A Pathway Through Grief (A blog) Watch

Pathway
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Hi. :hi: Yes the title is cheesy, but it's the best I could come up with. :rofl:

So...I've decided I need a place to vent my thoughts, but I also thought it might help someone else, so I figured I might as well make a blog (and stop clogging up the MHSS with my rambles).

Some context:
- I've been bereaved 5 times since 2015. Three by suicide and two to (probably) accidental drug overdoses.
- I also have long standing mental health issues (diagnosed with complex PTSD, anorexia nervosa, depression, generalised anxiety disorder and enduring personality changes after catastrophic experiences) and some other physical health issues (one of which is genetic, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and has caused a bunch of other issues which are too many to list).
- I'm currently in trauma focussed individual therapy so I am getting help, but I feel like writing about what I'm thinking really helps me as well.

Anyway, I don't know how long I'll carry this blog on, or how often I'll post, but just thought I'd start it. :dontknow:

Thanks for reading this post. :ninja:
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Posting to subscribe and sending lots of love to you :penguinhug:
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Pachuco
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I like the thread title.

Subbed.
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Pathway
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Posting to subscribe and sending lots of love to you :penguinhug:
(Original post by Pachuco)
I like the thread title.

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Thanks guys. :grouphugs:
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Pathway
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You know, sometimes it just comes at you with full force. It's like someone opened up the faucet completely. I can't quite describe what I'm currently feeling, I guess it's just the sadness and guilt.

I feel like I'm unable to forgive myself for my role in their deaths, like I should've been there. Should've done something. Should've been more direct with questions. Should've seen the signs. Should've reached out.

I feel like I deserve to be punished, as dramatic as it sounds. I just feel responsible for something that I had no control over. They were gonna do what they were gonna do.

When A killed herself in 2015 that was my first death that actually hit me and changed me. She was like a sister to me, such a great support. I remember when she killed herself, I woke up with an uneasy feeling. It was gone midnight though, so I went back to sleep. Brushed it off. She was already gone, something in me knew. But why didn't I figure out something was wrong before she did it? She should've been safe there. She was in a psychiatric unit. Perhaps it was just inevitable. Perhaps this was just how it was always going to go.

I can't shake the guilt though, and since the others have died it has only gotten worse. I wish I could be more positive and say things have gotten better, that time has eased the pain. It hasn't. Not for me anyway. I feel like in some ways it's gotten worse as I try to understand what has happened. I feel like if I don't understand I will forever be stuck. Anyway, I don't want to sugar coat it. I don't think that will help me. So this is my truth I guess. Things aren't OK and that's OK. But maybe they will be okay in the future.
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CoolCavy
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:lovehug:
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Muttley79
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:console:

I'm here for you Pathway - I've lost two friends younger than me this year through serious illnesses. However people die it is never easy to say goodbye.

Take care and I hope this blog helps
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Pathway
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(Original post by Muttley79)
:console:

I'm here for you Pathway - I've lost two friends younger than me this year through serious illnesses. However people die it is never easy to say goodbye.

Take care and I hope this blog helps
I'm sorry for your losses. That's awful. I hope you're being supported?

--------------------------

I guess I need to do the opposite of what I want to do which is isolate myself. But I don't wanna be a downer you know. So yeah, surprise here I am writing my rambles which make no sense because my brain doesn't make sense. Life doesn't make sense.

I just sort of feel like a shell of who I once was, I just don't understand how I fit into the world anymore. What I understood before doesn't make sense to me, perhaps I never understood it. I think they'd be upset with me for what's going on now. A would be for sure, she was always there though. Not anymore, hasn't been for years, but I don't know how to move on from it, from any of them. I don't know. I'd give anything to go back to before, it wasn't all that great then either because of abuse and violence, but at least they were there. At least things had their place and it all worked together. It made sense.

