depression

Grieving

HeyJude Community Member October 28, 2008
  • Ctrygirl's recent post and my response got me thinking about the grieving process.  We all experience grief at some time in our lives.  Each of us grieves differently - there are no set rules, no handbook for grieving.

     

    My son passed almost 7 years ago - it was without question the most difficult experience in my life.  I am still trying to come to grips with it.  My life has been changed forever.

     

    As most of you know, there are five stages of grief.  A Dr. Elisabeth Kubler came up with the formula almost 40 years ago.  They are:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance.  Some of us experience all the stages, others may experience but a few.  There's no set rule when it comes to grieving.

     

    We grieve over lots of different things, not just death.  We bipolars grieve our illness as well - and until we get to acceptance, out lives can remain in turmoil.  Some of us stay in denial (I did for a long time).  Others get to anger and cannot get beyond it (I had trouble expressing anger).  It's taken me 7 years, but acceptance has finally come for me.

     

    Bipolars are extremely vulnerable when they must face grief.  In my case, my grieving and my illness went on a collision course.  That's probably why it took me so long to accept my loss.  I went thru some very tough times with my illness and my grief.

     

    Enough for now - just wanted to share some of my grieving experience.  Part of my healing, I've learned, is sharing a bit of it with others.  Thank you.

     

    Judy

     

     

     

     

     

     

7 Comments
  • su1
    su1
    Oct. 30, 2008

    Before I met my wonderful husband, I was engaged to a guy who had major anger and alcohol issues.  He probably had a mental illness, though nothing was diagnosed.  Anyways, after enough abuse, I left him.  Met my husband 6 months later (it will be 10 yrs together, on Nov 3). 

     

    A relative of my ex-fiancee called me on my birthday...

    RHMLucky777

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    Before I met my wonderful husband, I was engaged to a guy who had major anger and alcohol issues.  He probably had a mental illness, though nothing was diagnosed.  Anyways, after enough abuse, I left him.  Met my husband 6 months later (it will be 10 yrs together, on Nov 3). 

     

    A relative of my ex-fiancee called me on my birthday a year after our break-up, to inform me that Terry had committed suicide 9 months after our break-up.  It was the most devastating thing I've ever gone through.  I went through all the stages, but also guilt that I should've done more & maybe I could've prevented it, and maybe I'm at least partial to blame (after all, he apparently mentioned me as his 'best friend' in his suicide note).... Anger was not just towards Terry, but also amongst me and his family and friends, mixed with guilt and wanting to support each other through it.  It was a messy process for years, but through therapy (EMDR therapy worked best for me), I have gotten through it.

     

    For a person with BD, the experience made me realize just how painful a suicide can be on family & friends.  At the same time, when I'm depressed enough, suicide sometimes seems to be all the more a viable option.  Weird how that works...

    • HeyJude
      Oct. 30, 2008

      Thanks Sharon, for sharing with us this devastating chapter of your life.  We get thru things, and that's all I know.

       

      Judy

    • su1
      su1
      Oct. 30, 2008

      I meant to say, too, Judy I am so sorry for the loss of your son. 

    • HeyJude
      Oct. 30, 2008

      Sharon...I appreciate your thoughts and words.  Thanks

  • ctrygirl
    Oct. 28, 2008

    Dearest Judy,

    I so agree with you on how difficult it is for all, and also that it is very very hard for bps dealing with the grieving process.....

    my bp and the grieving also came clashing against each other, washing over me like a tsunami, and basically devastating every single part of my being. 

      I can NOT imagine the deep sorrow that encompassed...

    RHMLucky777

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    Dearest Judy,

    I so agree with you on how difficult it is for all, and also that it is very very hard for bps dealing with the grieving process.....

    my bp and the grieving also came clashing against each other, washing over me like a tsunami, and basically devastating every single part of my being. 

      I can NOT imagine the deep sorrow that encompassed you for all those years honey.  I constantly have to remind myself that my precious daddy is in heaven looking down and with me at all times, I literally have had hallucinations of him in my home, I've lost over 55 lbs during this time frame (2 years now) and literally lost complete control of all my coping skills whatsoever for quite a long time.

