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Forums / Grief and loss / Dealing with grief, anxiety and depression

Topic: Dealing with grief, anxiety and depression

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Felix05
    Felix05 avatar
    1 posts
    9 February 2018

    Hi all,

    My first time posting here. Perhaps a trigger warning for people who have experienced a loss.

    On the 20th of December my mum passed away from a 3 month batttle with brain cancer. It was a very quick decline, and toward the end she wasn't very lucid, and sometimes didn't even recognize me. She was only 44 when she passed, I am only 21.

    I've really struggled the last 6 weeks. I took 2 weeks off work before her death to care for her, and I was there until the very last moment. She passed away at home with myself and my sister standing beside her.

    After she passed I took about a week and a half off work and have been back at work ever since. Been back at work for a month now. It's been pretty hard, and my job is very demanding, not allowing me to take a moment when I need to, I have to be on the job and in the moment every minute of work.

    I've taken one day off work since being back, and I guess I'm wanting to take a bit more time off, to gather myself and deal with all my emotions. Do you think it's okay for me to call in sick once a week or fortnight to have a mental health day while I'm still grieving?

    I've struggled with depression and anxiety in the past, and I'm struggling now. It's hard to get out of bed, to be motivated and to go to work, but I do. I'm never fully in the moment, well at least that's what it feels like. I feel so hazey and foggy all the time.

    Has anyone got any tips or advice? Things that have helped them in these kind of situations?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3114 posts
    9 February 2018 in reply to Felix05

    Hi Felix05,

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for being here.

    I'm so sorry for your loss; I feel frustrated that you have to think about work right now instead of just being able to cope with your grief. It means a lot that you're here and I hope that you find the support that you need.

    I wonder if it might be helpful to have a chat with your boss/manager about this - often there are a number of different ways where you can incorporate leave or change your work a little bit to allow yourself some time. For some that means starting earlier and leaving later so that they can take time off, for others that might mean using paid leave, and for others switching around job tasks so that it's less demanding. Even though this can be a anxiety provoking conversation, keeping your boss in the loop rather than calling in sick can help him/her understand and work around what you need right now.

    I don't really have any advice for you, and I think that's because in a way there's nothing that can really fix it - and I know from my own losses that the only thing that will make it better is them coming back. But what I can do is be here for you for when you'd like to talk, and encourage you to take care of yourself - and perhaps even consider seeing a therapist or rallying in extra support (like friends/family) to help make things a little easier.

    Maybe it might help to have a think about what you need other than that time off work - how can we best be here to support you? What would help the most right now? That way you can get the best use out of these forums :)

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Peppermintbach
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Peppermintbach avatar
    4566 posts
    6 March 2018 in reply to Felix05

    Hi Felix,

    I’m also deeply sorry for your loss. The devastation and heartbreak must be crushing. Then again, everyone grieves and deals with loss differently so far be it for me to tell you how to feel...I can only relate it back to my own experiences but you and I are not the same...

    It must have been very special to have shared those last moments with your beautiful mum. Granted, that doesn’t make your grief and loss any less painful of course...

    I like that you’re trying to take care of your mental health. Perhaps you could take up romantic_thi3f’s thoughtful and kind suggestions if like. It’s up to you...

    I wonder if you have much personal support. For example, friends, your sister, etc that you could lean on right now. I understand everyone is different so some people are quite comfortable reaching out whereas perhaps others withdraw.

    Either way, it’s just an idea. It’s just that sometimes support can be helpful. I realise support won’t make your grief disappear but it might soften the pain ever so slightly...

    Alternatively (or in addition), perhaps you could consider regularly calling a helpline especially when you’re in need of more support. There’s BeyondBlue, Lifeline plus some other ones. GriefLine might be a good one if you’re after a helpline specialising in grief and loss. I think GriefLine also offers online counselling. You should be able search for their number online if you’re interested.

    And of course, you’re also always most welcome to come back here to talk. We would love to support you.

    Caring thoughts,

    Pepper

  4. Neil_1
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Neil_1 avatar
    4232 posts
    6 March 2018
    Hi there Felix,

    Firstly it’s great that you’ve been able to come to Beyond Blue and to share your very sad story, and like the others before me, I too would like to say how sorry I am to hear of the loss of your Mum.

    The two posters before me gave you two wonderful responses and I hope you’re able to read those and take in their thoughtful words.

    The grief you’re experiencing is still very new and still very raw for you … and with what you’re feeling and dealing with, these are all natural reactions. That’s the thing with grief … there’s absolutely no time-line for it. We all deal with it differently and it’s the most horrible emotion I think you can ever face.

    I think the option of speaking to your boss/manager/supervisor is a good one, as long as you feel that they would be “ok” to speak too? I’ve come across other people who never felt comfortable in their workplace to discuss such things. In my own workplace, I’ve had good people around me and the support is very strong. I do hope this is the case for you, especially as it still only very recent.

    However, having said that, as bad a topic a word like “work” is, it can have its benefits as well. The occupation of the mind – so you’re having to be thinking about other things, which can (at times) help you get through various parts of the day. Not all the time, but it can have a beneficial effect. As opposed to if you’re staying at home … then dwelling on things will no doubt happen. But sometimes we need to do that as well.

    Other things I’ve found helpful are me keeping fit. I go to the gym an awful lot, and my workouts are like an escape, an outlet. Running was another form of release, but I’ve succumbed to injury there; fortunately I can still gym it though. But anything like that … cycling, walking, some kind of hobby, a sports activity, cooking, gardening … any number of different things that YOU can do, that will help you get through this.

    Talking is also a big thing as well. Whether you would like to do it here, or with a close friend, or family member – or perhaps someone professional, maybe a referral by your doctor. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that either.

    Sorry, I’ve rambled on here a bit,

    Kind regards

    Neil

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