I dunno. I don't get what is going on in my head anymore, the disconnection doesn't help. But I feel like I don't belong. I feel like a mess.
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Pathway
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I keep thinking about the week leading up to A's death. About a week before I came home from my second year at university, I found it difficult. I didn't (and still don't) like being home. Got off to a bad start, my mum told me she had been diagnosed with cancer. She said they caught it early though, so she would be OK. She said that I didn't need to worry. I was worried. Why wouldn't I be?

I guess my dad was stressed out too, we were having so many arguments, so much so that I actually walked out and went across London. Stayed at a friends house. Big no-no to my dad (he's middle eastern). But I didn't care. I couldn't deal with all the stress. I feel bad for that. I dunno why. I thought that if I wasn't there, then he'd be less grouchy, better environment for my mum? I'm not sure. I regret not using this time to go and see A sooner, though. I regret it so much. I never saw her alive. Last thing she said to me in person was to "keep going". Wish I could've said the same to her. I should have been there. I wasn't.

The day before A died, I remember meeting up with E. She just got her driving licence. I christened her car (her dad later put that name on her number plate). We were just chilling in the park, just trying to catch up. Took so many ridiculous pictures. I can actually pin point the before and after A died in my camera roll, lol, I dunno why my brain has done that. It's like it placed a bookmark or something. Before and after. We both looked so innocent in the pictures, like looking back at them now. It's not that we hadn't both had our own set of issues or trauma growing up, we had, but I can't quite describe it as anything else. We discussed going to see A at the psychiatric unit she was in, we both hadn't seen her in a little while for different reasons, nothing malicious, just life I guess. discussed life. Told her about my mum's diagnosis. Talked for hours. Laughed nervously at a guy kicking and screaming at a bin. Kinda weird. Went home. Went to sleep.

Something weird happened though, and this isn't unusual for me, but I woke up. Bad dream. Felt odd, something didn't feel right. Didn't think anything of it, tried to go back to sleep. When I woke up a few hours later, realised my phone was dead. Put it on charge, switched it on. Blew up with notifications, so many voice mails, texts. Everything. So many people. I was like holy **** what is happening. S called before I looked through anything, said I needed to call E. It was urgent. That they had been trying to contact me for hours. Said it was over, wouldn't say what was over. I kept getting frustrated. She wouldn't say what was "over." Got annoyed, hung up. Phoned E. I don't remember exactly what she said, but I remember my reply, I basically said this wasn't funny, don't take the piss. She said it wasn't a joke. Said to come down to hers. Said she was sorry.

I was stunned. Had to be a joke. A always survived. No matter what she did, she survived. I was convinced this was all an elaborate hoax, I called my mum, said "uh, I'm going to Es now, A killed herself, I don't know when I'll be back home" and then I hung up. My mum didn't get to speak. My mum told me a few years later she actually ended up crying at her desk, no pupils around (she works in a school). Got ready. I remember looking at my reflection and not recognising myself. I don't know why, I just didn't. This had happened before during periods of severe trauma growing up, so I suppose that might be why.

The rest of the day was a blur. I remember sort of speaking to A's mum, but not what was said. Think it was something about going to see her body. I don't know. I didn't cry until we were leaving to catch the bus home. I cried on the bus. Like those gross ugly cries. I felt like a part of me had died. It was horrific. It still is. It's like there's this massive gaping hole and with every person I lose it just gets bigger. My dad told me to stop crying, to get over it when I got home. I'll never forgive him for that. Callous human being. But what should I have expected. He terrorised me growing up. At least I know I'll never be like him. Few months ago he was informed a friend of his had died. I was the only person in the house, he was crying. I was about to leave for therapy. I could've just left him to sob. I didn't. I gave him a hug and said I was sorry for his loss. I'm the bigger person. Least I didn't stoop to his level.

Not sure what the point in writing this was, but yeah. Probably one of the worst weeks of my life.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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:jumphug:
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Pathway
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
:jumphug:
:hugs:

-----

You know, I just feel so disconnected from almost everything. It's like none of this is even real. I've been staring at this text box for what seems like hours trying to formulate my thoughts into some sort of coherent narrative. But nothing makes sense. Honestly, I'm so depressed about this whole situation or whatever you want to call it. I don't know how people rebuild their lives and themselves when they've been through this sort of stuff. Just feels so fake and pointless.

