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    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
     
    Just wondering if anyone else has a strong need to share their emotions? Lately, I've become more emotional & have this strong need to share my sad emotions & I think I'm sharing too often. Sharing makes me feel good, but I'm pretty sure my friends/acquaintances are probably not appreciating my sad stories when they ask me how I'm doing or how my hb is doing? Nobody likes a "negative nelly". But I seem to need to let them know how sad & lonely I feel. At times I use to say I was OK, even though I wasn't & now for some reason I want them to know I'm struggling. Everyone is very sympathetic but perhaps I just talk about it for too long - once I get going it's difficult for me to keep it short. It's embarrassing for me to admit, but I'm having trouble distinguishing between the people that want to hear all the details & the ones that don't need that, because once I start it seems my "common sense" of knowing when to stop goes out the window. I tend to be a "motor mouth" & now with no one in the house to converse with, I think I'm starting to become worse... Anyone else experience this? Are there suggestions to help me "curb" my need to share all the details?

    I've tried support groups, but I find they make me feel worse. When I return after hearing everyone else's sad stories, I feel drained & it takes me a while to feel better again. This is the only support group that has really helped me.
    • CommentAuthorRodstar43
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
     
    Nicky, looking over my entire life, i hav shed more tears in front of men and women during thr last 5 years than all the other years combined. ADand depression.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
     
    I've had times to share my emotions with so many people. Now, not so much.

    Having places to share you emotions, such as this board, should help. Talk therapy. Face to face support groups. But being a caregiver for dementia can leave little room for anything else in your life, so you share what you experience.
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      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
     
    Nicky, yes, I’ve experienced this (and still do.) A monthly meeting with a good therapist helped me.
    I think it’s natural to want to talk about what’s bothering you. But not everyone wants to know. And some people can’t handle it.
    What has helped me lately is to be concerned about the person who is asking the questions.
    Do they really want to know? Or is it only a polite gesture on their part?
    How much do they want to know? Are their eyes glazing over?
    What kind of a person are they? Kind? Or a shark?
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      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
     
    Mary's suggest to find a good counselor/therapist is a good idea. I am one that has a hard time sharing but I listen easily. In the 90s I went to a counselor weekly. For an hour and a half I would talk and cry. It went on for a year then finances changed and I couldn't afford it anymore.That was the last time I really shared my pain with anyone in person except for the little I do here which of course is not in person. Instead I suck it in until I break down sharing in prayer.

    Some people like to listen to others. I have many 'friends' who talk about their life but who are not interested in mine. I did lay counseling for 3 years which trained me good for listening. When I meet people if they ask how I am I will say fine then turn it back to them by asking about them. It always works to get them off me.

    Not wanting to say much is grounded in two things I think - growing up if someone was nice to me it always seemed they wanted something from me - usually something that would hurt me emotionally. So I guard myself. Now if I share my pain I get 'I'm sorry' and that is it. There really is nothing they can do anyway. The other reason is if I talk out loud the pain will be too great to handle. The pain was so great when I went through counseling that I start cutting in an effort to release pain. It was a hard addiction to break and I fear if I let go again I may start because the temptation is always there.

    So we all have reasons to let it go or not. If it bothers you because you share to freely, then evidently your pain is great and you need a counselor who can not only listen but help you work through it. Maybe limit who you allow yourself to share with. Or is you know these people well talk with them about limiting how much time they give you to vent, then change the subject. Often people become so overwhelmed with their grief and pain, they need someone to help them 'control' it so they don't ruin friendships. By the way, you are blessed to have friends who care.
    • CommentAuthorbhv
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
     
    Hi Nicky,
    A year or so ago, I sometimes answered people who asked and found I talked too much and sometimes tears would appear. I found that most could not handle that or didn't want to hear it. So I shut up. You would think that if they don't want to know they'd learn to stop asking. It bugs me that some of the gals ask how is my husband. Who the **** cares how he is? Ask how I am for crying out loud! Now I just stare at them. Some of those persist and ask if he is any better. I can't help but respond with something like "Hun,.... you don't get better with Alzheimer's, only worse." In a "duh" tone of voice. Then I walk away. These people have finally learned to stop asking such an idiotic question.

    When I decided I was sharing too much and crying too much I would leave the room if I felt myself becoming overwhelmed. I was surprised that one of my friends followed me and sat with me and begged me to share what I was feeling. It was really a nice experience. There are not many like her. I have another friend who generally talks non stop about herself. She doesn't even appear to take a breath so it is impossible to interrupt. Astonishingly, she is one of the few who actually "get it" when I do share what's going on. She asks me, when she wants to know, and waits for me to answer.

    The last few months I've had some out of body experiences when neighbors stopped to talk when I was outside, or when I was out shopping or something. it was like I was watching from above and I couldn't believe how much I was talking. It was like I couldn't shut up. Even from above, telling myself to shut up, I kept talking - really about nothing - just talking in complete sentences with nouns and everything. I would ask questions just to hear someone respond in English, with nouns and stuff like that. I am getting a little better at controlling that. it is a bit like when I would go visit my friend who has a two year old and we would just speak together and play scrabble to keep her vocabulary alive.

