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  • Bereavement and Loss Of Confidence?
  • Premier Icon shooterman
    Free Member

    I’m just wondering if anyone else has experienced this as part of the grieving process?

    I lost someone very close a few months ago. We went through this weird experience where I was one of two nominated visitors so we grew even closer over the last six months of life. Initially I was surprisingly ok then about 5 weeks later it hit me.

    The weird thing is my self confidence is completely gone. Everything panics me and I’m extremely anxious all the time. To compound the problem I started a new job which I am struggling to get to grips with. Just wondering if this is normal or something I should speak to my GP about? If you experienced it, how long did it last?

    Premier Icon grahamt1980
    Full Member

    No experience of the exact circumstances you describe, but if your anxiety is affecting you then def talk to your gp.
    Plus keep posting on here if it helps lots of us have posted things on here and pretty much everyone is supportive

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Full Member

    First of all sorry for your loss.

    I think I suffered something similar when I lost my mum about 33 years ago. I was at university at the time but was home for summer hols when she passed away a couple of years after having a brain tumor removed. Me and my and brothers and father were at the bedside when she passed so there was proper closure in that respect. All was fine following funeral and I went back to start my final year in Uni. I met a lovely girl, things went OK for a few weeks and then suddenly I just started to break down. I developed a stammer I had never had before and lost loads of self confidence. By the middle of that first semester I knew it was pointless me trying to tuff it out till my finals, and after a few visits to a campus counselling facility I was able to defer my final year for 12 months. I spent the next 8 months working as a pony-trek leader and I must say it was not the worst thing I could have done. The complete change and the dependency of the horses and the constant interaction with people in nature was great therapy and helped me get my head together.

    Definitely try and talk to someone about it. I am no expert on anything involving emotions or the like (just ask my wife!), but talking about things like this always seems to help. I am sure someone will be along just now with more practical advice

    Premier Icon captainclunkz
    Full Member

    Yes I have had a very similar experience like yours. When I was 21 (15 year’s ago) both my parents passed away 5 months apart from each other. I ended up drinking heavily and taking tons of cocaine. After trying to kill myself unsuccessfully and after a year and a half of abuse to my body and mind I went to see a doctor and they put me on anti depressants as well as doing alcohol and drugs anonymous courses. It took me ages to get my confidence back until I decided to go backpack around the world. Traveling for me really helped me improve my confidence around others as well as seeing the importance of life<span style=”font-size: 0.8rem;”>.</span>

    Premier Icon DezB
    Full Member

    Sounds like the kind of thing I went through after a load of stuff caught up with me.
    I used the NHS self referral online and had some counselling sessions, which were a massive help.
    Not sure if they will be doing that at the moment, but there’s a lot of mental health help on the website
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    Grief and loss effect everyone differently, certainly knocked my mental health 6 months after my mum went.

    No harm in speaking to your GP or looking for other support.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Another one. My folks died within 10 months of each other and, looking back, I can see that it led to a great deal of anxiety, which still affects me 10 years later. I’d put it down simply to getting older but I can see that it’s much more complex than that. It has affected my work, the amount I drive, and the sort of activities I undertake. Knowing it and recognising it definitely helps.

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    I never really got on with Dad and when he died then well, he died. I was surprised how it made me feel over the following few months. Not what you are describing but a very real and very deep effect.

    Check out DezB link. That will do no harm and might help, even just to reassure you that it is normal, or one of the million normals that different people have.

    Premier Icon shooterman
    Free Member

    Thanks. As others mentioned above about their own experiences, a lot went on last year and I do feel as though the bill has come in for how hard I was pushing myself / being pushed.

    My brain is screaming at me to get out of the new job as it has been the final layer of stress which I think has tipped the balance. I just can’t get that message through to other people though and I need them on board. I could be unemployed for a while and it would involve giving up a pension. People close to me dismiss it as the usual new job jitters but I know this is different. Just a gut feeling telling me it’s all wrong. Can’t get HR to engage with me which is making things a lot worse. I’m feeling very trapped to be honest and that I have no control over my life at the moment and it’s not getting any better.

