thinking that would help but not much out there these days. I had always worked as an accountant, and with my mind these days a job like that is out of the question.

I just wander the house from room to room looking at things that should be done but I don't have any motivation to do them.

I stopped taking one of the medications the doc gave me. Turned out to have a reverse effect for panic attacks. Trust me.....that was a nightmare!!!! My poor son was terrified and had no clue how to help me other then watching my every move for about 24 hrs till I got the meds out of my system.

So.....basically...I'm no longer who I "was".....so how do I create a new ME?

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Michelle,

I still don't know the answer to that question. I took care of my Mom for six years and we were always very close before that we talked practically everyday. Then living with her and taking care of her for 6 years we got even closer. When she died I was devistated, still am some days. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. People tell me it gets better and since she died almost a year ago it has, some days it's just as bad. One thing I know you would be great at is a patient advocate, I don't know if they have volunteers for something like that or not. Your in my prayers.

(((hugs)))

Dana

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Michelle--you are still a wife and mother, but just not in the same way. Transitions can be so scary, but they can also be an opportunity. It's good that you are thinking about the furture, but it's still very early in your grief process. Maybe now is your opportunity to find out who you are besides wife and mother--those roles are defined by others. How do you want to define yourself?

Susan

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Maybe try volunteering somewhere, you have to keep busy. For me coming back to work was the best thing for me. You have to keep busy girl. You have to get out and be with people, being home alone is probably the worst thing you could be doing to yourself. We do go on, not sure how, but we do. And isn't that what our men would have wanted.

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I wish I could just volunteer but with finances the way they are I'll have to at least get a part time job that pays. I've been applying at places but I guess these things take time and when the Lord feels I'm ready, I'm sure something will come up.

It's all just such a sudden change and having to learn to create a whole new identity isn't easy.

Thanks everyone

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Michelle, believe it or not, this is a huge realization and step that so many of us have come to realize...that there is a new "me" to discover.

You'll find her, trust me.

And you'll come to love who she is. And she'll miss the old you and the life the old you had> ALWAYS> but she will be good too.

And Michelle, it's still early in your grief.

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Michelle, like Susan said, transitions are difficult. I've had many in my life and asked that "who am I now" more than once.

If you've worked as an accountant, why not consider applying for a job in a lesser capacity working as a helper. It's tax time and I know that many accountants put on extra help for the first four months of the year. That way, it wouldn't put you in as high a level of responsibility and it wouldn't be a long-time commitment. It might be worth thinking about. I agree with others that the best thing right now is distraction so you're not feeling the pain every minute of every day. You also need tools besides medication to deal with those panic attacks.

Judy

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You have recieved good advice, and the only thing I can add is

DO NOT STOP YOUR MEDS ON YOUR OWN!

When you think you may be ready, talk it over with your doctor. You have just experienced what can happen when you discontinue them suddenly. Some of the meds have to be reduced in strength over time, so please, let your doctor handle this.

Best of luck finding work. It's a tough job market out there.

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wonderful heartfelt advice for you already.

Congratulations on your new job and day by day you will realize who this Michelle is. It's a long road...my thoughts and prayers for you each day for peace and strength.

(((hugs)))

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Sending a huge THANKS to all of you. I'm doing better since stopping that one med that had a reverse effect. That was truly a nightmare....I don't remember several hours of that episode and don't want to.

Each day I have a long talk with God and my husband. I spoke to them yesterday morning while driving over the additional paperwork for the job I wanted. They must have heard me because I got a phone call within minutes after arriving home. Looks like the job is a GO :) I need this job for many reasons, not just financial but I must get out of this house that I feel I can't even call a home anymore, it's just a building.

I spend many days never even getting dressed and letting things go undone. So, this is the biggest reason I'm looking forward to the paperwork they are sending me for training classes. I need to get out into the world again....I think it's time after 4 months.

Only worry I have are my panic attacks. My meds help but I'm still scared somewhat.

I'll let you all know how the job goes.....the sooner I can start the better I think. It's only going to be part time at first which is a good thing.....one step at a time, right?

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Thanks for the well wishes on the job. Won't actually start most likely for a couple weeks....there is some training etc first, but I think it will be good for me. I started the process last November and finally got some news on it which made me really happy. BUT....I still ended up with nightmares again. I sure hate those. Sometimes I wish I didn't remember dreams ya know?

Had a few tears this morning. I was looking inside a big hat box I have in my closet wondering what was in there. Turned out to be my wedding bouquet. ;( It was hard, but I told myself nope.....remember that wonderful day and how happy we both were.....it's helping me a lot!

I have another appt next Tues with the grief therapist. I'm looking forward to it because she is such a kind and thoughtful person. Never judges me.....she always helps me understand my feelings and gives me tools on how to cope.

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So glad to hear that life is beginning to move in the right direction for you, Michelle. I think this new job will be so good for you. Work seems to help take our minds off of our own problems.

I have heard so many people comment that they don't know who they used to be. I think this happens to all of us after we go through any life altering event and even as we age. I sometimes try and remember who I was when I was 18 or 20 and I'm not sure that I know. So, finding out who we were and who we are , is something I think most of us have done.

I like to think of the butterfly when I think of life changes and transitions. That plain, unattractive cocoon can become the most magnificant butterfly...just by growing and changing. The "old" Michelle will still be there and part of that person will merge with the "new" Michelle and become one heck of a lady!!!

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