I probably should have started my recently rejuvenated blog in a lighter manner, but I wanted to write about issues that were on my mind right away, so my thoughts were fresh and true. That being said, I’m going to jump right in.
About two years ago, my world began crumbling and the downward spiral was practically debilitating. My partner of 21 years fell ill and, for seven months before she passed, she was shuffled back and forth between hospitals and nursing homes. I followed the ambulances, and did my best to be by her side as much as possible. Without going into a lot of detail about her illness, it was a heartbreaking period of time for all concerned.
Days and nights blended into one another, as I tried to deal with my own health issues and finances while advocating for her rights and fighting for her to get decent care. I am not detailing Joan’s (my partner) illness in this post because she was an extremely private person and would not have wanted her suffering shared on the internet. My message here is to relay the toll depression, grief, and anxiety play on an already taxed individual.
At the ripe old age of 67, I grew up “old school” where you didn’t run to the therapist or pop a Xanax when you had a loved one get sick, or experienced other difficult issues in your life. So, when Joan fell ill, I ignored some dangerous warning signs of my own as time went by.
My depression either had me forgetting to eat at all or binging. When I was at home, I sat in front of the TV and stared at it, hardly moving, and frequently sleeping the night through while sitting straight up in the chair in my living room. Anxiety seemed to come in the middle of the night, and sleep became nearly impossible. I walked around in a zombie-like state for months.
Joan’s illness progressed quickly, and even though I knew things were most likely not going to improve, I kept praying and kept my vigil by her side as long as I could. She passed away in March of 2019, and to this day, grief and sadness take up a part of my daily life. The grief is ever-changing and becoming more manageable, but what I really want to convey is that it’s not something that can be completely controlled. It may look like everything’s fine on the outside, but the inside is where the truth lies.
I should have reached out for help. I am a strong woman, but it just about broke me. I didn’t listen to anyone who suggested for me to seek a specialist or therapist. People I loved the most, and those who loved me, gave me sound advice, and I didn’t listen. I was stubborn and determined to handle everything, including my mental and physical health issues, myself.
Of course, my plan of action, which was no plan and no action, especially after Joan died, was a fail. I ended up with a serious issue of edema with my legs, which impeded any mobility progress I had previously made. I also had kidney failure and was admitted to the hospital last New Years’ Eve.
That’s when I realized, after the doctor came in and told me I’d better start taking care of my self, that my old-school ways were hurting me. Joan wouldn’t have wanted to see me like that. All who knew her would agree that she would have read me the “riot act.” Indeed!
Shortly thereafter, I began doing good, positive things for my health and reaching out for help from people who have experience with depression, anxiety, and grief. I’m still not seeing a therapist, but my health issues other than that have improved greatly, and I’m finally getting up the courage to seek professional help with my mental health issues as well.
To anyone going through pain from loss, please know that this is not something you can do alone. You need help. We are social beings. We are not meant to solve everything ourselves. It’s too much for the 10% of our brains we actually use. I say this with the utmost sincerity and reverance for your life and well-being.
Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to leave your comments below. I am not a professional of any type. I’m just writing my feelings. And I really appreciate your stopping by to read them.