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It has been 7 years this past August since my mother died.  I still have not gotten over it.  She lived with me all my life... I was her caregiver her last 10 years.   I guess you could say  I cope with it, but I still have some difficult days.  My conclusion is that you never get over the loss, you just learn to live with it.  However, living with it is not that easy every day... Still!!!  I still get very depressed--no ambition, no energy, and very lonely.  I've tried many different ways to improve myself, but nothing seems to work for very long.  Am I weird??? Crazy???  I have no family worth mentioning... How can I improve myself:  gain self esteem, self confidence, get back to how I once was before my loss?  Any suggestions would be very appreciated!

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11 minutes ago, chloebetta said:

My conclusion is that you never get over the loss, you just learn to live with it.

Your conclusion is absolutely correct! Grief is a lifelong journey ~ not a single event. We find ways to get through it, but we never ever "get over it."

13 minutes ago, chloebetta said:

How can I improve myself:  gain self esteem, self confidence, get back to how I once was before my loss?  Any suggestions would be very appreciated!

I'm hoping you'll find this helpful ~ and note all the resources listed at the base: In Grief: After Caregiving Ends, Who Am I?

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46 minutes ago, chloebetta said:

.  Am I weird??? Crazy??? 

No, you are neither.  This is a very close loss, someone you interacted with daily.  I experienced this with the loss of my husband 17 years ago, the loss of my companion dog Arlie three years ago, and now my sister (she was disabled and had dementia and I took care of her although she didn't live with me).  I STILL find things I want to tell her...and then remember.  It's been nearly six months and it still isn't in there completely!  I guess it takes a while to sink in although for the most part it has.  I can't bear to go to her house anymore, my brother has things pulled out all over and everything is in disarray and not like when she had it!

I wrote this about ten years after the death of my husband, some I gleaned personally, some was from learning from fellow grievers...

Grief Process

This is not a one-size-fits-all, what strikes us one day will be different a few months/years from now, so please save/print this for reference!

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of its own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs)))  Praying for you today.

 

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1 hour ago, chloebetta said:

How can I improve myself:  gain self esteem, self confidence, get back to how I once was before my loss?  Any suggestions would be very appreciated!

It's been 7 yrs since your mother died, for me it's almost 2 yrs since my husband died. I'm not sure one can get back to how we once were before out loss, we are forever changed. Life moves us forward and changes us. I think it's about adapting to where you find yourself now. Easily said, hard to do. That's why seeking help is beneficial. Although our situations are quite different I decided to respond and share 2 things I found that has been helping me with my traumatic grief patterns.

I'm currently seeing a therapist who supports me while I process my loss and trauma. Also, I get Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy which is a gentle yet powerful modality for self-healing. Our physical, emotional and mental bodies are shaped by life’s experiences (i.e. joy, grief, trauma, injury etc.) and they create patterns that can become held within our bodies. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy can help release these patterns and allows you to let go of emotional pain. It also relieves physical pain and is very calming for the central nervous system.

I hope you find the support and healing you deserve ♥️

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Thank you to those who responded!  All of you have given me some interesting things to think about... I thought by now that I had already analyzed grief from every angle and perspective.  How wrong I was!  Who am I now and what is my purpose are questions I just can't seem to answer.  In all of my analysis, I never included the effect of being a caregiver has had on me.  I did get some pets.  They helped me a lot.  I even took up ice skating in old age!  It helps a bit, but it's not the answer either.  I've always loved gardening.  My yard was really neglected since my mother became ill.  Since her death, I swore to myself that I would really get out there and get everything together again.  Well I start.  I try.  Then I always seem to give it up before I complete the project I started.   I even get mad at myself, but I can't motivate myself enough to finish.  I'm not suicidal, but I frequently ask myself why am I still alive?!  What's the point of it all?  Who cares?!  I've considered group and therapist sessions, but I just can't see myself going through with it.  I journal a lot... That helps but not enough.  How can I learn who I am now and give my life some purpose?????

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And understanding your purpose and motivation can change.  (Things that bring you pleasure today, such as ice skating, may not in five years.)  I think we learn who we are by exploration, and like I said, it changes with aging, etc.

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