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Olive71

Anxiety and can't function

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Hi.  I am new to this group.  I lost my dear mom on December 23, 2016, and my dear dad on February 4, 2017. They were wonderful, giving, loving, nurturing parents.  We were so close.  I live right across the road from them and was their caretaker. Even though I am happily married and have a supportive husband, I feel like my whole world has been turned upside down.  Although I am 45 years old, I feel like a 12-year-old girl right now...lost without her parents.  I know that this is supposed to be the natural order of things, but I am having such a hard time.  I'm having a hard time getting out of bed and functioning normally.  I am having panic attacks and 24/7 anxiety.  Since my mom was diagnosed with Mixed Cellularity Hodgkin's lymphoma back in August, I've lost 30 pounds.  Although I am forcing myself to eat, I have no appetite. My doctor prescribed medication to help me get through this, but I am so scared of getting addicted or something.  Before my parents passed, I had an existing anxiety disorder (for 20 years) but it was well controlled on an SSRI.  But, now the anxiety has come back stronger than ever.  Is it normal to feel this way? I'm so scared I'm going "crazy."  Any advice or comments would be so much appreciated.  Thank you.

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You are not going crazy. Here is something all of us who are grieving have to accept-it is going to take a lot more time to go through this than what we want to spend on it.  Change anyway-and change all that comes your way.

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Olive71,

 I wondered the same thing when my beloved wife passed away. You were hit with a double whammy of grief by losing both parents so quickly.  On top of that you were their caregiver and you may feel somehow responsible.  I know this because I was my wife's caregiver for the last six years of her life. She became to weak to work and went downhill from there.  

This place has helped me realize the I was not crazy or  even going crazy.  Death is such a shock to our system and few people outside of this group and grief counselors truly understand this profound loss..  You have lost both parents who love you and you loved them deeply.  

It does take time.  I had to learn how to breath again.  At times the shock was so much that the grief took my breath away,  I had trouble sleeping, eating, thinking,etc... everything.  Just try to take it one moment at a time. 

 This place is a great refuge and I have learned so much and gained some valuable grief tools that are helping me through this process.  Thank you for sharing your story as it helps all of us . - Shalom 

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Thank you so much for your replies, iPraiseHim and whyknot.  Your comment " At times the shock was so much that the grief took my breath away,  I had trouble sleeping, eating, thinking,etc... everything," really resonated with me, iPraiseHim.  That is exactly how I feel.  I just don't know what the world looks like without them in it.  My husband works nights, and I used to go across the road and fix them dinner and watch "Wheel of Fortune" or those Alaska shows my mom loved so much.  Since he (my husband) has gone back to work since their deaths, I find myself not knowing what to do with myself.  I miss them so terribly.  I feel like most of myself went with them.  As I write this, I am crying and hoping that someday I feel happiness again.  I just can't see it right now.  When I finally get to sleep, it's not long, and I wake up to the nightmare all over again.  They are gone.  I won't see them again.  How do I make it through this?  I just want my mom and dad back, and I know that's impossible.  I wish I didn't feel so scared and lost without them.  I should be stronger; I'm 45 for Pete's sake.  Again, I can't thank you enough for replying to me.  I know I sound like a crazy person, but that is how I feel right now.  Blessings and hugs to you both...

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Olive,

I'm sorry you lost your parents, that must be really hard losing them both so close together.  It takes us back to children because we've lost what we had as children...now you're the one carrying on the family legacy and there's no longer that parent to ask about things from your family history.  They've been there all your life and now you're missing that.  They were the ones that loved us no matter what.  It's quite an adjustment.  I lost my dad 35 years ago and my mom 2 1/2 years ago and there's times I want to go see her and remember I can't.  Since my kids were born after my father passed away, they didn't get to know him but I told them stories about him and have his picture up, and told my kids what he would have loved about them and how proud he'd be of them.

Everything you are experiencing is normal, you'e not crazy at all, you're grieving.

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Thank you so much for your response, KayC.  I am so very sorry for your losses, too.  I wonder if I will ever be the same happy person I once was?  I used to laugh all the time; I used to smile.  I know I need to get back to some sort of normalcy for my husband, but right now, I'm just a emotional mess.  I find myself crying all the time and feel like I'm on a nightmare roller coaster of emotions.  I wish so badly that I could go back to my life before my parents passed.  I want to be the old me.  I want to feel their support and love. I want them to still be here to experience their lives with me.   The pain I feel is all encompassing right now.... I'm so hurt, broken, anxiety-ridden.  I am thankful that I found this place where I can let out my feelings.  I am embarrassed by them.  I just looked back at what I wrote and most of the sentences start with "I".  I feel so selfish.  Thank you all for listening to me.  I wish peace and blessings to you all.

