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After her first hospitalization, she came back during finals week. What was more challenging, she said, was figuring out what to tell some of her classmates about her absence. She said she told most of her close friends, but it was difficult when it came to others with whom she isn't as close. What does seem to be working within the local system is what comes after hospitalization: intensive outpatient programs that allow teens to return to school and their lives while still receiving significant and frequent psychiatric support services.

Following her second two-week hospitalization at Mills in late January, Manon entered the hospital's intensive outpatient program. For three to four hours after school every day, she participated in individual, group and family therapy and stress-management education. She said she actually was hospitalized this second time with the express purpose of getting into the outpatient program, which she hadn't been told about during her first hospitalization and which gives priority to patients coming straight from the hospital.

Manon stayed in the outpatient program for eight weeks, with the number of treatment days per week gradually tapering off. She called the program "amazing" and credited it with helping her to lessen the stress-inducing value she had placed on things like grades and college admissions. We were actually talking about things that mattered, like our lives. Mary's in San Francisco runs an outpatient educational and therapeutic program but only for students from the San Francisco Unified School District. ASPIRE was created in the wake of the suicide cluster in Palo Alto in and , after a community task force was convened to analyze the issue.

Michael Fitzgerald, director of behavioral health services at El Camino, told the Mountain View Voice newspaper in that the group didn't simply want to hospitalize suicidal teens for a few days and then release them. The task force came to the conclusion that they would have to address the root of the problem. ASPIRE requires a time commitment of at least four afternoons per week for eight weeks, with individual counseling, dialectal behavior therapy a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy used to treat mental health disorders , "expressive arts" and lessons on mindfulness and stress-management.

Parents are also required to come in regularly for therapy and attend a group that teaches how best to support their children. The program is more educational than, for example, the Mills' outpatient program, and El Camino staff takes pride in that. But only small numbers of teens in crisis benefit from this popular program. El Camino is well-aware of the demand in the community.

The hospital is in the process of doubling the size of ASPIRE as well as planning a middle school version and a similar program for young adults ages 18 to 25 coming out of state custody or foster care, Fitzgerald said. Avoiding hospitalization through intervention, prevention. In September, EMQ Families First, a statewide nonprofit that serves children and families, opened a small, short-term crisis stabilization unit in Campbell for children and adolescents who are at risk of suicide with the goal of preventing unnecessary hospitalizations.

After a patient arrives, a team of nurses, psychiatrists and family specialists work with a timeline of 23 hours and 59 minutes to evaluate and release the patient with a plan for further care. In the majority of situations, we're able to avoid hospitalization. EMQ also operates a mobile crisis unit in Santa Clara County for children and adolescents experiencing an acute psychological crisis. They perform assessments, take patients to emergency rooms and link families to agencies that offer longer-term mental health services in the community. The bulk of mobile crisis referrals come directly from schools' staff who can't place students under the hold and police officers, though individuals can also use the service, Wolfe said.

Stanford offers outpatient evaluation and treatment but no intensive after-school programs for teenagers like at El Camino or Mills. They have instead focused on "meeting kids where they are," with, for example, Stanford child and adolescent psychiatrist Shashank Joshi serving as the Palo Alto school district's mental health consultant, visiting campuses following a suicide and speaking at parent education nights and community panels. Stanford mental health providers are also eying the continuum of care, hoping that better and more innovative prevention, education and outpatient services would decrease the need for emergency psychiatric care.

This year, Carrion spearheaded the launch of a mindfulness curriculum for all 3, students in the Ravenswood City School District through a partnership with a southern California-based nonprofit that brings health and wellness education to K schools throughout the country. Palo Alto Medical Foundation also started offering this year a free drop-in yoga class for teens on Tuesday afternoons. In the meantime, families are left to struggle with the emergency and support system.

Just as Gentile was shocked to find out that there were no adolescent inpatient psychiatric services available in Santa Clara County, she was surprised at how hard it was to find a local, ongoing teen depression support group that was appropriate for her son. Palo Alto Therapy, a private therapy center in downtown Palo Alto, offers an eight-session "Stress to Wellness" support group for teens who are experiencing anxiety, depression or other mental health issues but have already been exposed to some cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as an eight-week "Tackling Anxiety" therapy class for both teens and adults.