There's a song I heard before I lost A, by Lowkey. He lost his brother to suicide, that song moved me. It's called Bars for my Brother. But I didn't understand it, not on a personal level. Not truly. Not until she died. But when I heard it after A died...it made so much sense to me. It spoke to me in ways I didn't think I would ever hear from another person. He understood what I was feeling.

There are quite a few other songs as well that've helped me over the years. Mac Miller's Remember is an amazing song. The Vent by Big K.R,I.T., Scarface's Suicide Note, Kendrick Lamar's Dying of Thirst, Mobb Deep's Where Ya Heart At, etc. So many.

I guess I have some connection with music. I'm thankful for that. Not sure where I'd be without it. It's my sanctuary if you will.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Pathway)
:hugs:

-----

You know, I just feel so disconnected from almost everything. It's like none of this is even real. I've been staring at this text box for what seems like hours trying to formulate my thoughts into some sort of coherent narrative. But nothing makes sense. Honestly, I'm so depressed about this whole situation or whatever you want to call it. I don't know how people rebuild their lives and themselves when they've been through this sort of stuff. Just feels so fake and pointless.

There's a song I heard before I lost A, by Lowkey. He lost his brother to suicide, that song moved me. It's called Bars for my Brother. But I didn't understand it, not on a personal level. Not truly. Not until she died. But when I heard it after A died...it made so much sense to me. It spoke to me in ways I didn't think I would ever hear from another person. He understood what I was feeling.

There are quite a few other songs as well that've helped me over the years. Mac Miller's Remember is an amazing song. The Vent by Big K.R,I.T., Scarface's Suicide Note, Kendrick Lamar's Dying of Thirst, Mobb Deep's Where Ya Heart At, etc. So many.

I guess I have some connection with music. I'm thankful for that. Not sure where I'd be without it. It's my sanctuary if you will.
Shamefully I don't know any of the songs you've mentioned, but I'm glad you feel some connection with music at least :hugs: And I'm glad you came across that song by Lowkey, because I imagine it is quite isolating: going what you have gone through and having few people who can truly relate :hugs:
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Pathway
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Shamefully I don't know any of the songs you've mentioned, but I'm glad you feel some connection with music at least :hugs: And I'm glad you came across that song by Lowkey, because I imagine it is quite isolating: going what you have gone through and having few people who can truly relate :hugs:
It's OK, I'm thankful for them though, but I feel bad for what they had to go through. :dontknow: Music used to be quite a big part of my life, but EDS took that from me. Maybe I need to find away to interact with it again in a more active way rather than just passively listening to it. Just wish my hands weren't so bloody useless. :sigh:

:hugs:
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Pathway)
It's OK, I'm thankful for them though, but I feel bad for what they had to go through. :dontknow: Music used to be quite a big part of my life, but EDS took that from me. Maybe I need to find away to interact with it again in a more active way rather than just passively listening to it. Just wish my hands weren't so bloody useless. :sigh:

:hugs:
Dunno about you but I find singing quite cathartic That's more active than just listening along :flute:
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Fermion.
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I like this thread. I feel it relates to me a lot as I’m trying to deal with a parent who is dying.
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Pathway
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Dunno about you but I find singing quite cathartic That's more active than just listening along :flute:
Maybe I should get back into singing, haha! I used to sing a lot when trying to figure out notes and stuff in music. Then I'd play on the violin...fun.

(Original post by Fermion.)
I like this thread. I feel it relates to me a lot as I’m trying to deal with a parent who is dying.
:console: I'm sorry to hear about your parent. Are you being supported? You're always welcome to message me if you want to?
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Pathway
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I've been thinking about what my psychologist said to me at my therapy session on Wednesday. I was very upset in the session (to the point where she was concerned for my safety). But I was trying to explain to her how broken I feel and how absolutely heartbroken I am, how I can't stop thinking about Them. She asked me if I thought I was actually grieving now, like properly. And like...I actually think, yeah, I finally am.