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Grief IS self-centered, it HAS to be!  Our loss is so encroaching, so traumatic, it obscures everything else!  I lost my husband nearly 12 years ago and that loss not only shattered but changed my life forever.  I'm sure others thought I was all about "me" but how can you think about things like what to fix for dinner or going to see a movie when they seem so unimportant in comparison?!  Grief demands our attention, it requires so much from us, it takes much time and effort to make our way through this, to adjust.  I think of it like brain trauma, no one would expect you to just "pop back to normal" after severe brain trauma!  Yet in effect that's kind of what grief does to us.  It can turn our brains to mush, so our thinking is foggy, we lose our focus.  It took me ten years to be able to enjoy reading again, and I used to be an avid reader!  Hobbies I once enjoyed no longer interested me.  This is all common grief response!  The love you shared seems to define the grief you bear.

That doesn't mean there will never be joy again, there will.  It will coexist with your grief and little by little you will live life again.  But please be patient with yourself, understanding, the same way you would if a friend were going through this.  Take good care of yourself, it's important as it gives your brain it's optimal chance of getting through this the best it can.  Eat something healthy, drink some water, take a walk, even if you don't "feel like it", because you need it, not because you feel like it.  Everything we experience, everything we feel is "normal" for grief.  Everyone's grief journey is unique just as the relationship they lost was.  We are here, we understand, we get it.  You will get through this.

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I have been the same way with the anxiety. My loss was the same time as yours in Dec. I start thinking about stuff and get hot and dizzy, feel like I'm suffocating. Like I just can't go on. I have taken an antidepressant for years also, but now I have to take xanax too occasionally. I think it's very normal under our circumstances. I wouldn't worry about getting addicted unless you have an addictive type personality. Some people like the feeling. I find it just makes me sleepy unless I am taking it during the anxiety at which point it just helps me feel not sleepy but a little more normal. You aren't selfish at all for feeling the way you do. I come here and rant and rave all the time and it's one of the only places I can. 

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I am so sorry for both of your losses, one loss is hard enough, I cant even fathom two that close together!

I definitely don't think you are going crazy and I can definitely see why your anxiety is increasing. This is all so new and its unknown territory that you were forced into! Its hard learning to navigate in a world without your parents. One thing to remember is to take care of yourself. We all deal with grief differently, I just so happened to gain weight! Just make sure you are eating and sleeping the best that you can and you can work through all the mental grief here with all of us!

Sometimes you just have to let your emotions out and that might help with all of the panic attacks and such. Just really give into the emotions. It hurts but you need to really feel and go through those hormones because you cant run away from them. Trust me, Ive tried. If you need to cry like a baby and scream then go for it! It really helped me relieve some of that pain.

Kay is so right too, it is self centered but don't feel bad about that because no one else is going to go through YOUR grief. Just you! And don't be embarrassed by your emotions. I completely understand where you are coming from. I wailed at my dads memorial and I probably sounded like a blubbering idiot and could hardly get the words out but I tried by best.

If you think itll help, why don't you talk to them? I still talk my dad after two years. I was grief stricken the other day thinking of his last moments and I just wanted to weep but I couldn't cause I was work lol

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Shari,

If people knew how much I talk to George, they'd probably send somebody to haul me off! :D  I can't imagine not talking to him.  Just because his physical body is gone doesn't mean his spirit is.

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9 hours ago, kayc said:

Shari,

If people knew how much I talk to George, they'd probably send somebody to haul me off! :D  I can't imagine not talking to him.  Just because his physical body is gone doesn't mean his spirit is.

I have been writing text messages.  I just delete them when I'm done of course. But I think it would be neat one day if I get to heaven and he says he got to read every single one. You just never know. 