    I’ve tried the usual stuff of walking, meditation etc which helps a little but I think it might be time to speak to my GP.

    Premier Icon northshoreniall
    Full Member

    Really sorry to hear about your position and how you are feeling. Definitely chat with gp, also have a look at these guys – https://www.cruse.org.uk/
    They are a counselling / support charity specifically dealing with bereavement. Not used them but in my role have signposted many to them and hear great things. Likely to have local(ish) group.

    Premier Icon Tom-B
    Free Member

    My grandma’s passing was the straw the broke the camel’s back with regards to depression. I’ll never completely ‘get over’ it….he was my absolute hero. Within 18 months of him dying I’d been through CBT through the NHS as well as a few months on anti depressants and I got divorced. The latter although a very tough period was for the best. Currently as happy as reasonably could be given the current pandemic etc.

    Asking for help is the hardest part…..and it’s not a ‘failure’ or anything to be ashamed of.

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    Five years ago this week my sister died. Then my mother. 2016 was not a great year. I’m pretty resilient and confident about what I do at work. But only when the weather has passed can you look back and see how bad the storm really was. It was pretty bad.

    It will pass over time. Your skills have not changed, only your perceptions. Some counselling may help. But I did not go down that path. I rode my bike. A lot.

    Premier Icon shooterman
    Free Member

    Thanks. Some pretty helpful and honest stuff there.

    Noticed on the Cruse website loss of confidence / panic / anxiety are part of the grieving process. I think I’ve made life particularly hard for myself by changing jobs / disciplines where I’m almost completely de-skilled.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I think I’ve made life particularly hard for myself by changing jobs / disciplines where I’m almost completely de-skilled

    No bereavement involved but having just done that bit, I can totally understand the extra pressures your loss has put you under.

    Took me a few months to come to terms with the loss of my nan who I was very close to. Had a really bad time and ended up having some counseling through work.

    It’s a pretty common problem, and GPs or groups like Cruse will hopefully point you in the right direction.

    It will pass. The key thing is that you’ve recognised the issue and started considering getting help

    Premier Icon MarkyG82
    Full Member

    Yes. My confidence is at an all time low right now. It actually started in 2008 when I lost my best mate who was working in Bali at the time. Then within a year we lost both grandparents in mums side and the family dog.
    Fast forward to 2014 and we finally lost mum after a long fight. Then just short of a year ago we lost dad also to a long fight.
    It’s been gradually getting worse and I have dropped many responsibilities at work. Trying to move house in current times is bad enough and we are trying to sell mum and dad’s place too.
    Very much looking forward to being able to go out riding more easily and also have the motivation to do things for myself in the evenings.

    Premier Icon Clover
    Full Member

    I’m glad I’m not alone. I lost my dad a few days before Christmas. I knew I’d be upset and all the lockdown stuff means that I can’t go to be with my mum in Germany, we can’t have a proper funeral so there’s no moment when we can remember him together.

    I am quite practical and enormously grateful that I was able to visit him in hospital in September (he was hit by a car and miraculously survived for a while).

    I had kind of thought that the series of stress related things that had happened were to do with the lack of being able to do anything (mouth ulcers so bad I thought I was losing a tooth, recurrence of generalised anxiety disorder I had about 20 years ago and thought I’d seen the back of, and a migraine) rather than him leaving the world. I suddenly run out of steam some days and my brain just says no. I work for myself so the question of how sympathetic my employer is a the subject of an internal fight between self-management and deadlines from clients.

    Sorry for your loss Shooterman. And thank you for posting. I will go and do some bereavement research. I thought it was just me.

    Premier Icon shooterman
    Free Member

    I’m so sorry to hear that Marky. I hope the situation improves for you soon.

