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How do I overcome the loss of my Mom when I was already in a depression?

 
 
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 10:53 am
I wake up in such a dark place. I have so many regrets and a feeling of despair. She was taken so suddenly I didn't have time to even know it was happening. I feel like I'm still in shock. I'm alone in the world as well. I don't have a supportive (or even unsupportive) husband and no children. I have been in a depression for a while and now the one person who could make me feel better is gone. I find myself envying people who have their parents their whole lives. I know people who still have both parents even at 60 years old. How blessed they are. I feel cheated and angry and alone. I don't think the future will get any better. I can't work right now because I'm taking care of her husband, who is very old and ill. I'm isolated and scared. None of my friends understand because none of them had close relationships with their own Moms. I have other relatives but they will all move on with their lives and adjust to it. No one loved her as much as I did. I know people will suggest counseling for me and honestly a good therapist is expensive and hard to find, so that's not an option.
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 10:57 am
@socal2010,
socal2010 wrote:

I wake up in such a dark place. I have so many regrets and a feeling of despair. She was taken so suddenly I didn't have time to even know it was happening. I feel like I'm still in shock. I'm alone in the world as well. I don't have a supportive (or even unsupportive) husband and no children. I have been in a depression for a while and now the one person who could make me feel better is gone. I find myself envying people who have their parents their whole lives. I know people who still have both parents even at 60 years old. How blessed they are. I feel cheated and angry and alone. I don't think the future will get any better. I can't work right now because I'm taking care of her husband, who is very old and ill. I'm isolated and scared. None of my friends understand because none of them had close relationships with their own Moms. I have other relatives but they will all move on with their lives and adjust to it. No one loved her as much as I did. I know people will suggest counseling for me and honestly a good therapist is expensive and hard to find, so that's not an option.


Whoof, that's terrible. Sorry for your loss.

A lot of people I know go to therapy at local Psychology graduate schools; the rates are cheaper - by a lot - and even though you'll be talking to a student and not some old, experienced psychologist, it will definitely give you a space to discuss your feelings and work out a plan for moving forward. I think it's really important that people have someone to discuss issues with, for a variety of reasons.

Have you been staying busy?

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 10:58 am
good therapists are not always expensive and hard to find.

In fact, you're doing mental health workers a disservice by assuming that they aren't good if they aren't expensive.

Looking up your local mental health hotline, and make the call.

No one has their parents all their lives, unless they die first.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 11:01 am
@socal2010,
first, welcome to A2K.

there are many supportive folks here who may have some wisdom for you.

I have found that when I am really sad and feeling alone, I can take that time and find something to wholly put my efforts into that I enjoy and relaxes me.

(for me it is gardening and water animals)

do you have a hobby that you enjoy?

0 Replies
 
socal2010
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 11:40 am
I have been to a graduate school for counseling when my Dad died. It didn't help having a 21 year old student sit there taking notes while I spoke. It wasn't in any way helpful or healing for me. I found it was a waste of time and belittled how I felt in some ways. Then I tried some other less expensive counseling and she didn't give me much direction either, she basically said I would be okay and that was it.

As far as hobbies, I can't find any motivation to do anything right now. I am thinking about taking a yoga class though. I just feel very lost right now. I keep wanting to go back in time to relive the good times. I find it hard to listen to music or watch TV or do anything that happened before she died. I'm glad I appreciated her while she was here. I used to talk on the phone with her and feel so lucky to hear her voice. I wish I could have that comfort again.

The future is very bleak for me. All the goals I had are pointless now. So much of what I wanted to do in life was for her. Now I have no reason to do anything. I would never harm myself though out of respect for my Mom. She would be so mad if I did something like that. So it's not even a thought in my head.
socal2010
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 11:42 am
@chai2,
"No one has their parents all their lives, unless they die first. "

I meant that I know people in their 60's who still have both their parents. So pretty much their whole adult life they always had that support. I envy them so much.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 11:55 am
@socal2010,
Well, then those people are the exception. Far, far more people have a loss, or losses.

I know this does not diminish your loss, nor does it change it or comfort you. But, well, so there are exceptions out there. They don't define you, yes?

Do you have a primary care physician? Perhaps speak to him or her, again about therapy, and see if s/he can give some good suggestions. Fine, so the grad student didn't work out. Perhaps a different grad student would. Even full-fledged therapists take notes; that's not only in the province of grad students.

If no primary care physician, what about clergy? If you're not religious, you're not, and I am not suggesting that you become so. But if you are, that could be another resource for you.

