Jump to content
dpodesta

Self Destructive Behavior

Recommended Posts

I have come across a good topic for discussion. Lately I have been doing some things that have been self destructive. When Karen died, I drank quite a bit for awhile just to get some of the pain to ease. Now after 13 1/2 years I started smoking again. I don't know why, it just happened and now I am kicking myself for it. I am curious if anyone else has experienced this or other forms of self destructive behavior after the death of a loved one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Derek,

I think probably all of us have picked up some bad habits....smoking, drinking more, eating too much junk food, eating too much chocolate, something that is not good for us. Granted, some are worse than others, but it is so hard to get through all this that it's bound to happen, so don't be too hard on yourself. You'll quit again. Just don't fret about it because that will make the stress worse and probably just lead to more smoking!

Hang in there, you're just human,and going through a really rough time.

Hugs,

Shell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Derek,

I too have started some bad habits like I drink coke way too much for example three to five cans a day. I also was bad with the junk food I used to hide it until I just did not need it anymore. Take care and I agree with Shell. I will pray for you Shelley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Derek

I also have picked up a few bad habbits like drinking alot I hardly ever drank before it was once in a blue moon like a few on the weekends and I could leave it if I wanted to but now I at times need it my body has swelled up alot like almost 10 pounds because of that and on top I have turned to food I hate eating but now I just eat all the time so there it adds on also. I hate drinking and eating but I can not stop I have to calm my nervous some how any suggestions I am listening. To think that it does not even make the pain go away either it just hides it or pushes it to the side for the moment and is there when we stop doing what we are doing as for smioking maybe just the thought of doing something to keep busy is the reason but why not try to stick candy in your mouth or a straw or something. I know take my same advice but once again it is easier said than done its been 2 days for me with NO drinking I am trying but there is times it gets the best of me

Thanks

Haley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also boarded the bad habits bus and think that we do what we can to make it through each day, no matter how destructive the behaviors might be. I drank to numb the pain the first two months after Dad passed away (3/30/06) then stopped to go on an exercise and diet plan. While I've stuck to it for the most part there are days where the mental pain is so hard to handle that I've fallen off the wagon. I've also started smoking more - I quit but started again after Dad was diagnosed with Leukemia. I had limited myself to three cigarettes a day but since his death its crept up to roughly ten. These past four months have been so agonizing that I don't blame myself for doing things I shouldn't, I know that eventually the grief will lessen and I won't need the crutches that I use now. The amount of stress felt after a death of a loved one is indescribable (Dad was the love of my life) and resorting to destructive behaviors is probably very common.

Kathy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kathy, I did the same thing during the first couple of months, I knew that drinking wasn't going to solve anything or make things better but it did help ease the pain if only for a little while. I started smoking figuring that I can't get pulled over and thrown in jail for it. I quit once and I know I can quit again, I just need something to calm me down for a little while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only self-destructive behavior I recall in the early months after Mom's death (11/05) was not eating much. I have gone on chocolate ice cream binges, but I don't consider that self-destructive. I can't drink, being a sober alcoholic (but boy oh boy did I want to, so I can understand all of you doing that. Kind of envy your ability to do that and then stop :( ). Praying fervently for death to take me may be considered self-destructive, I suppose.

Recently however, and this started only (I hope) after probate was over and the estate was settled (6/06), I have been experiencing careless driving. Mine. Several times I've made dangerous moves coming into intersections and it would've been my fault. Only in my hometown, though. I go on the highways, or to nearby cities, no problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess we all should just stop right now for a few minutes and just think about life and how our loved ones would feel and what they would be saying to us right now. ( hey wait they are saying to us) on the way we are behaving. Lets all ask our selves would we be doing this stuff like drinking and smoking and being crazy NO!!!!!! What would we be doing if they were still here with us? Not what we are doing now to hurt our bodys. I know we are all hurting but puting more pain in to our bodies is not the way to go. We need to all grow up and smell the roses about life at least we are breathing, and not suffering like they or some of them were (my MOM) I believe thast there is other ways to destress I don't have the answers but I am searching anybody have some answers please feel free to share with us. I have tried eating and sleeping and working out in the gym I am also at a lost and I am turning to the bad stuff also like drinking almost everyday I am trying to stop cold turkey and that is a struggle daily. I try to think if MOM would like and approve what I am doing right and I can tell you all right now we are all not doing the right thing if we are having to second guess our selves.

Please forgive me for coming out and saying what I feel but hey maybe it will get us all thinking in the right way.