    Thanks Clover and sorry to hear about your Dad. Covid definitely hasn’t made things any easier.

    I think I need to make a decision about the work thing. I was told by my GP a few years ago I was burned out after years of chronic stress. Stupidly I interpreted that in the everyday sense ie been burning the candle at both ends and was over tired. Didn’t take anywhere near enough time off and I think I probably didn’t fully recover. It was a rotten place to be and I’m afraid of ending back there again.

    Premier Icon jonba
    Free Member

    Bereavement can lead to many things. Not necessarily permanently it just takes time.

    Anxiety/ loss of confidence is one of those.

    My experience is that initially things did get better because I was busy with admin and everything was explainable. It never really went away though and came back months later.

    Struggled at work, was stressed, anxious about things that I never used to be. I wouldn’t think twice about big solo rides and all of a sudden I was crippled by the idea of being stuck miles from home.

    It’s normal, I learned to accept it and things get back to normal eventually. Bereavement is a difficult one. There’s no fix, time helps but there’s not a timeline that works for everyone.

    Talking helps so contact you GP or find a sympathetic, patient friend.

    Premier Icon MarkyG82
    Full Member

    Thanks Shooterman. And you. As mentioned by others, we all have our ways of dealing with things. Chatting on here definitely helps me.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I’m not one for platitudes so instead I’ll give you two pieces of advice.

    1) People deal with grief and loss in different ways. Sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s delayed, sometimes it’s slow. None of these things are wrong so don’t you dare feel guilty about it. We all have to muddle through however we can, there ain’t a manual.

    2) Make your HR department aware. They will be able to make allowances for you not bringing your A Game rather than work wondering WTF is going on, and they may have some sort of employee assistance programme they can refer you to for support.

    Premier Icon scott_mcavennie2
    Free Member

    I started a new job soon after my brother’s suicide in 2018.
    I suffered with crippling anxiety and real imposter syndrome. Was sure I wasn’t pulling my weight and felt out of my depth.
    Took me a while to get through it.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Wise words from Cougar

    I will add that I am a big fan of counseling, the critical thing with counseling is how well you get on with the counselor. If your leg was broken you would not hesitate to get help so don’t hesitate if your head is broken

    Premier Icon shooterman
    Free Member

    Thanks everyone. You’ve hit the nail pretty much on the head Scott.

    Premier Icon scott_mcavennie2
    Free Member

    @shooterman – sorry to hear that – it’s not a nice experience.
    From my perspective, it really was mostly in my head. I was actually performing very well, but had convinced myself it wasn’t the case. I also suffered with memory issues – I’d go into town or to the supermarket and then not remember why – it is obvious now that I was in shock, but things like that added to my insecurity.
    Good luck with it – and look to counselling if possible.

    Premier Icon shooterman
    Free Member

    Thanks to all. Yep my memory is shot to pieces as well. Not a nice feeling. Took the steps recommended so hopefully things should start to turn for the better.

    Premier Icon Muke
    Free Member

    So sorry of your loss. I don’t have any wise words for you but can wholeheartedly relate to the situation you describe. Sadly my wife is extremely close to the end of her long brave battle with Cancer and I am currently bouncing between “Its ok we’ll get through this” to “Sheer panic”.
    I don’t know if you have followed Gnusmas on here and read about what he has been through, how he has got through the last few years is amazing. He also has a blog https://brighteststarinthesky.com/ have a read and see if any of that helps.

    Premier Icon stripeysocks
    Free Member

    It’s very common, not just bereavement but in general, I see this over and over, people go through hell, get out the other side and then it’s as if their body and mind looks round, confirms they’re in a safe place now, and says,
    “Ok, right, NOW you can have a nervous breakdown”
    and you just fall apart like a comedy banger at the end of the journey.

    There’s an excellent book called “The Body Keeps The Score” about how stress and trauma affects memory, emotion – e.g. the neurology of why memories of a traumatic situation seem vivid but disjointed and not “settled in”. Proper science. Might help.

