6 months; I wish I had known

Tomorrow will be 6 months since I lost my wonderful husband.

I REALLY don’t keep track of this stuff. I was talking to my dad’s wife. My dad died 5 months before Michael. We were talking and figured out it’s going to be a year next month that we lost my dad. I know I’m 5 months behind her, and I counted the months. It’s going to be 6 months, not 5. And for some reason that really upset me.

The more time passes it seems, the sadder I become. The sadness is completely overwhelming, and it’s getting worse. I miss him terribly, and maybe the more time passes, the further away he feels. I don’t know. I just know that the emptiness is too much for me to bear some days.

In talking to my dad’s wife, turns out she went through a really dark time right around the 6 month mark. Another widow my daughter knows went through the same things right around 6 months. What I’m talking about, is a complete and utter breakdown.

Yes, me. The past couple of weeks have been REALLY hard. REALLY hard. Impossible to describe really except to say that there is no relief from the underlying black sadness and despair I feel. I’m getting worse, not better. I can’t look at his photos without losing it. I can barely bring myself to remember him without overwhelming pain. I cry myself to sleep every night. I’ve been recording myself in my sleep to see if I have sleep apnea, and I have discovered that I frequently call out for him and sob in my sleep. I’m forgetful, slow, sad. Stuck.

So last week I reached out to my health care team and told them I was in trouble. I wanted to end my life. I was ready to go. I couldn’t find my purpose. I couldn’t escape my reality. Accepting reality is impossible for me to comprehend. And so, I just wanted to end it. My plan was ready to put into action.

I made my therapist and primary care doctor aware that I was suicidal. I saw each of them in person, and we all agreed that inpatient treatment might not be a bad idea. We also all agree that we all trust me right now, to take myself to the hospital if I’m feeling like I’m in trouble again. We all agree that this is one day at a time.

The past few days have been better. The GK party on Sunday was good for my soul. The setup was fun, and the volunteers always remind me of the good work we do and how blessed I am to have this rescue and these people in my life. We’re rescuing more than 15 dogs this week. We have new foster parents. I got through the worst suicidal feelings I’ve ever had, and I kept my head together enough to seek help. I’m pretty proud of that.

The world was looking a bit brighter and then…I realized it’s 6 months. I don’t know why this upsets me but it does.

In talking to my dad’s wife and learning that she, too, went through this, really helped me and convinced me that I need group support. Not a single person can understand this unless they’ve experienced it. I gain so much comfort and strength talking to other people who have been through it. I am trying to find more bloggers who write on the topic. Today’s neat article find is this one. If I can’t find an in-person group that suits my needs, I may try to create one. Lots of good tidbits in this article, and the one I love the most:

“For months after my husband died, I didn’t want to leave my house. I felt like the whole world was watching me. It’s as if what happened to you is what everyone else is afraid of, so they just stare and pray they won’t become you one day.”

Still waiting on news about my health insurance which is a fricking nightmare and so so stressful. My sister will be arriving next week. And the last stressor I haven’t shared with you guys yet; I decided to take the first contractor that did my floors to small claims court. He just received his summons today, so I’m waiting to see if there’s any backlash. Court is Feb 22 if anyone wants to come and support me!

In other news, this cold is awful for everyone but especially for a newly diagnosed RA patient who hasn’t started receiving the big gun drugs yet, it’s more than awful. I’m just staying inside for the a couple of days. Thursday I need to go rescue some dogs, so I’ll bundle up hard for that.

So, for now…I guess for always…one day at a time. But especially now. I’m making it through, I’m in tune with my state of mind, and I’m not afraid to get help or check myself in if I need to.

I told you in the beginning that this blog was an experiment. I didn’t know what I would write or do with it. I wasn’t sure how open I would be, but I decided if I was going to hide things I shouldn’t blog. I really hope this post doesn’t make me regret that. I don’t think many are actively reading the blog, but if you are – I’m not suicidal so I don’t want or need anyone to be alarmed. I’m just being honest. This shit is hard and I wish I had known from those who walked before me! It’s not okay that people who are going through this feel they have to hide it. We’re better than this. Aren’t we?