I am willing to take the advice or straight up talk from any body that will talk and listen. You know what seems like an ideal thing is that all of us who talk all the time or just everybody and anybody going through what we are all going through and get together like a reunion type thing just so that we alkl can talk in person and get to see how we all are doing. I also think that it would or could even help us all in some way. Just a suggestion or if this already happens let me know.

Thanks

Haley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haley,

We've talked about how great it would be to be able to all get together and it would be terrific! Unfortunately, so many of us have responsibilities at home (kids, pets, people we are caregivers for, etc.) it would seem impossible to all meet somewhere at once....darn it. But maybe someday...

Hugs,

Shell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't taken up drinking or smoking probably b/c i am to afraid. You see i come from a family that has alcohol problems so i would be afraid to turn out like that. My thing wasn't eating and i lost wt but now i force myself to eat b/c i need the strength i was so weak. i am taking some meds for anxiety and maybe that is not the best thing to do but i needed it. it helps me calm down and refocus my thoughts. i am a little ocd so i go over and over things in my head so then i b/c so asnxious i become physically sick (like i was on sunday). i must say i am thankful for the meds so i can think clearly. i must say i am afraid of them that i will never be able to get off them but my therapist and husband tell me not to worry about that now just get through today.

i pray for all of you each day that we can get through this horrible thing called grief. i have also been saying the rosary everyday so that takes my mind of things for awhile.

God Bless Lori

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lorikelly,

I'm on meds too and they have helped me tremendously. From what I've been led to understand, they are not addictive, so try not to worry about that. Anything can be addictive psychologically, but by the time you want to get off them, I think you will be ready and ok with it. I also think taking meds is better than drinking or drugs (not the prescribed kind!) because they are more addicitve and destructive. I'm not putting down anyone who is drinking right now.....I've done that for stress too! Anyway, sometimes we just need help and it will be ok.

Hugs to you,

Shell

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since my dad died  2 months ago I am completely off the rails. I'm so reckless and destroying my life. I've started drinking and using marijuana. I'm self harming alot more and I get an urge to crash the car when I'm driving alone. I'm just starting to wonder whether this is grief related. Dad's death was traumatic but I'm numb to it all. No flashbacks, no uncontrollable crying ect.... Thoughts? X

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my dad died, my brother was 14 and he started doing that (this was 37 years ago), he drank, stole from the store, stole my dad's coin collection, Lord only knows if he was using drugs.  My mom was in denial about it, making excuses or ignoring the screaming red flags.  Us older sisters were scared for him.  He got in trouble at school, was squeaking by with C's (we all had A's), got banned from Payless for life.  When he was 17 he used my mom's car, went out drinking with his buddies and ended up totaling my mom's car (she was a widow with only social security).  Worse yet, the accident took the thumb off his friend.  My mom was now without a car and no way to buy another.  My brother went to work at a smorgasboard (where he met his wife to be).  He did a complete turn around! He started behaving responsibly and left his drinking, etc. in the past.  Today he and his beautiful wife have raised five children, they are a big part of their church, and they spent Sundays with my mom.  He and his boys chopped her firewood, mowed her lawn, fixed things around her place, etc.  It was him who had to gather her and her clothes and take her to a dementia care center and it was them and myself that visited her faithfully until she died.  She may have lost her mind, but she still knew us, that was a blessing.

Yes this very much could be grief related...I would encourage you to get checked out by a doctor, tell him what you've told us here, the doctor could recommend something that would help you, but honestly, I'd get some grief counseling too.  When someone close to us dies, we're left with a big empty hole, we're numb/in shock, floundering, don't know what to do.  Grief displays itself in more than tears.  Sometimes we just need help navigating our way through it.

And I do hope you'll come back here from time to time and let us know how you're doing.  This can be a long process, but just getting help can make a big difference.  Our dads are our rock, my dad died of a heart attack (he'd had heart trouble since he was 45) when I was seven months pregnant with my first child.  It was hard not being able to have him in their lives, hard that he missed all their milestones...or did he?  I like to think he got a view of them from heaven, that he knew my daughter had dimples an a terrific personality, that my son was valedictorian of his class, served in the Air Force, lkgot straight A's through college and earned 3 engineering degrees with no help from anyone and debt free.  He'd burst his buttons!  Still, I'd have loved to have seen them in his shop, playing with his alphabet dies, the way I did, hammering on a board while he worked on something.  Our loss is tremendous but it helps to work on it.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been self medicating as well, I have not been a drinker but I am forcing wine and spirits down my throat to ease the pain, I ended up in the hospital twice because of it. My dr is not sympathetic and refuses to give me anxiety medication which would help a lot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lynda1 said:

I am forcing wine and spirits down my throat to ease the pain, I ended up in the hospital twice because of it.