    Premier Icon shooterman
    Free Member

    I’m so sorry to hear about your situation Muke. I wish you the strength to get through it.

    Very interesting point you raise Stripeysocks. We went through a difficult situation a few years ago where my wife and I had fairly major surgery a few months apart. My wife lost a lot of blood and was in high dependency for a few days. There were other stressors at the time too. I just seemed to turn into a robot and become emotionally numb to get through it but then a year or so later it hit me what could have happened. I think I will check out that book.

    Premier Icon Muke
    Free Member

    Thanks shooterman, sadly my wife passed away yesterday and I know we now have to go through the bereavement process and things will eventually get better over time but I have never felt so broken and scared in my whole life.
    If you can go hug someone you love, you don’t fully realize what you have until its gone.

    Peace, Love and **** Cancer.

    Premier Icon freeagent
    Free Member

    Yep – i can identify with this OP.

    My younger brother died 7 years ago after a long battle with bowel cancer – i think loss of confidence is linked to anxiety and i’ve struggled with that a bit.
    Things came to a head at home last Autumn and my wife gave me an ultimatum to get some help – making the call was very difficult but the counselling sessions have really helped.

    Premier Icon Mounty_73
    Free Member

    Sorry to hear of your loss. If I can give one piece of advice, then that would be please talk to someone, you have made the start by coming onto STW.

    I experienced a huge loss of several family members, I couldn’t process it all, therefore I couldn’t talk to anyone, it destroyed me and some of the relationships around me.

    I lost all my confidence and closed myself off from nearly everyone around me for a long time, it still haunts me to this day, but not all the time, it does get easier and that’s down to time.

    I found a counsellor a few years back and that was my release of all the emotions, anger, anxiety, sadness etc.

    Like I say find someone to talk to, it will help.

    Premier Icon Rona
    Full Member

    shooterman – I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.

    I’ve experienced similar and hope this helps … I had open heart surgery for a congenital heart abnormality which had been completely undetected until then (at age nearly 40). It was a shock, and the hospital experiences were extremely stressful. I was still recovering emotionally from that when, two years later, my OH died in a road accident. I soldiered on for a few years thinking I was very strong only to find myself unable to function normally due to severe anxiety. When it was first suggested to me that I may be suffering post-traumatic stress, I initially thought this was unlikely; however, after much reading, and the help of good trauma therapist, I now have a lot more insight. Along similar lines to The Body Keeps the Score, I think (I’m aware of it but have not read it), I have found Peter Levine’s books extremely helpful. The body-oriented approach to trauma recovery has really helped me. I’m wishing you well.

    stripeysocks – sounds like my experience entirely! Thanks for that – it’s always good to understand why we react the way we do, and reassuring to know we’re not alone.

    Muke – I’m so sorry to hear you lost your wife yesterday. I’m wishing you strength.

    Premier Icon gnusmas
    Full Member

    So sorry to hear about everyone’s losses, my condolences go out to you all. Going through it all again is really tough, especially when you haven’t been able to deal with the first lot of grief.

    Grief is handled differently by everyone, but from people I’ve spoken to the feelings and experiences surrounding it are pretty similar for us all. Depression, anxiety, loss of confidence, low self esteem, lack of motivation, second guessing everything, hindsight is definitely a bitch, I tend to waffle about crap now too, etc.

    I’ve been fairly open about it all here and in my blog, lots I haven’t said but I think there has to be a limit to it at some point. If anyone wants a chat, vent or anything please drop me a message. Whether it be emotional or practical, I’m happy to help if I can. I’m not an expert by any means, but can give my opinion and experience if it might help.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Full Member

    There you go again Alan being so bloody thoughtfull of others 🙂
    You helped me when Carolyn died by showing how its OK to get angry and vent not something that comes naturally to me.
    Now Muke(Marcus) is sadly in the position of losing someone young (I’m making assumptions here) made even worse by Covid.