    When I was a Clinical Psychologist and worked with schizophrenics, I would go see our accountant after a session and we would play darts or listen to Waylon Jennings for awhile til I could extract myself from the schizophrenic wonderland. I have been thinking lately that I might just have to find a counselor or an accountant.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
     
    I found personally it was best to talk minimally about the nitty gritty of being a caregiver and the same about sharing the depth of my emotional pain. My friends really cared about me and wanted to be supportive, but I was aware that none of them were equipped to deal with the raw reality of my daily life and the resulting raw emotional pain. So..... I had this page and let loose here. The one exception was/is a friend who, because she was going through the exact same thing, got it. We would get together for lunch and spend two or more hours just sharing our love for our spouses, the pain of seeing them with dementia, the impossible demands caregiving put on us, and the hurt and pain we were experiencing. With the rest of the world I'd share just a little, just what I thought they could bear and then use the rest of the time to jibber jabber about anything but what the rest of my life was about. I did find that visiting with others and hearing about their trips or grandchildren took me away from my pain for a while. I needed that break.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
     
    Thank you all for your suggestions. I agree a good counselor would be good - but I've been to so many counselors & psychologists in the past 5 years with not much luck - it's a little discouraging for me. Since December I've been thinking of going to see someone, but I must pick someone new & not to sure who?? I'm a little leery about "starting over" again with a new counselor. Because, it takes at least 2 - 3 sessions to fully realize if that person is good for me. If not, must start again - and they're not cheap!! But, yes he or she would be willing to listen to me & hopefully give good advice.

    Yes, Charlotte, I am lucky to have friends who care, especially since I've only been in this city & province for a little over 5 years & have had some friends for only 3 - 4 years. My best listeners are my widowed girlfriends. They all acknowledge they have no idea what it's like to have a husband with dementia, just like I have no idea what they went through with their sick husbands, except they were all too young. But we all share the same emotions of loneliness, sadness, emptiness.... They are the ones who understand the most what I'm feeling. We are all still grieving, crying & finding holidays & other occasions difficult. They have been a good support for me & they really do care. I know I must be careful, because I don't want to bring them down with my sadness. I'm the one who talks the most about loneliness, because it's newer for me, but I don't want to push them away.

    Thanks everyone - lots to think about.
    • CommentAuthorRodstar43
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
     
    Nicky, my shoot from the hip thought is that we/I can over think something. Sadness for example the more you focus on something the more you/I get of it. Sometimes taking the easy way may be the best.. Which is that, focus on any thing except your problems. Stop, repeat. Not easy, I know. And I take meds which I want off of. Stories are different but many of us understand the bad experiences.
    • CommentAuthorthomp360
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2018
     
    I am so anxious and depressed since my spouse of forty five years died a month ago. Medication doesn't help much, even talking with my therapist, which wears off after awhile. How can I endure this pain. It is so bad it hurts, almost physically. Is there anything I can do? Everyone says this is the toughest part, but I am really struggling to get through it. The pain of grief hurts so badly. thomp360
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      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2018
     
    Rather than "struggle to get through it," I found it better to relax and let myself go into it. It's like childbirth. When a pain hits, you ride it to its crest. It will subside until the next wave. The one thing I know for sure, you can't avoid it.
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      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2018
     
    Here's a book title recommended by Mayo Clinic for those who haver suffered grest losses: "Plan B" by Sheryl Sandberg.
    I haven't read it, but I seem to remember it being recommended on this site by someone else.
    I'm sorry you are experiencing such pain and depression. I pray and trust that you will feel better. It does take its own sweet time, but you will come out the other end. Hugs.
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      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2018
     
    "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy" is the correct title.
    • CommentAuthorthomp360
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2018
     
    I know the book and the thoughts will help. It's just that "everyone" tells me that this is the hard part, you WILL eventually get through it. I hope that is true, because I still the intense pain of loss and suffering. I find myself always wondering what my wife would do in any situation.. It's hard to say, I know she would be sad, but it is so hard to put myself in her place, because I want her with em, especially in the mornings and in the evenings. I hope it will get better, but as "everyone says" there is no time line, and that can be very discouraging when I am in such pain. thomp360
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      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2018
     
    I would think a lot has to do with if you want a future. Do you hope to have one or just stay stuck where you are?

    When my sister's husband died she gave up. He was her third husband, her soulmate and had only been married about 3 years when he had his stroke. He appeared to survive with minimal weakness but about a year later the VaD set in. Along with that and his age related physical problems, she became caregiver. After he died, she lived in her bed. Depression and grief overtook her. She could not pull herself out and had no desire to seek help. She refused all our encouragement, was downright nasty. He was 86 - she was 69. She would go out to get food to eat in there - mostly granola type bars, bottled water, etc. and would come out sometimes to visit and eat a real meal. (our youngest brother lived with her and we were there until I could no longer deal with two dementia patients) A couple years after he died my husband found her on the floor from a stroke. Her VaD started almost immediately - I saw the changes in the hospital. She was still depressed and stayed in her room in bed all the time. I believe she gave up and just waited for death to come.