Not good for you, Lynda. Not good at all.

Please read the following ~ and consider finding another doctor:

Mixing Grief With Alcohol: Will It Lead to Addiction?

Seeing a Specialist in Grief Counseling: Does It Matter?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Lynda1 said:

My dr is not sympathetic and refuses to give me anxiety medication which would help a lot

Dump the doc.  There has to be another doctor more understanding and sympathetic in your area.  Can you call your health insurance carrier or managed care organization/company and ask for a referral?   If you are hospitalized, you have the right to ask for a social worker or patient advocate or other hospital representative to meet with you and discuss your options.  You don't have to go through this alone.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lynda,

The alcohol is not our friend, you may think it helps in the moment, but overall it is not an answer of anything.  I'm with Kieron...find another doctor.  I hope you're seeing a grief counselor as it helps to process our grief in a healthy way and thus make some progress even if small.  You doctor should have been willing to discuss this.  I'm on Buspirone (Buspar) for anxiety, it's very mild and I'm on the lowest dose, but it takes some of the edge off so I can cope and I haven't experience side effects with it, I've been on it for ten years now.  I was diagnosed with GAD years ago and think I had it even as a child.  There's other things that help too, like prayer/meditation, soothing music, even scents that calm.  They save lavender helps, unfortunately that is not a favorite scent of mine.  ;)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been feeling particularly self-destructive... until today.  That's what led me to this thread. My dad died on October 8th.  His funeral was the 18th (last friday).  I didn't go through the Kübler-Ross stages of grief by any means.  There was no denial, no bargaining, and no real anger (unless that's what this is).  

Yet, I have this urge to go crazy.  To do donuts in the parking lot of life.  To blow the barn doors off.  Throw caution to the wind.  Eat everything I'm not supposed to.  Drink a heck of a lot more.  My children got the benefit of their grandfather into their adulthood.  I would love my 1 year old granddaughter to have me into her adulthood.  So, I probably won't do any of that... but the urge is there.  Is the urge ever there.  

I'm not suicidal.  It's more like, "What's the point?"  We all end up in the same spot.  We all end up in our 3x6x6, 108 square foot efficiency in the dirt (except that I requested cremation in my living will and advanced directives.)  I work like crazy on blood pressure... and blood sugar... and cholesterol... and stress... and maybe it's just not worth it at all.

I know.  I'm only 2 weeks into this thing, but it feels like 2 months.  I don't know if I'll ever feel normal again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CCrane4512 said:

I don't know if I'll ever feel normal again.

One thing I can promise you is that you will never return to the way it was before your father died. This loss will change you as you come to terms with it and find different ways to integrate the reality of it into your life. But those changes won't necessarily be all bad ones. For now, allow yourself to experience the entire spectrum of whatever reactions you encounter, and discard the notion that your grief will proceed in orderly stages. That theory has been abandoned in the 50-some years since On Death and Dying was first published in 1967. We now know that grief is as unique as an individual's fingerprint, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. There is only your way, which you will discover for yourself. Still, there are certain elements in grief that are common to most of us. And the more you learn about what is "normal" in grief, the less crazy you will feel, and the better prepared you will be to understand and manage your own reactions. I encourage you to do some reading on the subject, and here you'll find links to some useful material: Marty's Articles ❤️

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/24/2019 at 7:46 AM, CCrane4512 said:

I didn't go through the Kübler-Ross stages of grief by any means. 

This article debunks that in regards to grief: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/stages-of-grief_b_4414077

My heart goes out to you.  It was right about this time when I found this place, and that was over 14 years ago.  I didn't see how I could do a week without my husband, I never dreamed I'd make it this long.  I want you to know it doesn't always stay in this intensity of pain, our grief evolves as we begin to adjust to the changes it means for our lives.

Feeling no incentive is normal right now, it takes much time to process this.  Try not to worry about the future, stay in today, just do today, then get up tomorrow and do it all over again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, likely our lives will never feel the same again, how could it, but we have a different "normal" eventually.  I've lived on my own for 14 1/2 years now and that feels "normal" to me now...NOT my preference, not what I ever would have asked for or wanted, but I've gotten more used to it.  Still, I will always love and miss him.  :(

 

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  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...