I wasn’t going to talk about this because I worried that the gossip train would start rolling, or that my volunteers may lose faith in me, etc. And then I decided I’m going to talk about it. Because people NOT talking about it is the reason that there’s this whole fucking stigma about mental health. It’s NOTHING to be ashamed of. You would treat a broken arm or an internal illness, why wouldn’t you get treatment for psychiatric issues? And why aren’t more widows talking about this? If this makes people lose faith in me, then they don’t know me at all. At all. I have survived and walked through literal hell on this earth. I’m waking up every day and choosing to walk through a fresh new unknown hell. I’ve gone through more than most people can begin to imagine. And I’m still alive. I am actively involved in the rescue, and this week we are saving more than 15 dogs.

Life goes on. Even when we may not want it to. One moment at a time. ❤


~ Lisa

10 thoughts on “6 months; I wish I had known

  1. Hey Lisa … it takes great courage for you to put your raw emotions on the page as you make your way through life without Michael, we can all see that. It is hard to put those emotions on a page and to wonder what people are saying or thinking of you for doing so. I am so glad that you have reached out to your health care team regarding the state of your mental health and discussing your thoughts of suicide. That’s an important factor in your road to improving your mental health. If my own brother had done that 35 years ago this coming month he would still be here today. Your second last paragraph of this post says it all, and the last sentence confirms it with the little heart you usually sign off with which is to me an exclamation that emphasizes your will to be strong. One moment at a time, one day at a time, stay in tune with your state of mind. You are a survivor. You are strong. Michael wants you to be all of these. Hugs to you.

    “I am thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.” ~ Alex Elle

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Prayers that things get easier, Lisa. I understand on the cold. I struggle with it and my immune system disorder. I’ve had people belittle that but they don’t live in the same body. Take care of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read every post. I am happy you are sharing the truth of what your life is and how you are coping, not coping. I hope you can find a tribe among widows/widowers that can support you and whom you can support. I marked my calendar for Feb 22. I will do my best to keep it open so I can be one of your cheerleaders in court. Love you always, Greta

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am one who is reading and listening to what you are saying and feeling. My God I know these feelings so well. While none of us grieve in the same way, it is grieving none the less and it sucks. Thank you for your openness. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for being the woman who loved your Michael so very much. I was told, the more you loved, the more the pain of loss will be. It’s quite obvious how much you love/d.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Please do speak out … and be proud, that you did seek help… reaching out for help is a good thing, my dear Lisa. I am so happy, that your reaching out found the proper ears and helpers… one step at a time .. in YOUR time .. know that you are loved and we care about you .. it is overwhelming and I hear you … you are in my heart and I will not stop sending positive energy your way … love

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  6. I can’t speak for others, but I’m sure not going to shame you for this post. I don’t know who your health care provider/insurer is, so this is what I’ve done in the past when I’ve been suicidal, and or when I’ve been overcome by what my last admitting dx of ‘complicated grief’. I’ve gone to the Day Treatment program at Fairview Riverside (or what was Fairview Riverside and is now some U of M thing). They have a 55+ program, and I believe from what I remember that there is more focus in that group on grief and loss. If nothing else, have your therapist see if there are appropriate partial inpatient programs that will give you this access. You are absolutely right that there is nothing like being able to talk to people who can comprehend what you’re feeling and how you’re suffering. I’ve been in partial hospital (at Abbott) 3 times and through Day Treatment 4 times now I think. Since I have many clinically depressed, PTSD suffering and anxiety ridden friends from these experiences, you have no idea how glad I am to see that you reached out for help. I’ve wanted to suggest inpatient treatment, ask if you’re safe, ask if you needed to go in, but I also knew from my own journey, it really can’t be anyone’s choice but your own. I hope you can find a group or program to help you survive in the short term, and eventually feel better long term. One minute at a time. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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