The group will likely meet on a daily basis year-round compared to other local programs where support groups only last for several weeks , with teens coming in on their own for support and their parents also meeting with CHAC staff at the same time, said Executive Director Monique Kane. The students and parents will also sometimes meet together, Kane said. The group will be free for any teens in the area. CHAC also recently started a quarterly speaker series in which local teenagers talk to adults in the community about topics like anxiety, depression and academic stress.

Reflecting on her family's experience with local care, Gentile compared it to seeking help for her daughter, who suffers from a rare neuromuscular disease. Any person who is feeling depressed, troubled or suicidal is urged to call to speak with a crisis counselor. People in Santa Clara County can also call Note: This is not an exhaustive list. For more resources, go to Resources: How to help those in crisis.

Thank you for the well written article. This is clearly a huge 'dirty secret' of our community that occurs once we are able to get our kids into the system. One additional point I would like to make Evidently, if a kid is 18 or over or all other beds are full for the under 18 , the age of the most 'at risk' students in their senior year of high school, the options of these other facilities disappear and the kids are transported by police in handcuffs to West Valley Medical. Here they are housed in a stark, clinical, general mental health holding facility, reeking of urine, surrounded by screaming patients, reminiscent of something out of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

A moment of questioning, in the event of a future crisis, could make the difference of life and death! Not only are more beds needed but we also need to accommodate those kids that are over 18 but still transitioning into adulthood as the handling of their crisis is so delicate. As a community, we need to ensure that by providing for and encouraging our kids to utilize the crisis resources available to them, we are not leading them over a cliff.

Our efforts and resources need to also go in to ensuring that the kids get the care and treatment they need in terms of intervention, housing, care and treatment. A stunning, well-written, timely, and important article. Thank you to the author. I urge people to share this meaningful article with others.

Denver Best to all of you! Thanks to Sarah Gentile for quickly and intelligently forming a new committee. We in Denver are watching. Elena, thank you for a thorough, informative, and provocative article. There is so much to think about, especially how we community members can fill in some of the gaps to support our young people.

While continuing to parent our own children with kindness and clarity is a high priority, extending this caring to all the other young people we contact is next in line. Much thanks. What an excellent article. I am so impressed by the individuals contributing their stories. Thank you Sarah Gentile and Manon Piernot for bravely sharing your experience to help others. Now that Stanford's enormous new hospital has been approved and construction is well underway the largest development project in Palo Alto's history , perhaps they might consider including some services for LOCAL adolescents, enabling local parents many of them are Stanford-affiliated families to conveniently visit and support their kids in crisis, enabling these young people easier transition back to school and community.

What was all that noise Stanford made about providing LOCAL services when they were advocating for their gargantuan hospital project? Where are those local services for adolescents in crisis? What is "comprehensive" about adolescent psychiatric care that doesn't provide a hospital bed close to home? This is an important article to read and act upon. More beds at their places of work - our local medical centers, foundations and hospitals - WILL save lives, unlike the elimination of zero period which MAY or may not.

I want to recommend a book to everyone interested in the topic of depression: The Depression Cure by Dr. Stephen Ilardi. The title may seem a bit bold, but the book is outstanding. It explains why we are having a depression epidemic not just addressing adolescents.

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It explains what depression is and why it is so insidious. And, it tells you what most people need to do to get out of depression and to stay out. There is also a great TEDx talk by Dr. Ilardi that can be seen by going to YouTube and searching on Stephen Ilardi. I can tell you this, for the most part, drugs are NOT the answer. However, the book works with depressed people whether they are taking drugs or not. Check out the reviews on Amazon. The TEDx talk explains why this epidemic is getting worse over time, especially for young people.

This is a life or death issue for many people. Thank you for putting the time and effort into writing this important article. And I would like to second the comment about the treatment of young adults placed on a psychiatric hold. It was traumatic not only for my daughter--but for me to watch--the way she was strapped down and transported.

And equally horrible to hear from my daughter about the conditions at the psych ward in San Mateo. As for the availability of therapy in the area, on another occasion, I attempted to get my daughter in to see a psychiatrist at a moment in time when she was willing and open to it, but that moment passed as we waited 6 weeks for an appointment at PAMF why don't they hire more psychiatric staff???