It's been hard. I was unable to grieve A properly, I wasn't able to. I didn't know how. Mental health services didn't know what to do with me either. I just fell deeper into my eating disorder. I got very ill because of it (and have lasting damage now as a result). I cut myself off from everyone. I couldn't understand how people just spoke about mundane stuff. It all seemed so pointless, so insignificant. I just didn't care. My only aims were to graduate with a first and to lose weight. I didn't think I deserved food, sometimes didn't even think I was worthy of drinking. I just couldn't give myself that.

In 2016 during the last part of my degree I lost a friend, M, to a drug overdose. I don't know if it was intentional. That...hurt. I felt like everyone I tried to help I just hurt. My self loathing was just awful. I was a mess. I somehow managed to graduate though, with a 2.i and was allowed to do an uncapped resit. The resit brought my degree classification up to a 1st. I'd done what I had set out to do. It wasn't enough though. Still felt worthless. Still hadn't been allowed to grieve. My brain was too messed up for that to happen. But I tried to get myself back together with anorexia, trying to eat, trying to drink.

See, nothing really helped. I still felt like I was in shock. I still had 0 idea how to process anything. Then T died near Christmas 2016. Another drug overdose, again, don't know if it was intentional. 2017 was a blur. I remember being so disconnected from everyone. I literally couldn't deal with people. I know some stuff happened. I know I was constantly on edge, I'd regularly wake up having panic attacks. Despite being so disconnected I was so paranoid of someone dying. I was a nervous wreck. I literally couldn't function.

Christmas 2017 was a mess. Am had died on the 23rd, I had found out on the 24th. Honestly, this is why I'm like is this real? Am I actually a sim or something? Because this is just not fair. I couldn't believe it. Am was one of the only people to actually consistently try to reach out to me after the others died, went so far as regularly coming to my university to check in with me and give me hugs. I miss her hugs.

I am not religious (and I don't mind if anyone is), but I regularly questioned "God" asking what had I done to deserve this. Was this a punishment for something? I struggle with this still. I'm a fixer. I like to fix things. I like to know where I've gone wrong so I can improve and not do it again. How can I "fix" this? I can't. There is nothing I can do to bring them back from the dead (and whilst I like The Walking Dead, I don't think I want real zombies lol). I just don't know how to mend it. I find that frustrating.

K...K is a difficult one. We had a very strained friendship towards the end of her life. She died in 2018. Like A she was let down by the system. She was discharged from a police section (a 136) because they said she wasn't at risk after they assessed her despite her saying she was gonna do what she ended up doing. Despite not being close in the last few months of her life (she was sending me death threats, amongst other things), I cared for her a lot. I regret not replying to her last text. That is one of my biggest regrets.

Another thing about what happened with K was she died the day before my first therapy appointment with my current psychologist...I walked into that appointment a complete mess, ranting and raving, I remember almost walking out. I was devastated. I don't know how she puts up with me tbh. She keeps saying she's going to miss working with me because of my insight and my sarcasm. I'm really grateful for her though. I am going to miss working with her too, but I'm thankful I was able to work with her. She really has gone above and beyond for me, which has restored a lot of my faith within the system. She has even gone to the point where she has extended the amount of therapy I have received because of my need for it. I feel guilty for that, but she says I shouldn't because it is something they do for people who need it.

She's done more for me than I think she will ever realise. I'm just thankful I guess. There are good people there, and their work is invaluable. Knowing and accepting that is a big deal for me, in many ways. But back to the original question, yes, I do think I am actually allowing myself to grieve, I think that's why my emotions relating to it are so intense and why my guilt is so bad. But that's OK, it can get better. Just have to stick around to see that.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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A few things:

- I'm glad you feel your psychologist has had a somewhat positive impact on you and your feelings towards services. I know how huge a deal that is for you :hugs:

- You don't hurt everyone you try to help. You've helped me so much for so many years and you've never hurt me once :penguinhug:

- What's happening to you is def not a punishment from God, pinky promise you that :console:
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claireestelle
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(Original post by Pathway)
Hi. :hi: Yes the title is cheesy, but it's the best I could come up with. :rofl:

So...I've decided I need a place to vent my thoughts, but I also thought it might help someone else, so I figured I might as well make a blog (and stop clogging up the MHSS with my rambles).