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On 2/26/2017 at 10:54 PM, Olive71 said:

Thank you so much for your replies, iPraiseHim and whyknot.  Your comment " At times the shock was so much that the grief took my breath away,  I had trouble sleeping, eating, thinking,etc... everything," really resonated with me, iPraiseHim.  That is exactly how I feel.  I just don't know what the world looks like without them in it.  My husband works nights, and I used to go across the road and fix them dinner and watch "Wheel of Fortune" or those Alaska shows my mom loved so much.  Since he (my husband) has gone back to work since their deaths, I find myself not knowing what to do with myself.  I miss them so terribly.  I feel like most of myself went with them.  As I write this, I am crying and hoping that someday I feel happiness again.  I just can't see it right now.  When I finally get to sleep, it's not long, and I wake up to the nightmare all over again.  They are gone.  I won't see them again.  How do I make it through this?  I just want my mom and dad back, and I know that's impossible.  I wish I didn't feel so scared and lost without them.  I should be stronger; I'm 45 for Pete's sake.  Again, I can't thank you enough for replying to me.  I know I sound like a crazy person, but that is how I feel right now.  Blessings and hugs to you both...

Olive71,

What you share and express is what we have felt and experience at one degree or another.  You are not alone or crazy.  I searched everywhere for two weeks searching for answers as to what happened and why. The shock level was so intense I couldn't make sense out of what happened.  I read books, websites and posts wherever I could to try and grasp how to cope with this.

It was such a blessing to find this place where people really understand and comprehend what happened to us. I began reading other members beginning post to understand what they experienced.  There are many people here on many different levels of their grief journey.  This intensity of grief will change over a period of time and working through the grief.

I listened to the suggestions of many people here to find out what works for me.  My beloved wife died suddenly two years ago and i do empathize with you.  I listened to the suggestions here that helped me to get much needed sleep. I was only averaging two hours a night for many weeks. It doesn't matter what age this happen.  It is tough.  Prayers and hugs. - Shalom, George  

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Hi, I am new to this group and the "anxiety and can't function" caught my eye.  I lost my husband of 26 years unexpectedly on 1-13-17. Kissed him bye that morning never saw him alive again.  I also lost my brother after a short illness on 9-29-16.  In my wildest dreams I would have never been expecting this to happen.  He was 54 years old and had a heart attack.  I seem to be struggling more now than when it 1st happened.  I can't have a conversation or order at a drive thru without trembling and crying.  Every song I hear, every family I see I am a strong woman but this has taken me down hard.  I have to continue to work, the job I have is very streetlight and I am in a position of authority so I have to "play like" I'm getting better for fear of getting fired.  If they think I'm weak they will replace me.  I'm a mess. I am afraid at night and can't sleep. I have gone to dr but what he prescribed doesn't help with my sleep.  I can't express to my daughter how I am honestly I don't want to worry her and she is suffering also and has her own child and husband to take care of.  I am starting a grief group at church next week and am hoping it helps.  I pray daily for the strength to cope and basically get myself together.

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Welcome, Brokenhearted62,

I feel your pain and experience a lot of what you share here. This is a safe place to share, grieve, get support, and learn about this other side of love, GRIEF.  Because you loved deeply, your grief is another expression of your love.  I needed medicine to sleep and was prescribed "Ativan" just to slow my mind down so my body could rest.  Look for a "Grief" counselor that understands and can help.  Please come back often.  This place has helped me in so many ways with wonderful people, great tools, MartyT helps us all.  I will be praying for your peaceful rest, strength to perform your job and help with this grief journey you are now on.  - Shalom, George

 

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Brokenhearted,

Welcome to this site, you have found a place that is safe and understanding here.  I have been here since my husband died of a heart attack, nearly 12 years ago, he had just turned 51.  I know you don't want to burden your family but it's okay to talk to them "for real" sometimes and let them know how you're really feeling and doing.  Children seem more resilient, maybe it's youth on their side or maybe because it's a different relationship they've lost...your daughter has her husband to help her through it and a child that keeps her busy and that helps her.  When we go home to an empty house, it's hard, especially since it's filled with memories and our very routine is now changed.  The things we once did together we now have to do alone.

I'm glad you're starting a grief support group, I started one at my church this year also.  It's been very helpful as we have a lot of widows and it really helps them to be able to talk freely about what they're feeling and going through.  We've shared much tears and even laughter as we share our memories.  We've grown close and know we can call each other, that helps.

I hope you'll tell your doctor that the medicine isn't helping you sleep so he can try another.    I have Trazodone 50 mg 1-2 at bedtime, I only take it when I really really need it but he assured me I wouldn't get addicted to it and it's what he takes himself.  (I know it's used in higher doses for depression.) 

I hope you'll talk to your doctor about your anxiety too if you haven't already.  I'm on buspirone (Buspar) lowest dose, and probably will take it for life.  It's in a class all it's own and I don't get side effects from it that I've noticed, no zombieness, no numbness, just kind of takes the edge off so I can cope easier.  I still feel.  I haven't had a panic attack in years now, I have been on it nine years, but then I've always had GAD.

