**New** Mental Health Thread (2018)


#341

Apologies, I’m not sure that this is appropriate for the mental health thread, but grief is a real cock isn’t it? I lost my dad very unexpectedly just over a year ago. Two weeks after his 60th birthday he was diagnosed with cancer, he was dead a week later. He was the fittest man I have ever known (he qualified to represent Team GB in the World Triathlon Championships 2016 as a veteran).

I go through a good few weeks where I think that I’ve got my head around it, but then out of nowhere it hits me like a tonne of bricks, and I struggle to grasp the magnitude of losing him (this weekend just gone being an example).

Anyone got any pointers for how best to deal with it?


#342

Jesus, that must have been such a shock.

I am fortunate enough to not have lost anyone super close to me (apart from grandparents) so I don’t have any advice. But I do religiously listen to Griefcast podcast though. My friend who lost her dad last year listens to it too and said it helps to hear the experiences of others but she also had counselling to help with it.


#343

Thanks Meow - will definitely check out that podcast.

I probably should have had some grief counselling to be frank. Feels a little silly considering it so long after the event though.


#344

If there are ways to deal with it beyond letting time do it’s thing I’m yet to find them I’m afraid. All I can offer is to just let those moments where the sudden realisation that you’re actually really never going to see them again (such a simple fact that seems too massive to ever really sink in) is just to find a quiet place and let it happen. Trying to push it out of your mind seldom works. Or it least it doesn’t for me.

The Griefcast @meowington recommends is really good (thanks meow - it was your recommendation that got me listening to it too). I had an anniversary of a loss recently that I was really trying to pretend wasn’t happening and the first episode with Adam Buxton came on my podcast playlist queue while I was mopping the kitchen floor. It kind of forced me to confront things in a weirdly gentle manner that really helped.

I’m really sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for it to happen so suddenly.


#345

Well Cariad from Griefcast started counselling/therapy like 15 years or so after her dad passing and she says it’s the best thing she’s ever done. I don’t think theres any time limit on these things tbh. It might be something to look into.

I’m just about to send some flowers to my friend as it’s a year soon since she lost her dad. I’m stuck for what to write in the card but I just want her to know i’m thinking of her!


#346

Thanks man. Wise words.


#347

I think that this is probably the best thing that you can write.


#348

This Griefcast sounds good. I’m fortunate not to have lost anyone close but my gf lost her dad (TW: illness) to a horrible death by bowel cancer and I’m pretty sure she has PTSD cos of it. She’ll often have bad dreams or flashbacks esp if she naps and he died nearly 10 years ago. She had a short bit of free counselling a few years back but I think it’d help to have more.
It’s one of those things that I feel very helpless about cos apart from being supportive and comforting there’s nothing I can do and saying general platitudes just seems hollow cos it’s not going to be ok no matter what I say.
I didn’t know her before it happened but from what she says it’s effected her whole behaviour, she basically never stops working I think as a chance to never try and think of stuff, and she’s self employed and her work and her interests are broadly the same thing so there’s very little delineation between work and free time.
(That was a bit more then I meant to write).


#349

In a similar boat here, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer two days after our wedding and died a few months later, she was otherwise totally healthy. It was devastating for her and her family, especially since my wife was pregnant at the time, and not having her mum around was really difficult. She had counselling and I think it helped her to manage her feelings around it, but even a couple of years on, there are difficult moments, especially things like mother’s day, which is bittersweet. One thing that my wife and her family have done is kept her mum really present - they talk about her all the time, whereas my instinct has always been to ignore it and never mention it for fear of upsetting someone. On Saturday my sister-in-law sent a group text “Mom would be so pissed off Prince Harry didn’t shave SMH” and it perfectly captured what she was like.


#350

Sorry to hear to that mate, it’s never easy. Keep them present is good, I’m prob more like you in being quieter about it. She’s not too bad at it but there always that element of melancholy.

One of the main things is how bad he got near the end and she was helping care for him (and she must have been only about 21 at the time) and just seeing someone in that way I think has caused a lot of trauma.