My teen daughter was 'd in the Stanford emergency room, where we were informed that the closest facility was Mills-Peninsula, which had no beds. After 20 hours, they found a spot for her in Vallejo. Not a fun experience, but I guess there is not much profit in adolescent psychiatric emergencies! If your kid has an eating disorder, though, you'll be fine at Stanford. My son tried to harm himself at the age of 12 and I took him to Stanford Emergency Room. The closest bed was at John Muir Hospital in Pleasant Hill where he had to be transported by ambulance health insurance paid for the ambulance.

By the time he got there it was 10 pm and he had to deal with the intake all alone--they don't allow parents to meet the ambulance. The floor is secure and clothing is confiscated--especially shoe laces and hoodie strings can be used to hang oneself or strangle someone else. I could not see him for 2 days until he was assessed.

It is a very harsh process but there are a wide range of issues they have to deal with. Parents can initiate a if your child is under Once your child turns 18 and does not cooperate on getting help, your only recourse is to call the police who will take them out in handcuffs. Turning 18 takes any control away from the parent whether good or bad. The facilities for a situation are very specialized and expensive. The first night of a an aide has to sit by the bed all night and make sure the child does not do anything except sleep.

This "watch" may last for more than one night, depending on the severity of the situation. It was a very scary situation for me, let alone for a 12 year old boy. Clearly more needs to be done and we as a community should understand the scope of the facility--it is not just dedicating some beds to kids--it is about a very specialized and secure facility with a lot of human resources. This is an excellent, much needed, article.

I too am very impressed by Sarah Gentile's and Manon Piernot's courage to share their stories. Brings to mind Margaret Meads's quote: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. I am Sarah Gentile. Thank you, Elena, for taking such care in researching and writing this article and thanks to Bill Johnson as well. I wanted to respond to Been There by saying that I am sorry that you and your son had such an awful experience. I was able to ride in the ambulance with my son and remain with him through the intake process and as he settled in at Mills.

The staff at Mills were compassionate and accommodating and I will be forever grateful to everyone there. My own son is now 18 but I feel we must all come together to make Santa Clara County a model for adolescent mental health care. We are so fortunate to have some individuals and organizations who have the experience and knowledge to guide us.

MVLA especially Dr. Susan Flatmo has an excellent and effective suicide prevention program. EMQ has a comprehensive mental health program run by bright and dedicated individuals that could serve as a framework. Charlotte Ross Fisher lives in Saratoga and has been an invaluable resource for our group. Google Charlotte Ross Suicide Prevention.

There are many more. I encourage anyone who cares about teens to get involved. Go to the teen forums and show your support. Lastly, thanks to all who come forward to share their own stories of depression. Your bravery is my true inspiration. I recently had my first and hopefully last experience with a a few weeks ago. It was the most horrifying experience of my life. I still can't believe that what happened to me was legal. Maybe someone reading this can help me make sense of the awful ordeal. I had been having uncomfortable GI issues for years and was feeling depressed that nothing seemed to cure me.


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I was also unemployed and running out of money, feeling a lot of stress. At the beginning of the appointment I was asked to fill out a questionnaire of symptoms, circling the symptoms that applied. Among the many symptoms listed, I circled "depressed" and "suicidal" because I had thoughts of suicide for years because of the discomfort I felt.

I'd been circling "suicidal" at every doctors appointment for the last year but was never questioned, until that appointment with the GI doc. She asked me if I had thoughts of suicide and a plan, and I told her that I thought of it often but didn't have the items needed to follow through. She then walked me down the hallway and said I needed to talk to someone.

I told her I was fine and didn't need to talk to anyone. She then took me to urgent care where I heard a man at the front desk tell her that they didn't have a psychiatrist on call but that I would have to be taken by ambulance to the ER. I realized that everything was being blown WAY out of proportion so I decided to go home. The GI doctor followed me to the parking lot where I assured her that I would not commit suicide.

I told her I was fine. I'm well over 30 years old and not a minor. About 15 minutes after arriving at my apartment in Menlo Park there was a knock on my door. Three Menlo Park police officers entered my apartment and started searching. They told me my GI doctor not a psychiatrist - I don't see a psychiatrist or take any meds of any kind called them to check on me. I told them I was fine but they insisted on driving me in their police car to the MP police station.


