Support networks of any kind are what can get you through anything, but what happens when the networks that you have you can't talk to about the things that you really want to? How many times can you burst into tears for no reason and exepct your husband to be able to console you? Its not that you don't want to talk to them but its that you respect that they are also going through a greiveing process and you feel if you open up to them you will overwhelm them too....especially when the person who you would normally go to for advice was the person who has passed... This was how I felt, everyday for nearly a year, it was debilitating and depressing and it was overwheming. When my dad passed away, as expected I was feeling an array of emotions; sadness, loss, grief, anger (at others) etc etc But what I did realise is that everyone in my "network" who I would go to next, now that dad was gone, were also feeling the same. I felt that if i was to go to them and "offload" my feelings then I would potentially compund theirs and this was something that I was not comforatable with. For me it became difficult to sleep, at times I must admit I would self medicate with alcohol and I was dis-engaged with my husband and nothing mattered-including my appearance etc. For most of the part I was unaware of how I was presenting but it was becoming a problem that I knew I needed support with, pprofessional support that I needed to take charge of. Thats when i started looking up about Grief & Loss Councelling and when I could go for this. I made the steps to seek support through the Australian Centre for Grief and Berevement. Not knowing if this was for me I knew that I needed something....I didn't want to try normal conselling services as I wasn't sure that they were going to understand. My first session was an hour long for which I think I bawled my eyes out and somewhere between the sobbing started the story with my counsellor. When I left I felt empty but wanted to try this again and had another session booked for a week later, with the second session being very teary again but maybe only half the session....and on it went until about the 8th session I realised that at the end I had not cried once and commented on this to the consellor who laughed with me and reflected on where I had got to. I was and am still amazed a the differnce that time with a professional made for me and how I have got through. My husband still comments over 18 months later on how I am back to the person that he first met. This made me realise that sometimes we don't always try and seek other supports but for me this time it made a difference. I felt good about taking control and using the tips that we spoke about in these sessions to also go back and support my "support network" as they needed it too. Whilst this is not for everyone and you may not realise that you need it its something that can help.
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Reading your story felt so familiar. When my Mother in Law died my husband fell into a deep depression. Later he explained that he didnt want to compound everyone else's grief or make a fuss. Our marriage fell apart and we separated. After three months we decided to try again and he went to see a councellor. The change in him was amazing. He said he felt like he could offload and say all the things he needed to say in a safe environment. Now my own Mum is battling cancer. Reading your story made me feel more determined to seek professional help and not let things get on top of me. Thankyou x
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I think this is a really important point, especially if the person you're caring for is your main support person (spouse, etc.) When my husband was going through chemo, I felt I couldn't confide in him as much as I normally would have, because what he was dealing with was so much worse. He comforted me as much as I would let him, but my main focus was helping him deal with chemo, and facing his own mortality. So who helped me deal with watching the suffering, and potentially the death, of the love of my life? This deficit became apparent when he was in remission, and I finally fell in a heap. It was finally time to deal with my emotions, but I didn't want to drown my recovering husband with my belated grief, anxiety and trauma (especially when he was central to the trigger!). Counselling has really helped me to deal with this, and embrace the good stage of life we're currently in.
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Super Contributor
It's great that you found the right support for yourself . It's good that your husband has the girl he married . Taking the first step to get help can be difficult but well worth a happy result .
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