What is going on?

by Gill
(South Africa)

Where do I begin? I'm writing this in some kind of attempt to figure out a way forward, to figure out what is going on with me.I feel lost, frightened, confused, crazy, guilty, lacking in confidence and just plain exhausted. Every day I wake up and wish I could just sleep or veg in front of the TV. I don't want to 'do' things that I know I should want to do - like eat healthy food, get some exercise, get excited about life. I don't want to go out of the house. It's too much effort to do the grocery shopping, to visit a friend, to walk in the garden.

I sleep but the dreams are terrible - violent, frightening, sometimes waking me with heart palpitations and rocketing blood pressure. I feel 'flat', lethargic. My mind jumps around from one thing to another. I can't focus, can't remember, can't feel. I keep thinking I'm coming down with flu. My body and my head ache. I feel as if I'm doped up on drugs (though I'm not) - sort of all fuzzy and slow and detached. I don't know what to do - where to go for help. Is this grief? Is this what it feels like?

I lost my beloved sister-in-law on Nov 29th last year to breast cancer. She was doing so well in September and we went away on holiday for 2 weeks, returning on 3rd October. A week passed and we had just settled back into our daily routine when the news came - 2 tumours in the brain. She had radiation - 10 days - and then went slowly downhill. By November she was in a hospice and died just after midnight on the 29th. There was shock - which lasted a couple of months - it all felt so unreal - I kept thinking I would bump into her in the Mall. Then angry thoughts - mostly related to feeling out of control in terms of her funeral (we had hardly any input and were told we had to be light-hearted, remember the good things and not grieve because that is what she wanted). I felt tense, sad, angry, overwhelmed, guilty. I cried - a lot! Then I would feel ok and then I would cry again - and again - and again.

Six months have now passed and my husband and the rest of the family seem to be getting on with life and coping better each day, but I just feel terrible! And I don't know if what I am feeling is grief. Shouldn't I be coping better by now? Is this grief or is there maybe something physically wrong with me? How do I get help? Do I go to my GP, my physician, a counsellor?

I hope writing it out will help me make a decision and take a step forward.

Comments for What is going on?

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Jun 05, 2011
I wish I knew too...
by: Anonymous

Gil,

After a year and a half of grief I am trying to take my life back. One of the debilitating problems for me is memory. I just had a attention test have atention deficit but my memory can not hold much information. I asked if this could be grief, memopause, stress and the answer was YES. I am not trying to work to bring my mind back but it is early for you. I did feel in a fog for so long, as if I had forgotton to eat or had not slept. Along with trying to get our life in some sort of order that we can live with the memory problems made it completely exasperating to function. Others may have a solution I can only tell you what I have gone through myself. Self confidence can also have alot to do with it as well. They claimed that I was clinically depressed which I do not completely agree on. I do know that I put myself down alot and that has to do with memory retention, the more that you delittle yourself the more you mess up tasks and so on. I shall remain anonymous as this is very embaressing for me. I hope that others will have answers for you or admit they have had some of the same sympoms so that you do not feel so alone. Yes I have had problems adjusting and grief tends to take up you entire thinking process. Best of luck as you navigate you way through grief. It is a rough road that we all have traveled or are traveling it now...

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