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I waited for them to show up and explained again that I was OK. Although I was calm and cooperative, they insisted on handcuffing me and driving me to the Santa Clara County ER psychiatric facility on a 24 hour hold But it cannot change unless top women speak out. Only recently have I begun to appreciate the extent to which many young professional women feel under assault by women my age and older. After I gave a recent speech in New York, several women in their late 60s or early 70s came up to tell me how glad and proud they were to see me speaking as a foreign-policy expert.

After the speech I gave in New York, I went to dinner with a group of somethings. I sat across from two vibrant women, one of whom worked at the UN and the other at a big New York law firm. As nearly always happens in these situations, they soon began asking me about work-life balance. Both were very clear that they did not want that life, but could not figure out how to combine professional success and satisfaction with a real commitment to family. I realize that I am blessed to have been born in the late s instead of the early s, as my mother was, or the beginning of the 20th century, as my grandmothers were.

My mother built a successful and rewarding career as a professional artist largely in the years after my brothers and I left home—and after being told in her 20s that she could not go to medical school, as her father had done and her brother would go on to do, because, of course, she was going to get married. I owe my own freedoms and opportunities to the pioneering generation of women ahead of me—the women now in their 60s, 70s, and 80s who faced overt sexism of a kind I see only when watching Mad Men , and who knew that the only way to make it as a woman was to act exactly like a man.

To admit to, much less act on, maternal longings would have been fatal to their careers. But precisely thanks to their progress, a different kind of conversation is now possible. I am well aware that the majority of American women face problems far greater than any discussed in this article. I am writing for my demographic—highly educated, well-off women who are privileged enough to have choices in the first place.

We may not have choices about whether to do paid work, as dual incomes have become indispensable. But we have choices about the type and tempo of the work we do. We are the women who could be leading, and who should be equally represented in the leadership ranks. Millions of other working women face much more difficult life circumstances. Some are single mothers; many struggle to find any job; others support husbands who cannot find jobs. Many cope with a work life in which good day care is either unavailable or very expensive; school schedules do not match work schedules; and schools themselves are failing to educate their children.

Many of these women are worrying not about having it all, but rather about holding on to what they do have. And although women as a group have made substantial gains in wages, educational attainment, and prestige over the past three decades, the economists Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson have shown that women are less happy today than their predecessors were in , both in absolute terms and relative to men. Only when women wield power in sufficient numbers will we create a society that genuinely works for all women.

That will be a society that works for everyone. We must clear them out of the way to make room for a more honest and productive discussion about real solutions to the problems faced by professional women. That is precisely the sentiment behind the dismay so many older career women feel about the younger generation. They are not committed enough , we say, to make the trade-offs and sacrifices that the women ahead of them made. Yet instead of chiding, perhaps we should face some basic facts.

Very few women reach leadership positions. The pool of female candidates for any top job is small, and will only grow smaller if the women who come after us decide to take time out, or drop out of professional competition altogether, to raise children. That is exactly what has Sheryl Sandberg so upset, and rightly so.

A hundred and ninety heads of state; nine are women. Of all the people in parliament in the world, 13 percent are women.

In the corporate sector, [the share of] women at the top—C-level jobs, board seats—tops out at 15, 16 percent. A simple measure is how many women in top positions have children compared with their male colleagues. Every male Supreme Court justice has a family. Two of the three female justices are single with no children. And the third, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, began her career as a judge only when her younger child was almost grown. The pattern is the same at the National Security Council: Condoleezza Rice, the first and only woman national-security adviser, is also the only national-security adviser since the s not to have a family.

To be sure, the women who do make it to the top are highly committed to their profession. On closer examination, however, it turns out that most of them have something else in common: they are genuine superwomen. These women cannot possibly be the standard against which even very talented professional women should measure themselves. Such a standard sets up most women for a sense of failure. The line of high-level women appointees in the Obama administration is one woman deep. Virtually all of us who have stepped down have been succeeded by men; searches for women to succeed men in similar positions come up empty.

