A series of blog entries on loss / bereavement, stress / anger management, life transition counselling, couples relationships, health / nutrition, CBD - THC consultation, spirituality / metaphysics, . The blog is also about trying to understand 'Life' and its purpose through the ever evolving mind of a psychotherapist. Dr Milot, Ph.D. is the author of: 'Rising From The Ashes of Loss, My Voyage Through Grief'.
The dangers of unresolved grief: anger, resentment and rage
Readjusting and adapting to the new life
Reinforcing coping mechanisms
The gym was not very busy today very quiet and, aside from a few overzealous bodybuilders furiously pumping iron while exhibiting a sparkling set of bright white teeth in an uninviting grimace that says, go away and don’t bother me, there is nothing much else to see. Not even a good looking girl in sight as I would have expected. Zilch. Boring!
Let’s crawl back home slowly and hope I don’t get honked at too often by hurried drivers following me and pissed off at being slowed down by my 'I don’t give a crap' sorry ass slow driving. Between the sixty minutes it takes me to travel back and forth to the gym and my actual time in there, I manage to kill a miserable two hours and a half of my unending day. Wow, now what? But I shouldn’t ask as I know darn well what I need to do once I get back into my mind-numbing abode: tedious disconnecting exercises. Oh joy, what a blast! I always resist that phase of the program and although efficient, I find it difficult and draining emotionally. The sessions always bring me back into an underlying cesspool of repressed emotions, a world I’d rather forget, but cannot, must not. In fact facing these feelings is mandatory if I want to get over this. Making excuses to avoid my mental workout is not an option and I have to stick to my plan, regardless.
Back at home, once again as I open the kitchen door, I’m instantly assaulted by a powerful sense of emptiness and I start chocking again, "Damn it,” I say out loud in frustration. I have to do this, I don’t have a choice and hurriedly start making my way up the stairs to my meditation corner...
... Back at the hospital, I was taken out of my reverie by the oncology nurse coming into the room to finalize the procedure: "Congratulation Mrs. Milot, you just completed your first treatment and it went very well," she said. I would agree with that comment if it weren’t for the fact that the medical team had to interrupt the session in order to administer Louise a sedative in an effort to stop the scary heart palpitations she was having. Panic attack, they said, and it is common in new chemotherapy patients apparently. But as I would learn later, chemotherapy could also occasionally cause a nasty heart attack, an important little fact that was hidden from us. Would we have wanted to know though? Maybe not, maybe it was best this way and it would probably have added to Louise’s already high stress level, who knows. But it makes me feel good to bitch a little, it’s liberating.
Finally, five hours later, the ordeal is over and I can take Louise back home, but not before she swallows a little yellow pill. A second one is also given to her and she must make sure to take it the next day, otherwise she could be violently sick with nausea. “No problem,” I said with determination, “I'll make sure she takes it.” The mere thought of vomiting sends me into a frenzied panic and I was surely not going to let Louise suffer more and spill her guts out in front of me again, not if I could help it. It was now time to start implementing our back-up plan: an alternative natural treatment meant to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy while increasing its efficiency. Will it work? Only time will tell...
Frequent and unexplained benign diseases
Anxiety, excessive hostility, manias
Nervous ball in the throat
Inability to focus
More frequent asthma attacks
Rapid changes of appetite
Increased use of drugs and alcohol
Ulcers and heartburns
Indigestion and vomiting
Frequent need to urinate
Prostatitis, chronic cystitis
Impotence and decrease libido
* Understand here that these signs are considered as resulting from stress only if they do not have diagnosed physical causes.
Other more subtle signs indications weakened defences
You are less and less attentive than normal to your family
Your usual interest in hobbies decreases
You are more worried than normal
Your athletic performances constantly decreases
You are increasingly impatient and intolerant with others
You lose documents and objects more often and you forget your appointments
Sources of stress, i.e., in the work place
Too much work without rewards or sense of accomplishment
Poor management on the part of a manager
Particular pressures with co-workers in the workplace
The 'inability' to let go of your work outside the workplace
The constant need to perform to keep your job
We now can at this stage recognize and identify relatively well the main negative signs that stress can have on us. We've also looked at some sources of stress such as in the workplace. Now let's see in excerpt # 11 how to develop additional effective methods and ways to take control of that stress.
I remember how powerless and inadequate I felt at that time for not being able to do more to help alleviate her sufferings. I somehow felt guilty and frustrated for not possessing some kind of powers that could magically make all of this go away. I was devastated and overwhelmed with grief as I witnessed her withering away in an out of control downward spiral as she was struck by a massive and devastating gastro-enteritis. I had never in my life seen anyone be so sick. My heart is heavy and my gut hurt as I flashback to that moment. She was overwhelmed by dozens of uncontrollable episodes of violent vomiting and horrible spouts of diarrhea per day. At times the spasms were so strong and violent that her hands, arms and feet would paralyze mercilessly (tetanize). Then, trying to remain calm as best as I could, with a shaky voice, I would have to guide her into relaxation to help alleviate her terrible anxiety and calm down the involuntary muscle contractions in her extremities.
But the most atrocious part in all of this was that every time she was sick, the fresh stitches holding her tummy together threatened to rip out, tearing her skin brutally and leave a nasty open gash. A horrible thought! I had to hold and press a pillow to her stomach each time she threw up, in an effort to minimize the possible damage done by the vomiting motion. Aside from these humble interventions, the extent of my implication in the whole heartbreaking scene was limited to sponging, bathing, feeding, running errands and bringing her emotional support, that’s it. Quite destabilizing for me to feel so useless in front of such a drama, but little did I know then that the worst was yet to come.
The mere thought of seeing her like this drove me absolutely crazy, but I could only stand there, like a helpless idiot, feeling guilty for not being able to do more for her. It was a hurtful, pitiful and horrendous sight and I was resentful at the world for allowing this to happen. How much can a person take for heaven sakes, leave her alone, hasn’t she had enough? I thought angrily and ready to pick a fight with the 'Big Guy'. But God’s wicked and twisted sense of humour did not let up for another seven dreadful days and she must have lost at least eighteen pounds during that trying time. She was so exhausted and weak that she could not walk without support for the little distance from the bathroom to the living room where she constantly lay on the couch, totally wasted. I would massage her overstrained back and recoil with sympathy every time she yelped out in pain. In all of the times I felt helpless during her voyage, this period must have been the worst, and many times I prayed I could miraculously assume some of her pain so she could have a rest for a while. But unfortunately nature would not have it. It would not respond to my pleading and bargaining. Life sucks sometimes. It does not care, it just is.