I'm here again. I am 81. I have long term depression, anxiety, insomnia, fibromyalgia, caregiving for my husband for 13 years and I am in deep mourning for my wonderful son who died suddenly on august 18. How can I cope? My other son has been with me for 3 weeks but he had to leave. I don't have any close friends left, I can't take antidepressants, counseling isnt helping. I have to pretend I'm just tired all day with my husband because he doesnt know his son is gone and when I go to bed at night all I can do is cry.
You have many, many other issues from brain chemistry imbalance (depression, anxiety, insomnia) to extreme physical pain with your fibromyalgia. On top of that, you are a caregiver for your husband. You must be incredibly strong to have handled so much and still have the strength and courage to reach out for help through counseling and here online.
The fact that you can't share your grief over your son with your husband has to be like a knife to the heart. I'm sure that just intensifies your loneliness.
How to cope?
You've been around long enough to know that life can be harder than many of us ever expect, yet it can also give us moments of joy. Hard as it is to start, a "gratitude list" can eventually help us with many of our worst struggles. Sometimes, in instances like yours, there doesn't seem much to be grateful for, but you did have your son for a long time. You also have a loving son who took time from his job and family to mourn with you. That is something.
Could you try another counselor? Sometimes one counselor may be able to help when another couldn't. It’s often a matter of chemistry rather than training. Also, if you belong to a church, you may want to see if they have a Stephen Ministry. These lay ministers are trained to help people with mourning.
I’d also suggest that you go online to www.compassionatefriends.org. This is an organization for people who have lost children, and some communities have meetings. As with so many things, no one can truly understand unless they have experienced what we have experienced. These people have been where you are.
You need to cry. You need to talk to someone who will just listen, even if it's a paid counselor. Maybe this extra step of communicating with people who have lost children will help a bit more.
Eventually, to get on with life, you'll need to come to some kind of acceptance that your son was a wonderful gift for you throughout the years. If you have some
faith (which can be hard to keep in these dark times) you may find comfort knowing that your son is now beyond pain.
Your courage is evident, my friend. Please keep reaching out as you are now. The pain will not disappear – ever. But it can become bearable over time.
I don't really have any words of wisdom. Carol had a good idea about finding another therapist that you click with more than you apparently do with this one. And therapy isn't a quick fix, it takes time and work. I would advise you to keep going, keep plugging away at it. Going to therapy is a positive step you're taking and something that you're doing for yourself. Please keep with it.
Maybe you could write another post and let us know more about being a caregiver to your husband. There are a lot of great folks on this site and it sounds like you could use the support and company.
Again, my deepest sympathies for the loss of your son.
I pray you find comfort during this season of loss and that you get the support you clearly need. Bless you.