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Having difficulty coping 9 months later

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Some days I'm 'OK'. I get out of bed when the alarm goes off, I jump in the shower & dress, let the dog out, eat breakfast and begin work (I work from home some days and our shop the others). I've even been able to do yard work lately and continue working on some house projects we'd started. The last couple of weeks were actually pretty productive for me; I even started exercising and socializing a bit with friends. But then...weeks like this one, days like today...I feel emotionally paralyzed. I sit and stare at my computer screen, watch a tv episode online or read the same news stories over and over. I hear the clock tick and it means nothing. Why do I care so little about my life when I have a great family and supportive group of friends?


I'm on two different anti-depressants and seeing a therapist weekly. I know they've been helping because I couldn't have done a fraction of what I did last week without them. Every day I go through the motions. Everyone thinks I'm 'doing OK' because I 'show up' for my day, when in actuality I walk around with such a heavy weight of sadness consuming me. Today is no exception. I am so incredibly sad--depressed would be too strong a word. I don't really have feelings of despair...just sadness...an overall sadness. I'm so emotionally exhausted by this.


I don't read often and rarely write in my journal. I thought I was ready to begin moving some of his things so I don't have to look at them every day, but it seems I keep avoiding it. I haven't even begun to send thank you notes to the hundreds of people that sent sympathy cards/letters. I think I'm avoiding that so it doesn't have to seem so real/permanent. My mind escapes constantly, although there are pictures of him/us all around the house and I'm very aware of them I rarely stop to really look. I think I'm afraid to. I think if I just keep going along with my daily routines or keep watching one online movie/show after another that I'll be ok.


I don't feel like 'everything will be alright'--I used to be able to convince myself that I could make it through tough times because there was light at the end of the tunnel. He was my safety, he was my security, he was supposed to take care of me and make me feel good when I was down--he did all those things and now I have nothing that gives me those feelings. I feel so exposed, so vulnerable and so unprotected yet apathetic at the same time.


I still have the business to run and yet I just don't care about it anymore. I really want to close up shop and cease operations, but everyone I've talked to tells me I shouldn't make any major decisions in the first year. I'm trying to live by that rule, but most days I don't want to open the doors for business. I want to simplify my life thinking that it would give me enough focus to succeed at 1 or 2 things instead of failing at everything. Thanks for letting me vent.

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There is a reason why most cultures have a year of mourning for a lost loved one. It just does take time and you can't go around it, but through the grief and out the other side.


But you have to recognize that once that year is over, you need to make plans to start living your life again rather than continuing stuck in the past. You need to really start applying discipline to yourself, and the knowledge that he wouldn't want you to live this way forever, and would want you to live your life fully.


Start with the exercise of writing down 100 things you always wanted to do with your life, and allow yourself 3 more months of grieving before you start doing them. Make it a goal to write those things down, even if they were things you wanted to do together, and if you planned to do them with him, then make plans to meet people and find people who will do them with you.


And make a promise to yourself that you will start doing those things, one by one. Start with the easier things to do, and do them first.


I think once you actually start living your life again, making a commitment to love yourself as much as he loved you, and accomplish things that will give your purpose and joy, you will be able to climb out of this hole.


So don't look at these 100 things as some you must pass or fail, but something you do for the enjoyment and to experience them. At first it may feel like you are going thru the motions, but once you start doing the fun things, you will feel more present in the activity and it will lift your spirits.


The best way i can say this is that you need to dedicate your life to his memory, living the rest of your as he would have liked you to live it, rather than living the rest of your life as death, or as if you were already dead. He would want you to carry on and enjoy life, and you should.

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Do you have children with this man? Are dead broke on the verge of filing bankrupt? Do you have food to eat and a home to live in? Things could be much worse.

Please believe that life does go on and even if those things have not happened guess what-life still goes on. Learn to love yourself and stop worrying about what was. Deal with what is happening now. You have to think positive and want to be happy in order to achieve that. Trust me I know how it feels and it doesn't end over night. Stop depending so much on those meds to get you going. Some people NEED it in order to sustain day to day activities. God has allowed you to live so trust in him and know that this is not the end of your world. There are many other people just like you. Talk to someone other than your therapist. Relate with others and put yourself in the public eye.

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I could have written this myself. I know exactly how you're feeling, particularly the bit where everyone thinks everything is hunky dory because you're there, you've showed up for the day. I'd love to be able to give you some magic words of wisdom to help you but I can't because I don't think there are any in this situation. People can say.....give it time, move on, focus on this, focus on that......but when you're paralysed, crippled, crumpled in a heap on the floor it's impossible to do anything. And it's not even like a depression in the normal sense.....it's different. So, I'm sorry you're feeling like this and sorry that I have nothing helpful to offer you but just know that you aren't alone in feeling how you do. Someone, somewhere really understands what you're saying.

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Thanks for all your support and advice. There's something to be said for 'hearing' others say that they are or have gone through these same feelings. We did not have kids together and I think that is a blessing and a curse--a blessing that I had no one but myself to fend for the last 9 months and a curse because he wanted children so badly and it seems that those of you with kids have been able to keep going because of them. I know that doesn't make it any easier and you have the children's feelings/emotions to deal with in addition to yours...but there is that unconditional love similar to what he gave me.


I appreciate all the advice, but honestly I don't think I could write 5 things that I'd like to do before I die let alone 100. I am second guessing all those free-spirited things I used to want to do--what good are they if you can't share them with the one you love?


I have a big event this Saturday related to our business--I expect 100-150 people will most likely attend--many of whom I have not seen since the memorial service or even since before the accident. I am dreading it! I expect I may have a rough couple of days afterward and that's part of my apprehension--whenever I've had to be 'ON' for a couple of hours at a time these last several months I seem to take a few steps backwards. This is the first time I'll be pulling off one of these events without him by my side and he always covered my back. I have been the 'face' of the business and he was always there to catch the pieces I'd let slip/forgot about. His absense will be so evident the entire day/evening and I just don't think I'll be able to handle more than a few people asking the same, typical questions..."so what are your long term plans?", "how are you coping?". I guess we'll see.

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