It's okay to put on a mask at work to keep our jobs as long as we have some time in the day we can let down and grieve, we can't always hold it at bay.  I can relate to the breaking down when you go through a drive through, etc.  I had a really hard time getting groceries by myself, although I'm okay with it now, but even all these years later it sends a tiny stab inside of me to see a couple getting groceries together.  That used to be us.

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On ‎2017‎-‎02‎-‎26 at 0:20 PM, Olive71 said:

Hi.  I am new to this group.  I lost my dear mom on December 23, 2016, and my dear dad on February 4, 2017. They were wonderful, giving, loving, nurturing parents.  We were so close.  I live right across the road from them and was their caretaker. Even though I am happily married and have a supportive husband, I feel like my whole world has been turned upside down.  Although I am 45 years old, I feel like a 12-year-old girl right now...lost without her parents.  I know that this is supposed to be the natural order of things, but I am having such a hard time.  I'm having a hard time getting out of bed and functioning normally.  I am having panic attacks and 24/7 anxiety.  Since my mom was diagnosed with Mixed Cellularity Hodgkin's lymphoma back in August, I've lost 30 pounds.  Although I am forcing myself to eat, I have no appetite. My doctor prescribed medication to help me get through this, but I am so scared of getting addicted or something.  Before my parents passed, I had an existing anxiety disorder (for 20 years) but it was well controlled on an SSRI.  But, now the anxiety has come back stronger than ever.  Is it normal to feel this way? I'm so scared I'm going "crazy."  Any advice or comments would be so much appreciated.  Thank you.

Dear Olive71

Welcome to the grief healing discussion forums.  Thank you for your courage in sharing.  You have chosen a safe wonderful community of supportive caring people who all resonate with your pain and are at different stages of the grieving journey. 

I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear Parents and loosing them so very close together.  And having been caregiver to both! On top of managing your own anxiety.  Oh my gosh!  No wonder you are feeling the way that you are!  That is a whole lot to have gone through!  Off course you feel like a 12 year old girl right now makes perfect sense your dear Parents have died.  The little girl in you is likely having a very difficult time with this....we don't want our Parents to ever go away!  All that you are feeling are so normal and understandable.  Definitely not crazy.  I would be concerned actually if you were not feeling all these things. Some words that come to mind to describe you are...strong...caring...resilient.

I encourage you to comfort that wee little girl who is part of you.  If you have a rocking chair sit in it and rock while you are listening to some favorite music or watching your favorite TV show.  Cover yourself with a favourite blanket.  Think on another little girl that might have just lost her dear Parents and what you would do for her that may help you. 

You have found a safe place here.  Encouraging you to keep expressing yourself.

Blessings, Carol Ann

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On ‎2017‎-‎05‎-‎03 at 4:43 PM, Brokenhearted62 said:

Hi, I am new to this group and the "anxiety and can't function" caught my eye.  I lost my husband of 26 years unexpectedly on 1-13-17. Kissed him bye that morning never saw him alive again.  I also lost my brother after a short illness on 9-29-16.  In my wildest dreams I would have never been expecting this to happen.  He was 54 years old and had a heart attack.  I seem to be struggling more now than when it 1st happened.  I can't have a conversation or order at a drive thru without trembling and crying.  Every song I hear, every family I see I am a strong woman but this has taken me down hard.  I have to continue to work, the job I have is very streetlight and I am in a position of authority so I have to "play like" I'm getting better for fear of getting fired.  If they think I'm weak they will replace me.  I'm a mess. I am afraid at night and can't sleep. I have gone to dr but what he prescribed doesn't help with my sleep.  I can't express to my daughter how I am honestly I don't want to worry her and she is suffering also and has her own child and husband to take care of.  I am starting a grief group at church next week and am hoping it helps.  I pray daily for the strength to cope and basically get myself together.

Dear Brokenhearted62

I am so very sorry for your losses.  Welcome to the grief healing discussion forums.  Thank you for your courage in sharing.  I see and hear your pain.  You have found a wonderful safe community here.  All that you are feeling is so very normal and understandable.  I am just so sorry for the torrent we are thrown in when we experience loss.  Encouraging  you to be gentle with yourself.  Encouraging you to feel as it's so vital I believe in this journey.  To keep it all inside and try to put on a strong front to the world is such a weight on top of the weight of our losses.  This is a safe place to share all that you are feeling.  Good for you for seeking out a grief group.

Encouraging you.

Blessings, Carol Ann

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