    Premier Icon gnusmas
    Full Member

    @MrOvershoot happy to help anyway I can, hope you’re doing OK at the moment.

    @Muke please get in touch if you want or need to. I know we’ve briefly spoken previously but if you need a chat or anything please let me know.
    This is an open invitation for anyone else too, saves tagging everyone and makes it easier this way.

    This video I think has the best explanation of grief and its quite easy and simple to watch.

    It is generally said that there are 5 stages of grief.

    Some people believe that the stages happen in a particular order and takes a certain timescale to complete the cycle. That is a load of crap, each person is different and time is not a factor for grief. I don’t think I’ve been ‘lucky enough’ to reach acceptance once in 2 and a half years. I live a constant battle bouncing between anger, depression, bargaining and isolation. This website clearly explains each stage.

    https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief

    Again, I hope everyone is doing as best as they can at the moment.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Full Member

    gnusmas
    Full Member

    @MrOvershoot happy to help anyway I can, hope you’re doing OK at the moment.

    @Muke please get in touch if you want or need to. I know we’ve briefly spoken previously but if you need a chat or anything please let me know.
    This is an open invitation for anyone else too, saves tagging everyone and makes it easier this way.

    This video I think has the best explanation of grief and its quite easy and simple to watch.
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1027459464859971584

    @gnusmas Not great at the moment Alan but nothing like your going through.
    That video explains it so well, I can be having an OK day, work is bearable (the expanded life) then you get home and some little fragment of a memory of Carolyn in something I’m doing will set me off (the bit that stays within)

    I’m slightly worried that this forum is possibly the one place where I can be honest about my feelings and not be judged, is that a good or a bad thing, perhaps good for this forum and bad for me in the wider sense?

    Premier Icon Muke
    Free Member

    this forum is possibly the one place where I can be honest about my feelings and not be judged

    That’s got to be a good thing, keep venting, STW can be a tough place at times but there is also a lot of love to go around. On a personal note thank you all for your messages of support, I feel a bit bad about barging in on shootermans thread with my own problems but don’t feel I’m worthy of my own thread, please tell me if I get in the way.

    I was aware that our first weekend was going to be tough. I have been keeping busy with the important admin, some of which can only be done during the week, which therefore leaves the weekend free and if not careful it could become easy to drift into the negative spaces that have been left by our loss. So the plan was to keep busy somehow but that kind of fell apart a bit once the procession of couriers started with flower deliveries, some people are very good with their tear provoking words, so much for trying not to cry so much today.
    Lockdown is difficult for everyone but deffo not helping in that we are unable to visit people, places and do the things that we would like to but we intend to keep as busy as possible whilst remaining focussed on the positives.

    Stay safe people, virtual man hugs all round.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    bad for me in the wider sense?

    I would have thought not. The anonymity on here can be helpful in feeling able to say things and that in turn may help you put some thoughts in order.

    its not a substitute for real life but sometimes its close and experiences shared are beneficial

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    I feel a bit bad about barging in on shootermans thread with my own problems but don’t feel I’m worthy of my own thread, please tell me if I get in the way.

    I would have thought it fine to barge in so long as you don’t do a TJ and take over the thread arguing about minutiae 😉

    Of course you are worthy. all folk are. It might even be best to have one combined thread as then you can share and support each other.

    I have had no real tragedy in my immediate family but some in wider family and I thought I could cope especially given my professional background but I learned a lesson the day I had to go home from work in tears when it all hit me.

    There is no right and wrong, there is no normal and abnormal reactions – there is just what you are feeling.

    Premier Icon Rona
    Full Member

    Muke – I would say let it out if you can. I cried every single day for 3 months after my OH died. I know it’s hard. It will get easier. Take as much time as you need to grieve, and look after yourself. Same goes for everyone here who has lost someone. I’m wishing you all well.

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