Another idea is, if those two fail, to speak to someone who you are close to and respect. Make it clear to them that you are not looking for them to be your amateur therapist, but rather that you know you need help - can they suggest anyone?

I urge you to get care, just as surely as you would get a doctor to set a broken leg. You've got a sprained psyche, and chances are good that it won't go away, no fully, on its own. I wish you the best - you are worthwhile, you are worth a happy life, you know.
0 Replies
 
hamburgboy
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 12:19 pm
@socal2010,
socal wrote :

Quote:
I can't find any motivation to do anything right now


let me tell you how sorry i am for your loss . i recently lost my wife and can understand what you are going through - i think .
i try to speak with neighbours and friends who have lost their spouses . they told me that it is like falling into a very deep hole ... it may feel like you will never come out of it .
they also tell me that dealing with grief is a very personal thing - everyone deals with it differently .
you may feel down and out for months to come .

those people still feel sad and weepy after years .
but at a certain point they all started to improve somewhat - but admit that they still have times when they feel down and out .

a neighbour told me that writing letters to her departed husband gave her some solace - though i have not done so yet .

i'll probably be joining a support group this fall - perhaps it will help .

if you have even one friend who will listen to you , try to talk just a little bit about yourself - but don't overwhelm the friend .

can't really tell what is best for you .
i try to walk everyday somewhere under the trees - even in the cemetery - and it helps me .
i even talk to the cemetery gardeners - they seem to appreciate a chat now and then .

i also read old , familiar books .
and i just bought myself five used books for $ 2 - they are old but the titles look interesting - it's also cheaper than just one newspaper .
i also need plenty of "down time" - just simple rest .

i don't know if this helps at all - truly sorry for your loss .

if it makes you feel better at all , put your thoughts and feelings here on a2k -
but don't do anything you do not want to do .

try to stay in touch with us .
(i'll be phoning an old friend now - just to chat with her) .
try and take care of yourself .
hbg

(haven't spilled things out before - it's not easy - particularly for a man - we are supposed to be strong - but are really the weak of the species when it comes to mental strength of coping , i believe )

(does all of this make sense to you ? i don't know - so perhaps just read it as a bit of scribbling )
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 12:56 pm
@socal2010,
Have you looked into joining a grief group? A hospital or doctor should be able to give you some information on groups in your area. It's normal to feel that everything else is pointless when faced with the death or serious illness of a loved one. Just remember you are not alone and almost everyone has to go through this darkness at some point in their life. You might want to make a little memory place for her in your home with a few pictures and objects that make you think of her in happier times. If you have the space, you could plant a garden in her honor or donate an object or sum in her name to a favorite charity. Your mother would not want you to stop living a good life because of grief, and I think you owe it to her to work on climbing out of this depression and living the best life you can.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 01:35 pm
First - my condolences on your loss.
Around here, there are grief support groups at local churches and funeral homes. They are no or low cost and very effective.

Your heading said that your were already depressed - then you lost your Mom. Now it's too much for you to bear. Time to bring in more help - like considering anti-depressants.

There is the diffence between being sad and being clincially depressed. You need to find out where you are in all this.

One thing for sure, you can't go on like this and not do something. You will slide backwards if you don't take some steps now.

Your mother would not want you to feel like this, for sure. To honor her, continue living the best you can.
0 Replies
 
socal2010
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 02:24 pm
I don't know if I was in a clinical depression before her death. I was having common financial problems and career setbacks because of the economy. I wasn't working which also lead to weight gain, lack of interest, etc. I just felt out of it because I couldn't seem to find work like I normally would. It probably wasn't a clinical depression, although I did have a strong sense of being stuck and helplessness. I felt a new job would get me back on track.

My Mom was always there for me. Now with her sudden death, it's just overwhelming. I am staying in her home taking care of her husband, who is ill. They live in a remote area, so I guess I'm feeling very isolated. I feel like I'm living her life right now since I'm doing all the things she did and seeing things from her perspective. She really didn't like living away from everything so I feel bad everyday when I think about how much happier she could have been. I don't know why I didn't insist that she come stay with me.

If I knew where to find a good counselor I would probably go. But I can't afford to waste money on something that won't help. I don't want them to hand me over some pills to make everything okay. The people I know who have taken meds say that eventually you have to deal with it anyway once you're off the meds.