    Many of us here have started working on the life after, figuring out dreams and goals. I think that will help when the time comes because our lives are not totally consumed by our spouse's illness.

    Maybe you need to start writing down dreams and goals, things you would like to do in the future - travel, more time with family and grandkids, build a man cave, etc. Maybe just start with small goals like getting out or go for a walk every day. Go out for lunch or dinner. Go to a movie. Go visit someone. Baby steps. It will give you a reason to go on. I am sure your wife would not want you to be so stuck in the grief, maybe like my sister, dying from it instead of continuing on in life. Writing down goals and dreams won't change things overnight nor maybe in a year, but it will give you reason to work on getting beyond this point.

    Step by step, even baby step by baby step is all we can ask of ourselves. It took years to get in our depression and pain, will take time to climb back out.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2018
     
    thomp360, It has only been a month for you. I was there one years ago and it does get better. Mary75* and Charlotte have good advice. Please keep letting us know how you're doing. We're with you.
  1.  
    thomp360, Here are several thoughts that helped me get through the dark days of AD and the loss of my husband:

    1. Hope is not believing that things will return to the way they were. Hope is being able to imagine that things can eventually be better than they are now. (this was written by someone on this site)
    2. God grant me the ability to accept the things I cannot change. (serenity prayer)
    3. The more you think about what you no longer have, the more you miss the life that is going on right under your nose.
    Focusing only on the one who has passed can make us ignore the living (children, grandchildren, extended family, friends) or those who can give life new meaning.

    I came to realize that things would never be the way they were, but they could be better. My choice was to accept what life had dealt me and see what the lessons were, or be angry because I thought it was unfair. Finally, it took a conscious effort to divert my constant attention from the deceased to the living. The living (others and myself) are the legacy of the deceased and the best way I could show my love for my husband was to lavish it on the living.

    Life is short and there is a lot to yet experience. It is my choice. Family, friends, therapists, grief counselors can all lead me to this choice but only I can do the ultimate choosing. My husband loved life. What better way can I remember him than to love life too.
    • CommentAuthorCO2*
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2018
     
    thomp360, I am so very sorry for your loss. What helped me the first year was involvement in 2 bearevement groups. It helped me because I was with people who knew what I was going through and gave me permission to talk about my pain. Also journaling about what you r feeling will help get the feelings out. God bless
  2.  
    I had a good day yesterday, so I felt optimistic (see above). But the fact is that every day when I get up I have to try to put my "right thinking" hat on, yet once again. Some days are better than others and, frankly, some days it is almost impossible to get out of bed. I have come to understand that the best thing I can do for myself is to be kind, yet firm about not ruminating too much on things that will never be again.

    I'm not telling you what to do thomp360, but what has worked for me and it has taken months to get through some of this. There was a time when I couldn't stand the vapid commercials on TV showing active, loving older couples in convertibles seeming to have the world by the tale, as if Ensure and Viagra are the panacea to aging and loss. Ugg. it was so false and unfair. I mute the TV now and look away.

    I hope your therapist is giving you thinking exercises to help you see not just your loss, but also what richness life has given you. Perhaps you could share with us a few things that make you feel better right now (a chocolate malt, a song from a happy time, a color, the smell of coffee, opening a new book, even the memory of your wife laughing).

    Most of the widows and widowers here have been where you are, thomp360. There is no magic formula, but there is hope. Reach for it every day.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2018
     
    I am going to a bereavement group that is starting tonight. Even though I read so many times about what many on this page were going through with grief I thought some how I would be spared, in part because I have no guilt and in part because our goodbye was so very long. WRONG.
  3.  
    Grief is painful because it is reconfiguring who we are. We are broken in a million pieces and somehow have to reassemble to a working being again.

    I keep a journal, too, and one of my favorite quotes is from Thornton Wilder: "The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude."
    • CommentAuthorthomp360
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2018 edited
     
    I appreciate all you say, but, and I'm not telling what you don't already know, it's tough. Two moments of coping, thinking of life beyond tragedy come back to me.. After JFK was killed two of his closest aides and friends Dave Powers and Ken O'Donnell were talking and Dave Powers said something like we'll never laugh again. And Ken O'Donnell said, oh we will laugh again, we will be happy again, but it will never be the same. The famous Yankee Lou Gehrig in his farewell speech in Yankee Stadium, knowing he would soon die from ALS, the disease which bears his name, looked around at family, friends and teammates and said "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." I am lucky, I will laugh again, experience life again. Even though it will never be the same. But right now it is almost unbearably hard to be as stoic as they were in times of tragedy and loss. I keep trying.
    thomp360
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2018
     
    Thomp360, You have summarized the situation so eloquently. Yes, it is unbearably hard but it helps to know that others have endured such losses.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2018
     
    ttt