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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and then I just read the tragedy that was just posted above.. CRAP!!!! I feel so bad for that family…….
@mcmurf2 I am so sorry to know that you have experienced yet another loss and this from suicide. You have my sympathies!
I would encourage you to read some of the other posts of Connect Members who have experienced loss through suicide. Here is the link to those posts, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/suicide-1/?commentsorderby=DESC#chv4-comment-stream-header
Here is some information from the Survivors of Suicide website, https://elunanetwork.org/resources/survivors-of-suicide-sos-group-finder/, that I thought might be helpful to you.
Could you share a little about your friend? Often just writing about a person you have lost is good therapy. Connect is here to listen and care.
@mcmurph2. Hello. My daughter lost her closest friend to suicide 7 months ago. Her friend was 31 yrs old. I see the grief, guilt and hell my daughter is experiencing; so yours is quite tangible to me. I am going to guide my daughter to one of the Suicide Survivors support groups that Teresa mentioned. I know you are having a tough time and my heart goes out to you. You have had two recent major losses; that is enough to turn anybody upside down. They say grief is work. It takes time to work through the grief. Give yourself that time. It is ok and normal to feel horrible when these kinds of things happen. The more you try to hide from these feelings with substance abuse, the longer it will take for you to work through the steps of grief. I have faith that you will get there. Hugs.
In looking through your previous posts, I see that you have had a lot of doctors' appointments over the past couple of weeks. I hope those appointments have gone well.
How are you feeling?
I thank you for asking. The thyroid issue for the hyperness has gone down a little bit. I still have the hot flashes but the shaking has pretty much stopped. At least the hard shaking. My right rotator cuff is torn my left one is severely inflamed however my left one is more painful than my right. Not sure if I'm going to have a surgery or what I'm going to do. My neck issue was gotten better with a second epidural. But still gives me a lot of issues. I don't want to surgery for that. So I guess I'll have to just live with it. I have a ultrasound for a growth on my uterus on Tuesday. So yeah more crap just keeps getting added to my health plate. Seems like I've forgotten something in there but you know you can't keep up when you see every specialist there is haha
Hi my friend that shot himself did have a lot of health issues he had a lot of his colon removed from cancer. He also was very good actually at controlling his diabetes but he still has a lot of issues with it. I'm pretty sure he got a bad doctors call last week and decided he wasn't going to go through chemo or anything like that. He's never wanted to be a burden on people and he never wanted to be cared for in his health. He was a brilliant man. An engineer. He worked in our Big Barn in our workshop and built a live steam train engine and tender box from blueprints. Took a many many years. But it is finished now. It is for riding on the smaller tracks you sit on the train and you go for a ride on the tracks I can't remember what the gauge is called. But we have 1100 feet of track that goes through our tree belt and we will put that on the track sometime in the future and run it. He and I would sit out in the sky chairs in the summer and talk for hours. He like to talk about himself which is fine because he had a very interesting life in the Navy and his childhood. Also a lot of sadness in this life but he was a wonderful man to talk to and I loved it when he laughed.
@mcmurf2 I so appreciate your sharing your friend with us. He does sound like an exceptional person and I'm sure he is sorely missed by you and others in his life.
It is very hard for some people to deal with the prospect of facing a painful and/or terminal illness. Perhaps this did affect his decision to end his life, but we can't say for sure. We just don't know what was going on in his mind at that time.
If you would like to continue to share about him, that would be great! Also, feel free to write notes to him (and others that you have lost).
In the notes, you can write that you miss them, write about the good times you shared, etc. As you write, date the notes and keep them in a shoebox or other container. They will always be a part of your life and this a good way to memorialize their presence.
It is good to know that you are keeping on top of your health issues with regular follow up appointments. Keep taking good care of yourself. Do you have a healthy diet and some plan for exercise?
Will you keep posting?
Alliance of hope for survivors of suicide loss. That's the online support group that helped me.
thank you Georgette
woweeee. no words ever can be said. it is your journey and you must know there are many who support you as you go through your path… I lost my husband of 48 years Nov. 15, 2016! Almost 3 years ago. Everyone says, 'Move On'. I am STUCK!!!!!! But asa a couple, each knows one will loose the other. Your story is so 'just yours'… safe journey. highlight everywhere you can with light!