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Hello all,

I am new here and have been widowed since November 2016. I am raising our son alone, and live in a different country than my family. I do have very good friends that have helped me immensely during this time but they are all very young (as am I) and cannot imagine what I am going through.

I am writing because I think I need to start looking for professional help, and would love to have any advice from any of you...

 

My husband died very suddenly, while I was with our son on a trip. It was a shock and I somehow got through the past 2 and a half years raising our now 7-year-old.

My son and I are very close, and generally, we spend our time together. He has no babysitter and I don't usually spend much time without him unless I'm working.

 

Last night he slept over a friend's place and it is one of the rare moments I find myself alone, with my thoughts and emotions, and I am mostly crying and feeling simply sad and lost. Much like I felt at the very beginning only less dizzy with physical/emotional unbearable pain. My pain is now bearable, but somehow it feels like a technicality and still not an emotional state of someone who can lead a happy and full life.

 

I think I need to start talking to a professional, since I really believe in the power of therapy. I live in Berlin, where I speak the language in a lower level than I would like, and I find that and the general situation of the health care here, making it very difficult to find a good therapist.

 

I think I might not be able to feel again, or at least it'S going to take several good years before I do, and it is a quite scary and discouraging thought. I feel I am wasting away my youth, I am only 33 and have spent almost 3 years feeling dead inside. It is quite distracting and makes it difficult to work full time and also be a sweet, happy mother.

 

I know I have to find a therapist but I am finding it difficult. In the first few weeks after my husband died, I found a local therapist that spoke my language. It took all of my strength to find him, schedule a meeting and show up. When I told him about my situation, the first thing he asked was why not take pills to help me sleep and manage my emotions etc. I was shocked and realized this therapist was not the right one for me. I am very careful about staying away from any substances that change my perception, and I had enough experience with prescribed medication to know I cannot behaviourally afford to be on any pill while being completely alone with a small child.

 

I don't even know what it is I want to write here. "Got any tips?", maybe...  

 

Thanks in advance.

 

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Hi Sara. So sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. 

 

I know this sounds flippant but as to what to do: Keep looking. It can take time to find a suitable therapist and, as you have seen, not all of them are a good match for you. Continue to search and then meet with any and all that you think may be helpful. You'll know when you find the right guy/gal. Also, ask everyone you trust - one of your friends may be able to suggest a good candidate. 

 

But keep at it and don't give up. There will come a time when you break free of your dark place and all the effort will be worth it. 

 

p.s. - I not sure if I am reading you correctly but all meds do not change your perception of the world around you. If carefully chosen, the right one could help you handle your world - not change it. 

 

Good luck - Mike

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Hi Sera,

 

I'm sorry you had reason to join us but glad you found us. It must add a whole 'nother dimension to be in a different country at this time. 

 

Parenting is tough, only parenting exponentially more so. It can be challenging to accept the changes in kids as they grow and mature, and the emotional spin it puts on the only parent as changes emphasize that's it's all on you, and in the end it will be just you. As kids grow it also underscores how long your spouse has been gone, which can be tough to acknowledge. I think it's healthy and important for you to have other things in your life beside your son that bring you joy. 

 

I hear you on medication. Maybe there is a therapist in your home country that you could video chat with? You may have to pay out of pocket but it may be worth it. 

 

Wishing you peace,

 

abl

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On 7/28/2019 at 6:17 AM, Sera said:

I feel I am wasting away my youth,

Welcome Sera

 

Your youth at 33 feels wasted.   At 71 and twice widowed I have a slightly different perspective.  Your youth is not being wasted.  It is being spent doing the things you need to do as you are able.  I read you as a very self aware woman.  You know the right questions and you have the good sense to ask them.  That is more than half of the battle.  I will bet that at 71 you will be a force to be reckoned with.  Check back here and let us know.  I would also suggest that finding a local widow or two to befriend might be a lot better than finding the wrong therapist.   All my best therapy has been with widow friends.

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Dear All,

Thank you so much for your encouraging and supportive replies. I haven't started actively looking for a therapist, as I am waiting for things to be a bit more stable and certain points in my life to fall into place.

 

Mike: I've only had bad or unnecessary experience with them, so I am basing my opinions only on that. I do find that vaporizing marijuana is the best option for me to fall asleep easily without any side effects. I must say it is also the biggest opportunity to feel joy at the moment, as my life quality has colossally lessened since Gabi's death and there aren't as many moments of enjoyment or lightheartedness. I don't know how many of you considered this when in need of assistance, but I really recommend it (smoking doesn't do much good, as the burning process creates a bit of a different effect. Vaporizing is very easy going and the THC isn't as much activated).

 

Abitlost: I think that is a good option, I had a wonderful therapist back home and would check that option. Thank you.

 

 Love2Fish: I appreciate your support! But what you are describing is one of my biggest fears - to have to wait 50 miserable years to finally be able to enjoy life. I saw my grandmother go through it and she is at 80 finally enjoying a relationship with a man (after 20 years of being unable to date) and this relationship is actually quite unhealthy and she is becoming very forgetful, so that is not something I wish for myself or anyone. I am happy for her but she definitely deserves better. But I thank you for telling me a bit of your story.

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