Suicide Loss Survival Story: Second Month

depression, voices, self-criticism, abandonment, suicide loss

Suicide loss month 2. The first month after my wife died by suicide was brutal. It was mentally and physically excruciating. There was a lot of reflection during this time and just trying to figure out how to love myself. For someone with abandonment issues, to be abandoned by the one person who ever made me feel love, I was at the lowest point in my entire life and now I needed to figure out how to keep moving forward.

Juna (my Frenchie) was the perfect addition for me.  She kept me busy during that time and got me outside in the sun. My anxiety was crippling and that became more apparent when I tried to go back to work. I had just started working at the gym two months before my wife passed away and now I had to figure out how to get back at it. I started working on getting Juna trained as my Psychiatric Service Dog to help with panic attacks and keep me company while at work.

But something just didn’t feel right anymore. Because my brain didn’t work like it used to, it’s almost as if I couldn’t separate my old normal from my new normal when at work. I was finding myself working and having moments of clarity that I wouldn’t be going home to my wife at the end of this shift and it was an absolute gut punch. It’s the strangest feeling in the world to be working like it was “old normal” and then “new normal” reality consciously set in. It was debilitating.

I still did my best to try to work even though it was painful. Other things that I couldn’t do anymore was go to the store. Instacart is probably the greatest invention in the world for people with anxiety and depression, but also quite the crutch! I didn’t have to leave the house and that was really great when you’re trying to avoid dealing with life. Friends still came by to see me which was nice for the connection piece. And I honestly starting meeting new people for new connections because I just needed to connect with human beings while I figured out my life. I still cried constantly. I struggled mentally without my best friend and still hadn’t accepted my new normal. My best friend had been gone for a month and I still woke up every day having to remind myself that my wife killed herself.

I still wasn’t eating at this point. This is going to be an over-share, but I don’t care. I had found myself trying to work and getting dizzy a lot. I thought it was just the fuzziness of PTSD and trauma but noticed that something wasn’t quite right with a bowel movement one day and decided to head to the ER. I ended up having an internal hemorrhoid because of the lack of eating and hydrating. I felt absolutely horrible, but this was definitely one of those moments where I realized that I needed to actually start taking care of myself. I started to get better about simple nutrition and hydrating and reversed the damage that had been done. I slowly started getting back into cooking but it was hard.

There are all these things that are part of your every day life that you just don’t want to do anymore because it reminds you of old normal. Even little things like cooking and you just still don’t want to do them because you associate them with old normal and old normal is as painful as new normal now. I loved cooking for my family. But now I was cooking for one and it was just another reminder of how different things were going to be from then on.

Advice for month two – Not much. I was just trying to figure out life moving forward and trying to take care of myself. Working was difficult and doing normal everyday tasks were also difficult. But it was at this point I also decided to turn one of the bedrooms into a Meditation Room. A safe place I could go to to shut my eyes and feel. I had to force myself into these moments at times because I wanted to dissociate mostly. So scheduling times to cry was pretty healing for me.