Anyway, I'm sorry for all of you who have also lost people. I appreciate you all writing. I keep checking the board and anytime someone posts here I feel better.
JPB
 
  4  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 02:47 pm
@socal2010,
Hello, socal2010, welcome to A2K.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

I agree with the others that some professional talk therapy, if not pharmaceutical intervention, is a good first step with dealing with your mother's death. But I also think you should give some serious consideration to finding that next job and searching for alternative care choices for your step-father.

You do not need to start living your mother's life. Nor do you need to feel guilty for not "insisting" that she come stay with you. I assume you mean "they come stay with you" because chances are she wouldn't have lived anywhere without her husband. That doesn't mean you have to make the same decision. I can see how it's a logical short term response to her sudden passing and your job situation but you never married the man, your mother did. Thinking that you need to put all your dreams, aspirations, and future plans on long term or permanent hold to take over her role as his primary caregiver is a great burden and one that you need not take on.

In addition to finding a counselor for yourself I also suggest looking in the yellow pages or online for elder care options in your area. Take care of yourself, socal. You needn't think your life is over when, in reality, your future should just be beginning.


And to hamburgboy... {{{ hbg }}}

just in case you need one.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 03:13 pm
@socal2010,
Condolences on your loss, SoCal; I'm sure the advice you're getting here is as good as any.

Stopped by your thread as saw Hamburger posting, and if I may I'd like to extend condolences for the loss of Mrs Hamburger - sorry I had not known of it before - of course extended to the whole family and close friends.
0 Replies
 
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 03:25 pm
@socal2010,
sullyfish wrote :

Quote:
there are grief support groups at local churches and funeral homes. They are no or low cost and very effective.


yes , i agree . you can often find support there .
even local agencies - such as : united way - can probably point you in the right direction .
retired clergy are sometimes available for such counselling free of charge - and they likely won't ask about your religious (non)affiliation .

i doubt you want someone to take notes while you are meeting .
most good counsellors will just listen - and don't talk much themselves .
they should just be a listening post at this point in time .
perhaps at the end of each meeting , they might make some simple suggestion to try and help you .

people i have spoken to tell me it is mainly a "self-healing" process - but having someone to just talk to - even about very trivial things - can be important .

you may even find that you won't enjoy your food very much . a dietician friend told me just to "graze" . set out some food , any food , that you can nibble on throughout the day .
if possible , try to have a full and good breakfast . i find that going to a breakfast restaurant ( DINER - but not a fast-food place ) works for me a few times a week . i am with other people ; someone may even say "hi" and exchange a few words .
and the waitresses are always ready with a smile , i find .

YOU ARE THE PERSON WHO HAS TO DECIDE WHAT'S RIGHT FOR YOU ! (unless you are clinically depressed and need medical help )

are thoughts are with you , socal !
try and stay in touch !
hbg
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 04:12 pm
@socal2010,
I am sorry for your loss.
Your mother 's mind and spirit have gone to a better place

www.IANDS.org


I wish u good fortune and many good friends.





David
socal2010
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 11:38 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Thank you all for posting. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I posted on some grief boards but no one responded so I was feeling alone. I'm not sure why I posted on this site because now that I look around it's really not a place for this type of subject maybe? Either way, I'm so glad I posted and I appreciate getting your input and opinions, I really do.

I'm feeling a little better right now probably because it's the evening so I tend to be better at night. The mornings are the worst. Also, her ashes are home now so maybe that's making me feel better too. They will be here for a certain amount of time because she wants to be with her husband when he passes away.

There's so many points some of you have brought up that I will think about. As far as getting my stepdad care, my Mom really REALLY didn't want that. She didn't want a stranger to care for him. He's much older than she is so naturally he expected to die first. But my Mom was worried about what would happen to him if she went first. I told her I would take care of him. It's probably the least "healthy" thing for me since it basically stops my life in all directions, but I feel I promised her.

I haven't been eating. I occassionally grab a few bites here and there. I'm better than I was because during the whole hospital drama I never ate. Now I'm eating a little here and there.

I don't know why but I created a "blogspot" thing. I thought maybe I could channel some of my energy to that. I don't know if I'll ever post a blog there but I did create it just in case. I've decided that maybe I need to stop talking to certain people because they are making it worse. My best friend is almost yelling at me anytime I express some sadness. She gives me a whole lecture about how I need to take vitamins, go to church counseling, stop talking about negative things, redecorate, and so on. I think I need to only speak to people who understand what I'm going through. She wasn't close to her Mom so she can't understand. She seems to get upset if I repeat something I already said. I know she's concerned though and has been calling me all the time. I guess it's hard for some people to understand because they didn't have the same type of relationship.

