Grief: My 'bad' coping mechanism experience
2 years ago, my sister suddenly was effected by an idiopathic lung problem. She ended up working with the University of Washington – possible heart/lung transplant. She fought very hard and tried to continue an independent life. ( I’m states away). She was also diabetic. She was trying real hard to better herself.
Last Christmas, I did not hear from her. ( Her and I are our only blood family). Finally got a hold of her. She said she slept 4 days – thru Christmas. Ok, she did sleep a lot due to being weak from the lung issue. I am use to her sleeping a lot. We had a good talk, she sounded good and said she was going to get up and get some food. Days past. The pause on her phone to get to the answering machine got longer. I had a gut feeling. BUT I was really trying to give her support for being independent. Time passed and no response from FB, phone or messages. Gut feeling. BUT, IF I called in a wellness check and she was just sleeping, she would have killed me if her door had been broken down and she was asleep in the chair. Maybe she was feeling good and went to the casino and was tired after that and was resting…? Well, Jan 9th, I called in a wellness check. They found her dead in bed.
Have no idea how long she was there. No autopsy but I put things together and figured, since she was sleeping so much, she wasn’t eating or taking insulin.. she went into a diabetic coma.
So, I had to fly out to Seattle and ‘take care’ of things. I held it together during the day, but the nights… I went thru 2 bottles of Jack and took 2 mg of Klonopoin at night.. the nights were mine.
Fast forward to May 24th. Her funeral at the national cemetery – clear across the state. Lots of turn out from people all over the country. I held it together well.
the next day when we left for home, the interstate goes right by the cemetery. I looked up at it and just wanted to scream. I have been low before, had my share of hospital stays from mental breaks and lows. But NOTHING like this. Something was over me. I couldn’t figure out how my heart was still beating and I felt so bad. It was like something came and took my soul. I was pretty messed up when my sister died.. but NOTHING like this.. very unfamiliar with it. They say there is no pain like the pain of a mother losing her child – I have SEEN this pain with a good friend when she lost her daughter – seen her body laying on the bed when I’d check in on her.. but there was a bad ‘ thing’ surrounding her. She was not there. I think this is what I was feeling.
My step dad was in the back seat. ( I had a friend drive out with me so I wasn’t driving). I could NOT let him see me break so as not to upset him. I Bawled silently all the way home.. across the state. Getting out of the car at gas stations and rest stop and letting it out a bit – but not so much as for someone to call the police.
Got home, I asked IF I could stop at the liquor store,, NO! fine,(now, I didn’t want to kill myself.. just needed NOT to feel this thing. I am trying to be sober.. so ok.. I bawled HARD for almost 2 hours. Until my body just couldn’t do it any longer. SO, my next coping mech. is cutting. I had an over hour fight with a razor… I won.. I actually got up and put it away. So, what to do???? I had my meds on the shelf. I have NEVER abused my meds. But,, I needed that ‘thing’ to go away. so… (somehow I came up with a stupid calculation of mg. that wouldn’t kill me.) and I took 6-7 mg of Klonopin with a handful of meletonin just to kick it in. I did this for 4 days. Day 5 ,(wed) somehow I took myself to the ER. I don’t remember ANYTHING ( well, 2 small things) of those 5 days. I even traveled an hour and a half to the town where my ‘phsyc’ team is and had an emergency chat with one of them.
I found out today about that day, she tried to get me to go to the hospital.. I didn’t. I went and got 2 tattoos ( needed to feel some physical pain). I fell asleep for both.
One of those days of the week, I even went to my phsyc Dr and explained the ER trip. …??? I drove 2 times out of town, I have NO remembrance of this….
I”m just like WOW.. I went to the ER in some state and never saw a Dr ( this was ONE of the things I remember as I was waiting to see who my dr was going to be – didn’t want it to be a certain one- and I remember trying to focus on the name tag of the girl who gave me the IV.. she was not a Dr.
I scared myself. I don’t know how I feel about that whole episode. I actually didn’t think about it till last week,, realized I blacked out several days….just WOW.. looking back.. how could the ER and the therapy clinic let me go.. I must have been very high functioning… ???
Just had to share..
and when I do see my primary again, I am going to ask her to read me the ER note from that day.. …
This THING that had me, didn’t want me to die, it wanted me to suffer.. it took me to the gates of Hell.