#351

I’m so sorry, that’s just awful. And yeah, it is a truly shit thing.
As other people have said, the podcast meow recommended has been really helpful.
The only thing I would say (and like most things, WAY easier said than done) is to try not to be hard on yourself for having bad days/weeks/even hours and to not feel bad when you aren’t. Sometimes it works to distract yourself with a walk or something, but sometimes it’s just as okay to allow yourself to just… feel things, even though that’s a lot scarier. We all have coping mechanisms, whether that be exercise or having a drink or whatever, but it’s also quite important to just be upset, or angry, or any other emotion that you feel, because it’s normal (normal is the wrong word really, because what is normal?) to feel any or all of them. And equally, embrace when you have good days, even if your brain is telling you not to.
Would definitely recommend finding someone to talk to as well, if you feel like that’d be beneficial. Even if it’s just googling different options so you have an idea about them, should you want that in the future.
Hope you, and everyone here, is being as kind as possible to themselves. You’re a wonderful bunch and the best eggs x


#352

This is just lovely. Sage advice too. Thank you.


#353

:slight_smile: we’re all here for you X


#354

Absolutely no problem - it’s something where there’s very little discussion around it and that just succeeds in making it seem even more frightening and isolating. I know exactly what you mean about struggling to articulate your experiences too - that’s one of the cruelest tactics it has. It straddles a weird, peripheral space between objects and language, and that’s why it’s very common to start philosophising about it all - there is a certain abstraction to it that won’t be pinned down but because of that it incites that very need (I think that’s mainly because it’s reeeeeally irrational and the logical part of you, whatever’s left of it, is working overtime to resolve the impossible conundrum). I’ve also had occasions where I felt like I was stripped of language entirely and that made it all the more demoralising to be subjected to something so ill-defined (harder to fight against too). So I don’t think you need to worry about being too precise. Docs are just looking for certain features in the way you speak anyway. I actually think my psych just jotted stuff down to look reassuringly professional! But anyway, I think @tricklenipple and @ghostpony have done a great job of covering everything essential and necessary and hopefully that’s enough to reassure you that it is a nightmare you can wake up from. Don’t despair. x


#355

Hey, sorry to hear that.

I don’t know if you’re a big drinker but resisting the urge to get drunk to forget is probably the hardest thing for me but the best when I get through it and can enjoy the next day.

Sounds pretty obvious (but can be hard to do) but talk to your siblings/mother/any loved ones about it, look at some nice photos etc. Do something to remember the good times somehow.

I lost my very young niece just before Christmas and when I feel down I have nice chat with my sister and she’ll send my some photos of my other niece and it’ll feel kinda ok


#356

God, sorry to hear that. That must have been horrific for you and your family.

I enjoy a drink, but I’m far from being a big drinker. I’ve certainly reigned in any urges to rely on alcohol in that way (strict non-consumption during the week, allowing myself a few glasses of wine at the weekend as a treat).

I make a point of talking about my dad regularly with my family - especially my kids, who absolutely worshipped him. I think that it’s really helped them process it, knowing that his memory lives on and that it’s alright to reminisce about the good times.


#357

How do you figure out what to do with your life though


#358

I mean that’s a really big question. It feels like a question the Baby Boomer generation asked their kids because they had a lot of hope in their lives and a lot of things were changing.

I feel like now what we should do with our lives is try to enjoy stuff. Obviously this isn’t necessarily the same as doing things you love because so many of those things cost too much or are simply not something we can easily do.

But I think it’s important to push back against a notion society tends to give us that sitting down the pub having a drink or watching stupid TV or whatever is wasted time. Fuck that. Just because I’m not “achieving” something doesn’t mean I’m wasting my life.

Apologies if your question was less late-capitalism, though. I just feel like there’s nothing wrong with a dull, no-career job if the money is helping you enjoy stuff you like, or whatever. Expectations are bad in so many aspects of our lives. x


#359

No it’s a valid point and good reminder, I have a tendency to have itchy feet as it is, but I guess I feel a bit weird (partly for the reasons you outlined) that I’m going back to bar work, single and back at my parents as I’m about to hit 30 when I’m “supposed” to have a career or salary in mind.

I do feel like I appreciate the good times when they happen… I just tend to feel guilty about them later


#360

In the nicest way possible, I don’t think we can really answer that one. Everybody’s circumstances and what makes them happy are totally different.

I suffer with self confidence. I look at my mates and their jobs/salary/lives and can easily get myself down. Like yrself, I’m 30, rent, working in a fucking shop in a thankless job that is no good for me and have a fair whack of debt through various reasons.

I’ve learnt to focus on what’s important instead, and my mates and their lives aren’t important. My fiancée/baby/family are. Take some pride in the fact that you are a decent writer, great musician and a really decent person. What you’re going through is temporary, and the result of some really tough decisions, but if it takes longer to get through, so be it, it’s not the end of the world is it.