Back to heartsupport

On the verge of collapse

I don’t know where to start. November 5, 2017 my father was ripped from me by a pulmonary embolism. He was 62. I watched my family fall apart and there was nothing I could do to stop the tsunami of pain that was coming. Shortly after my grandmother (my father’s mother) was so overcome with grief she passed away just a few months afterwards.

Then in 2019 on April 6th. My mother, who took to drinking heavily after my father passed, succumbed to it and died of liver failure. I failed her

A year later and I’m still broken. I’ve tried professional help. Counselors want to treat me with CBT, and I can’t stand it. CBT does not work for me. Psychiatrist put me on Wellbutrin and would not listen to me when I told her it only made things worse.

I don’t really know what I’m asking for right now. A time machine? I’m afraid I’m too far gone.

1 Like

I’m so sorry, @neoatari. My heart goes out to you, so much. I lost three people in my family in only a couple of years, and I feel the exhaustion through your words. It was an uncle who was like a second dad to my siblings and I, my grandma, then my brother. Each time it felt like a part of my heart and soul has been taken away. There’s this sudden emptiness that we have to learn to live with. It takes time, patience and grace to learn to process the absence of our loved ones in a more peaceful way.

Sometimes people say that pain reduces over time, but I don’t believe it. I think the intensity remains, somehow, but it’s not as overwhelming and paralyzing as it is in the first place. I truly think that we can learn progressively to give to our loved ones a different place in our life. That we can learn to honor their memory and find some meaning through all of this. A place that allows us to honor their life but also our own. And I think it goes along with taking care of ourselves. And that’s what you’ve been doing, friend. I really want to emphasize your bravery here. By reaching out, by seeing professionals. You know, I’m just about to see a therapist soon. But it took me that time to finally do it and accept that the weight of grief is stronger than I thought - or wanted to admit.

Grief is often misunderstood, or at least there’s often a lot of misconceptions around this yet universal experience. It can be really tempting to isolate from everything and everyone, but you’ve been making healthy decisions for your health and your heart. You can be proud of that.

I failed her

You didn’t fail her. As you said, losing someone’s who’s a pillar in your family is a tsunami of pain for everyone. It can be very chaotic and hard to process, then to understand what’s going on, for others but also for yourself. In my own family, the disappearance of my brother has been a tsunami too. It still is. It was a traumatic loss for all of us, and communication has been so impacted since this moment.

It was not your fault, friend. You’ve been all facing the disappearance of your dad as you can. I know guilt is hard to let go. It’s hard not to ask ourselves what could have been different and recreate the same story again and again. It gives a sense of control. But you don’t deserve this guilt to weight on your shoulders.

Counselors want to treat me with CBT, and I can’t stand it. CBT does not work for me. Psychiatrist put me on Wellbutrin and would not listen to me when I told her it only made things worse.

It sounds that a positive move would be to seek for a different psychiatrist from now. You are their patient. You are the one taking the medication and knowing how you react to it. They should listen to you. It’s actually at least the very first thing they should do: to listen. Then to decide with you, not for you. If they don’t, I think it’s a red flag that you deserve to be supported by someone else.

In regards of CBT, it’s okay if it’s not your thing. What could be interesting to you would be to try to identify what’s actually not helpful in CBT, and what are your current needs in regards of therapy/counseling. Do you need practical things to do? Do you need to express yourself and be listened? Do you need at least a little bit of interaction with the person you are talking with? This could help you to identify which kind of therapy could be more helpful. Just a couple of suggestions: maybe it could be interesting for you to get more informations about hypnotherapy, existential therapy or a kind of therapy with a medium (like through art for example). It’s a very personal perspective, but I know that, for me at least, at this point I need a kind of therapy that would allow me to share about what happened as a way to process it, also to have a minimum of interaction with the therapist, because I value other’s word, and finally to have a safe place where I can feel without any judgment, to allow myself to process these feelings so it wouldn’t be this devastating tsunami all the time.

But again, it really depends on what you feel that you need the most right now and what’s valuable to you in a therapeutic process. Thankfully, we’re living in a time now when there’s quite a few possibilities to find something that suits us more. :heart:

I don’t really know what I’m asking for right now. A time machine? I’m afraid I’m too far gone.

I feel that, friend. This will to rewind time and have another opportunity to say “I love you” and hug them. It’s heartbreaking. Somehow love goes beyond this. It goes beyond time itself. Just because it keeps living through us, in our heart and through our words. This love can still be expressed unconditionally. You’re holding this legacy of love. For the moment, it manifests a lot through this acute pain. And maybe this pain will remain intense. But it will not keep affecting everything like it does now. You will learn to recreate this special place in your heart for the people you love. A place that goes beyond the pain and beyond death itself.

You are not too far gone. There is a new normal to recreate. But I know that most of the time it’s weird and even painful to conceive it when it feels like nothing is going to be “normal” anymore. It’s different. It will always be different. But you are still living, breathing, and there are still real possibilities to regain some peace. Despite the pain, despite the guilt, despite the regrets or the emptiness.

Know that you are not alone in this. I obviously didn’t know your parents and your grandma, but I’m pretty sure they’d be proud of all the things you are doing to keep going on. I’m rooting for you. And I hope you’ll gather the strength you need to seek for a professional support that would suit you more.

Sending tons of love your way. :hrtlegolove:

1 Like