I really do want to get to a place where I'm happy with life and not regretful. She wouldn't want me to break down over this. I have to let go of the regret. I guess I always grew up feeling responsible for her happiness in some ways since my parents divorced. So maybe I'm so hard on myself now because I wish I could have done more. Today I was wishing I would have taken her to this lake that I lived near. I sent her pictures and she loved it. I was kicking myself for not bringing her there sooner. It's thoughts like this that I tend to obsess over.

She wanted the best for me. I guess I have to accept that I'll have good days and bad. Today in the car I was practically wailing like a kid. But right now, I'm feeling peaceful. So I guess it will come and go. Hopefully the bad times won't get worse. I just never in a million years expected her to pass away right now. It was a shock to everyone.

I did schedule a grief counseling thing at a local church. I will speak one on one with the pastor. I know most of what he'll say already and I'm almost just going through the motions of doing it, but at least it's something. I might look into regular counseling at some point. I really don't want to waste time or money so I guess I need to research that.

I know I need to be kind to myself and make sure I take care of myself. No one else is here now to look after me. I'm all I have now. I have family who care but in reality, I'm in this alone.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jul, 2009 11:49 pm
@JPB,
Strong agreement with JPB on this.


I'll add, you are not your mother one more time.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 05:04 am
@socal2010,

I hope that u will take comfort in an observation of Deepak Chopra, M.D.
when he said that people tend to believe that we are human beings
with occasional spiritual experiences, when in fact we are spiritual beings
with occasional human experiences.

I wonder whether u 'd enjoy the works of Richard Bach
(Jonathan Livingston Seagull, et al) ? I believe that u might well
find that quick, reassuring and comforting. Good Luck



David
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 07:03 am
@socal2010,
A2K is different things for different people. I think you'll find lots of caring support here, but do keep in mind that we aren't professional therapists.

Perhaps you could tell us more about your step-dad's health situation. You say he lives in a secluded area but, depending on what his medical issues are, it's possible that there are some agencies (or local neighbors) who can provide you some type of relief from caring for all of his needs. I understand that you made a promise to your mother, and now is not the time that you want to consider breaking that promise, but getting some help in meeting his needs isn't breaking your word and it's an absolute necessity for you while you're facing your own grief.

I'm glad you're going to meet with the local pastor. Hopefully he'll be supportive and offer you some ideas. At least he may be able to recommend some members of the church caring committee or pastoral group (whatever it may be called in that church) to come by and visit with you and help tend to your step-father (even if you're there while they're doing it).

Yes, time does help. Don't worry about wailing away like a kid - give yourself permission to do just that. Wailing while driving may not be the safest time but grief has to come out and if you don't let it out via tears it will find another path.

As far as looking back at lost opportunities and living with lots of regrets goes -- that too will become less prevalent with time, so long as you allow yourself to grieve and don't get stuck. Are you aware of the stages of grief? It's a process that we each go through in our own way but it's possible to get stuck in one stage, or to push yourself too fast to "move on". Here's a link to the grief cycle that includes some good info on "sticking and cycling".

Whether you write here or on your blogspot (where you may not be looking for responses) it's a good idea to keep writing. It's cathartic to say your thoughts out loud, even when it's through the keyboard - perhaps especially through a keyboard. And, please do allow yourself to accept some help in caring for your step-father.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:26 am
@socal2010,
socal wrote :

Quote:
I did schedule a grief counseling thing at a local church. I will speak one on one with the pastor. I know most of what he'll say already and I'm almost just going through the motions of doing it, but at least it's something. I might look into regular counseling at some point. I really don't want to waste time or money so I guess I need to research that.


just a suggestion , socal :
you'll probably need someone who will - at least at first - just listen to you .
if , after listening to you thoroughly - someone makes gentle and simple suggestions to you , that might be better for you .
it really depends if you are looking for guidance but want to find your own way , or if you want someone to LEAD you .
that's one of the decisions you may want to make .
and remember , you are always free to change your own mind ... anytime !!!

as for your friend yelling at you ... is she really a FRIEND ? do you really need her ?
you'll have to decide .

hope you will feel better slowly , very slowly - or at least not go down further !
stay in touch with GOOD FRIENDS (that are not yelling at you - or do similar things of unkindness ! ) .
hbg

an afterthought : is there no GROUP OF PEOPLE you might join in grief-counselling ?
if you want , you can just listen to these people with similar experiences ... later you may feel like talking and contributing ... again , you'll have to decide what's best for YOU !
0 Replies
 
 

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