Some context:
- I've been bereaved 5 times since 2015. Three by suicide and two to (probably) accidental drug overdoses.
- I also have long standing mental health issues (diagnosed with complex PTSD, anorexia nervosa, depression, generalised anxiety disorder and enduring personality changes after catastrophic experiences) and some other physical health issues (one of which is genetic, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and has caused a bunch of other issues which are too many to list).
- I'm currently in trauma focussed individual therapy so I am getting help, but I feel like writing about what I'm thinking really helps me as well.

Anyway, I don't know how long I'll carry this blog on, or how often I'll post, but just thought I'd start it. :dontknow:

Thanks for reading this post. :ninja:
I think its very courageous of you to share your experiences with us and i m sure it ll be a good example to other people that talking about grief is good and healthy to do. Have you heard of the button in a box analogy? it's where you have a pain button in a box and grief hits the button all the time in the beginning but overtime the box gets bigger and it hits the pain button less, i find it a brilliant analogy to explain how you can cope with and come to terms with your grief but things won't ever completely be the same and that's okay.

My first experience with grief was in 2004 when i was 9 and fortunately although i had a few other deaths up to 2014, there haven't been any for near five years and although i'm dealing with anticipatory grief for my grandad with terminal cancer, it took me that me about 8/9 years to truly deal with all of it in a good way and i m grateful for that being able to do that, I hope that one day you'll be able to look at your grief like that too.

I have no religious belief myself, but recognise the feeling of thinking you're being punished as i had that as a child but you are a good person and you've given me wonderful advice before, you don't deserve any of this happening to you.
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Pathway
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
A few things:

- I'm glad you feel your psychologist has had a somewhat positive impact on you and your feelings towards services. I know how huge a deal that is for you :hugs:

- You don't hurt everyone you try to help. You've helped me so much for so many years and you've never hurt me once :penguinhug:

- What's happening to you is def not a punishment from God, pinky promise you that :console:
Yeah, I don't like to think of what could've happened had I not been able to get therapy with her. Didn't even seem phased when I said to her at one appointment that I was paranoid she was gonna be like my dad because she's Iranian. She actually said she had thought it might bother me, but didn't want to bring it up yet. :lol:

Feel like I do. But thank you. And idk, I'm an atheist so I'm not sure why I am thinking about this. I think it might be because of guilt or something. Need to have punishment or something. Dunno.

(Original post by claireestelle)
I think its very courageous of you to share your experiences with us and i m sure it ll be a good example to other people that talking about grief is good and healthy to do. Have you heard of the button in a box analogy? it's where you have a pain button in a box and grief hits the button all the time in the beginning but overtime the box gets bigger and it hits the pain button less, i find it a brilliant analogy to explain how you can cope with and come to terms with your grief but things won't ever completely be the same and that's okay.

My first experience with grief was in 2004 when i was 9 and fortunately although i had a few other deaths up to 2014, there haven't been any for near five years and although i'm dealing with anticipatory grief for my grandad with terminal cancer, it took me that me about 8/9 years to truly deal with all of it in a good way and i m grateful for that being able to do that, I hope that one day you'll be able to look at your grief like that too.

I have no religious belief myself, but recognise the feeling of thinking you're being punished as i had that as a child but you are a good person and you've given me wonderful advice before, you don't deserve any of this happening to you.
I actually haven't, where did you hear it? I feel like I can sort of relate to it.

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, that must've been horrific to deal with at such a young age. Also sorry to hear about your other losses too. Did they hit you differently? I hope I'll be able to deal with it in a healthy way as well. I just feel stuck at the moment I suppose. :dontknow:
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