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just checking in with everybody… still dealing with physical pain and my emotional pain comes and goes.. I can usually get it stuffed back in before I react too bad… Trying to get into a grief coping group, but that would mean I'd have to travel 2 hours 2 x a week as I"m already in another group for DBT. Not sure I can do it.. but I think I need it.. Other deaths are popping up now that I thought I had dealt with i the past with EMDR. Still have not mourned my mother. But,, I have been behaving..ha…. thanks..t
Thanks for checking in with us again. I agree that a grief support group would be very helpful to you. I'm sorry to hear that you have not been able to find one close to you. In the meantime, use Connect's online community and write about your feelings. We will be your listening ears and eyes as you share. Have you tried to write also?
Sometimes a journal can be difficult but I've often suggested a box (with a lid). Take some index cards or other small notepaper and write a note each day to someone you have lost, just telling them that you miss them or how you wish you could tell them you love them, etc. and then drop the note in the box and put the lid on it until the next time.
Will you give it try?
@mcmurf2 So glad you checked back in! Getting out of our own way is often difficult, but the results can be so worth it. Some people can be satisfied with writing or with computer interface, some people need the energy of face to face. And often it's just a mix of what works for you. I really like the idea @hopeful33250 put out about the cards. If you do that make sure you date them and even a little bit more like where you were when you wrote the card or your mood. We hope that you will keep checking back with us and let us know how you are doing. Remember that each day is a new beginning in recovery from anyting, be it grief or substance abuse or dealing with physical issues. We care here at Mayo Connect.
I will try and journal a bit. I did decide today not to do the grief group. It starts tomorrow and my elderly dad wants to go to the Corn Palace. ha. He needs to get out and I can't say no. And, the next week I have to go out of state. so I would miss the first 2 groups. They said there will be another one. But yes,, I DO feel I need it. I need something. I keep shoving things back in and it pops back out when I don't want it to. My physical health,, i'm thinking,,,, is having a lot to do with me stuffing… I"ve lost 43 lbs since last fall.. ( not trying). sick all the time,, but lots of stuff going on with thyroid too.. sooooooooooooo.. just waiting it out………
@mcmurf2 That's great you are taking your dad out, but Don't forget to take care of yourself, too! Journaling can take many forms. Grab a piece of paper and write a letter to yourself. Or sit down and write what comes to mind, not worrying about grammar, spelling, punctuation, or topic. No need to read what you write unless you want to. One practice I tried once was to ask myself a question, then use my other hand and write the answer! As far as your weight loss, have you had a Dr check out the cause for that? We care, here at Mayo Connect.
ha.. writing with my left hand could be fun!! I"ll try. and yes.. I have a primary dr appt next week. I"m all for the wt loss.. ha.. but now starting to worry. I went from 221 to now 178. Food just doesn't like me anymore.. I like fruit,, but ya all know how that goes thru the body..ha Nothing sounds good. I force myself to eat. then,, usually don't feel real good. heck.. Mexican food doesn't even sound good.. I try to force protein in me at times. Usually,, I LOVE MY FOOD!!! But with my neck problem, I have not even been physically active in months.Which,, puts up another red flag… I"m not working the wt off….
@mcmurf2 Try some Ensure or Boost to get some protein in to your system. There are several good flavors!Do a self-talk that unless you have good food in your system it may be difficult to go thru this tough process you face. You deserve good food, and should have it! Writing with my left hand is easy since I'm left-handed, so I hear you about non-dominant writing. Please let us know what the Dr says, okay? We care.
have a dr appt with primary this week,, and my nero this week as well.. endo in 2 weeks…
@mcmurf2 Please take care of yourself. Make those memories with your dad. And Don't forget we care for you and your health here at Mayo Connect. Come back and let us know how the Dr. Appointments go, please. Will you do that?
wow,, so um,, I have AGAIN… lost a close person in my life. A Very good friend and (well,, he was family ,,we loved him that much), shot himself 2 days ago. I spent all day yesterday in bed. I lost my sobriety that night. I DID walk away from a razor. Held it to my stomach and pushed in ,, and put it back. ( small pat on the back). I do understand why he did it. And I respect and support it.,,but,, it still hurts. I'm still in shock. When the Sheriff came out to the house, I was only 20 mins home from work ( in which I had a LONG 1.5 hour talk with my boss about my last 8 months of pain). And, the night before, I had relived all thru my sister's death… again till 5 AM. So, I was already near the rabbit hole. I just don't know how much more I can take.