    Luckily i have a wonderful therapist who helped me through it ....at first i tried a grief counseling group and it literally made me WORSE>...so i went with just my therapists and went through a lot of learning coping skills to learn how to just get day to day

    ...as i have mentioned the arts, nature, and support from my husband and such empathy for my mother has brought me to the point of being able to know he is and always will be wth me in a sense,

    yet i still talk to him and visit his graveside very very often....I am not sure that time heals anything at this point in my life, but i know that acceptance is quite different than healing per say.....my comfort lies in the belief that he is in a MUCH better place than we here on earth....

    I so want to find the words to comfort you, to reach out and give you hug, a shoulder to lean on, a friend to express your sorrows with, and a hand to hold through the journey of each day

    .....please know that my prayers are with you and I believe you are an amazing person to be able to express your grief and you are right, writing about it, discussing it DOES help us

    ...and you are also right on the mark that it DOES affect those of us with bp in a whole other way than others without the illness for we are so sensitive to so many things, so empathetic, so compassionate, and yet we find it so hard to overcome some of the hurdles that are placed in our paths of life....when we just can't make sense of it all, it tends to whirl and swirl within our minds, hearts and souls, and yet we know, we know the higher power knows our pain, our sorrow, our grief and NEED for comfort.....

    I so wish i could pop through the computer and let you know how much you have touched my heart with your words and posts.....

    I want you also to know that i never meant to open ANY wounds my dear friend, I only wanted to post a coping skill that we could all incorporate into our dealing with this illness....please know if my post caused you any grief i apologize SO MUCH<


    and yes Kubler with the step and stages of grief often aren't followed in the outline she portrayed, some of us skip through one stage or another, and some of us never enter but one stage for long periods of time, yet we go on.....I personally have not entered the anger stage yet,

    the denial OH YEAH  i still look for his camper to come home from some long hunting trip, actually i think i am still in the stage of denial and deep grief, it has literally affected all areas of my life, as i am SURE yours did too....

    know this my friend, I CARE about you , I will be praying for you and I AM a shoulder on which you can lean when you need, if you like through personal email on my homepage.....anytime, anytime my dear.....venting is definetly a coping skill for me too and sometimes we just need to GET IT OUT so know i'm there for you anytime you feel the need to do so honey.

    Your friend, and with amazing admiration for you for being able to be so open and share with us, you're obviously an amazing person

    I send my love!
    love ctrygirl

    • HeyJude
      Oct. 28, 2008

      Ctrygirl...thank you for your kind and poignant remarks.  Please don't feel in any way that you got me started on the subject of grief or that it may be painful for me.  I think about my son every day and it's good to be able to share some of my thoughts on this forum.

       

      Jim was a shining light in my life.  I raised four kids - he always...

      RHMLucky777

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      Ctrygirl...thank you for your kind and poignant remarks.  Please don't feel in any way that you got me started on the subject of grief or that it may be painful for me.  I think about my son every day and it's good to be able to share some of my thoughts on this forum.

       

      Jim was a shining light in my life.  I raised four kids - he always stood up for and defended mom when family arguments ensued or when the other three were fighting about something.  He was only 4 when he started doing this.  He was wise beyond his years at an early age.  His compassion and understanding were incredible.  He always put people at ease and could size people up quickly.  He had many gifts.  He was a special son and a special human being.  

       

      Like you, his love of woods and water were insatiable.  He considered our upper peninsula and all its grandeur his home.  I know you understand why my connection with nature is so important.  My son is with me there more than anywhere else.

       

      I probably should be writing this in a private message - somehow it just came out in response to your post.  But I'll post it anyway. 

       

      Judy   

    • ctrygirl
      Oct. 28, 2008

      It is so relieving to me to know i didn't bring forth any problems honey.  I can see so much how close you feel to him when out in nature, my dad was the same,,,,,always outside and i always his shadow.

      It sounds like this young man was beyond his years and such a comfort to you honey, Know that i am praying for you and that i so appreciate you bringing...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      It is so relieving to me to know i didn't bring forth any problems honey.  I can see so much how close you feel to him when out in nature, my dad was the same,,,,,always outside and i always his shadow.

      It sounds like this young man was beyond his years and such a comfort to you honey, Know that i am praying for you and that i so appreciate you bringing up this topic for so many think "get over it" and don't realize unless they too have been there, and they don't understand the bp view of it all either as we all know....

      I am glad you wrote me, I am glad you shared some details on your precious one honey....if you ever need to do so more....I'm always always there.....know that....and please take care.....with the cold weather moving in bundle up and NEVER quit meandering through nature which eases your soul, spirit and mind.....I'll be doing the same dear, doing the same....

      with love

      ctrygirl