Finding Myself

Over the last six months, my outlook on life has improved a lot. I no longer feel like murdering people for no reason, so that’s a definite step in the right direction. I’m sleeping reasonably well, which does wonders for a person’s mental state. I don’t burst into tears at the drop of a hat. Yes, tears well in my eyes, but I no longer sob like I once did.

This all means that I’m moving along the road of grief and I’m doing well.

However, the last two months has seen me feeling exhausted. Even with plenty of sleep, I feel tired all day. Some days, which is becoming more regular, I can hardly drag myself out of bed, let alone get through the day.

Today, I decided to go to the doctor. My usual doctor is cutting back his hours and his surgery is no longer open before or after work, or at lunchtime. And he hasn’t opened on a Saturday for a couple of years. I find that if I leave work early, his surgery is shut too, even though it’s supposed to be open. So…I went to another doctor.

This doctor knows nothing about me so she asked a lot of questions. I knew it was inevitable that I’d have to mention Barry, but I thought that after almost 18 months I’d be fine with that.

I wasn’t.

As soon as I had to say his name, the tears came. I felt like a blubbering idiot, but she was understanding and waited patiently for me to continue. I told her everything that had happened in the last 18 months – the suicide, the attempted suicide, the loss of will to live, the sleepless nights, the anger, the pain, my memory problems and my lack of focus (which continues to plague me). She typed it all into my file and then gave me a physical. I’m to have a range of blood tests done to find out if there’s a medical reason for my exhaustion.

Later, I sat at home and realised there was a lot I didn’t tell her too. I’m not the same person I was before I lost Barry. I know I’ll never be that person again. I’ve become less tolerant of people and their ways. I get annoyed quite easily and find myself thinking how stupid people are for wasting their lives wanting worthless things. I get angry when people tell me the most important thing in this world is money. I want to tell them, convince them, that happiness is the most important thing. Money is nothing without happiness.

The biggest change in me, is that I don’t like being around people anymore. I never was a social butterfly, but I always tolerated functions and outings and made the best of them. These days, I don’t want to be around other people. I no longer hate people, or the world, for what happened to Barry, but I feel safer and more content when I’m just with the small group of people I call my family (and some of them are friends). I’ve become a loner.

One incident in a person’s life can change a person…for good or bad. Barry’s death certainly had a lasting affect on many people, including me. Finding myself has been more difficult than you can imagine.


6 thoughts on “Finding Myself

  1. Less than six months ago I was diagnosed with PTSD – six years after the suicide of my partner.

    I’m terribly sorry for your loss. The pain of dealing death of a loved one is traumatic. The pain of dealing with the death of a loved one due to suicide is incomprehensible. Just when you think you can speak their name, or recall happy moments without the tears, everything crashes back down around you again.

    I wish I could offer you some helpful advice, but I can’t. I haven’t found any myself. The best I can do is offer you my understanding and wish the best for you in future.

    In reference to your post ‘I saw him today’, perhaps it was a moment of grace. I don’t know if you’re a spiritual person or not, though I firmly believe our lost loved ones do try and communicate with us. Maybe it was Barry’s way of being there for you through all of this.

  2. I, like you, was never a huge social butterfly, but also now don’t see many people. I think the reason for this (in my case) is that I cannot spend time with people who have not sufficiently acknowledged my losses and pain and sorrow over the last year or so. I feel that with those people I cannot be myself and that there is a taboo subject I cannot talk about. Therefore I just don’t see those people anymore because I.really.don’, and unfortunately in my experience it represents the majority of people.

    With the people that have shared the pain and feel free to talk about the sorrow, I don’t need to constantly talk about it. I can laugh with them, as I know that they know the pain hasn’t gone away just because I’m laughing. I don’t feel any pressure to hide the laughs in case they think I’m “over it” and in case they heave a huge sigh of relief which I would interpret as “thank goodness she’s okay now and I don’t have to face the pain and sorrow with her, phew”

    Sorry, I’m not sure if that makes sense. An additional point is the huge loss of self-confidence that such a severe trauma such as Barry’s suicide brings. For me that’s part of it too.

    I’m glad you day to day outlook has improved. I’m not surprised that talking to your doctor brought the tears pouring out. I still see my psychiatrist regularly and every time two minutes before the appointment I am sitting in the waiting room thinking “I have nothing to talk about for 1 hour.” And every time something comes out, inevitably accompanied by tears and grief of varying intensities and the hour rushes by.

  3. I found your blog off of Zathyn’s web site.

    I’m very sorry for your loss. I want you to know something….

    Tonight I am severely depressed. I have thought of just ending the pain. Sometimes I feel I can’t take any more.

    Reading this one post helped me. I can’t do it no matter how much I yearn for the end. I don’t want to hurt my family like you are hurting.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I really am.

    Thank you for your post. It helped me tonight.

  4. Julie

    Karen, It is so true what you write. This was brought home to me over three years ago when i lost my son to suicide – health and happiness are most important thing. Another current reminder of this is watching a close relative succumb to cancer – does it take situations such as these to make people realise that life is very precious and material things are not the most important thing in this world. I dont think it does until you have experienced the loss of one so precious. You are in my thoughts, Julie

  5. Julie

    Karen, I have also found i distance myself from people who try to give me advice on how to handle my grief – I feel like saying “walk my shoes” before you try to know how i really feel. If someone does not have empathy then i just dont want to be around them. Take care, Julie

  6. Thank you all for your comments and best wishes.

    Zathyn, I’m sorry you lost someone to suicide too. I agree that, for the people left behind, death by suicide in the hardest to bear. I think unexplained murder would fall into this category too. Because with both there are so many questions left unanswered.

    Rosepetal, our stories are so different yet so similar. I often read your words and feel touched by them, as if you wrote them on my behalf. {{{hugs}}}

    Catherine, thank you for staying. If my words helped you, then I feel I’m finally doing something right.

    Julie, I hear what you’re saying. People say stupid things and I find myself thinking, “how would you know?” They can’t know unless they’ve experienced it…and they haven’t.

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