Just about every woman who could plausibly be tapped is already in government. The rest of the foreign-policy world is not much better; Micah Zenko, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, recently surveyed the best data he could find across the government, the military, the academy, and think tanks, and found that women hold fewer than 30 percent of the senior foreign-policy positions in each of these institutions. These numbers are all the more striking when we look back to the s, when women now in their late 40s and 50s were coming out of graduate school, and remember that our classes were nearly men and women.

We were sure then that by now, we would be living in a world. Something derailed that dream. I am all for encouraging young women to reach for the stars. But I fear that the obstacles that keep women from reaching the top are rather more prosaic than the scope of their ambition. But changing these policies requires much more than speeches. It means fighting the mundane battles—every day, every year—in individual workplaces, in legislatures, and in the media.

Andy has spent more time with our sons than I have, not only on homework, but also on baseball, music lessons, photography, card games, and more. Still, the proposition that women can have high-powered careers as long as their husbands or partners are willing to share the parenting load equally or disproportionately assumes that most women will feel as comfortable as men do about being away from their children, as long as their partner is home with them.

In my experience, that is simply not the case. Here I step onto treacherous ground, mined with stereotypes. I do not believe fathers love their children any less than mothers do, but men do seem more likely to choose their job at a cost to their family, while women seem more likely to choose their family at a cost to their job. Many factors determine this choice, of course. Men are still socialized to believe that their primary family obligation is to be the breadwinner; women, to believe that their primary family obligation is to be the caregiver. But it may be more than that. Men and women also seem to frame the choice differently.

But Matalin goes on to describe her choice to leave in words that are again uncannily similar to the explanation I have given so many people since leaving the State Department:. To many men, however, the choice to spend more time with their children, instead of working long hours on issues that affect many lives, seems selfish. Male leaders are routinely praised for having sacrificed their personal life on the altar of public or corporate service.

That sacrifice, of course, typically involves their family. Yet their children, too, are trained to value public service over private responsibility. It is not clear to me that this ethical framework makes sense for society. Why should we want leaders who fall short on personal responsibilities? Perhaps leaders who invested time in their own families would be more keenly aware of the toll their public choices—on issues from war to welfare—take on private lives. Regardless, it is clear which set of choices society values more today.

Workers who put their careers first are typically rewarded; workers who choose their families are overlooked, disbelieved, or accused of unprofessionalism. In sum, having a supportive mate may well be a necessary condition if women are to have it all, but it is not sufficient. If women feel deeply that turning down a promotion that would involve more travel, for instance, is the right thing to do, then they will continue to do that.

Ultimately, it is society that must change, coming to value choices to put family ahead of work just as much as those to put work ahead of family. If we really valued those choices, we would value the people who make them; if we valued the people who make them, we would do everything possible to hire and retain them; if we did everything possible to allow them to combine work and family equally over time, then the choices would get a lot easier.

The most important sequencing issue is when to have children. A child born when his mother is 25 will finish high school when his mother is 43, an age at which, with full-time immersion in a career, she still has plenty of time and energy for advancement. Yet this sequence has fallen out of favor with many high-potential women, and understandably so.

People tend to marry later now, and anyway, if you have children earlier, you may have difficulty getting a graduate degree, a good first job, and opportunities for advancement in the crucial early years of your career. Making matters worse, you will also have less income while raising your children, and hence less ability to hire the help that can be indispensable to your juggling act. Unlike the pioneering women who entered the workforce after having children in the s, these women are competing with their younger selves.

Government and NGO jobs are an option, but many careers are effectively closed off. Personally, I have never seen a woman in her 40s enter the academic market successfully, or enter a law firm as a junior associate, Alicia Florrick of The Good Wife notwithstanding. These considerations are why so many career women of my generation chose to establish themselves in their careers first and have children in their mid-to-late 30s.

But that raises the possibility of spending long, stressful years and a small fortune trying to have a baby. I lived that nightmare: for three years, beginning at age 35, I did everything possible to conceive and was frantic at the thought that I had simply left having a biological child until it was too late. And when everything does work out? I had my first child at 38 and counted myself blessed and my second at That means I will be 58 when both of my children are out of the house. Many women of my generation have found themselves, in the prime of their careers, saying no to opportunities they once would have jumped at and hoping those chances come around again later.

Given the way our work culture is oriented today, I recommend establishing yourself in your career first but still trying to have kids before you are 35—or else freeze your eggs, whether you are married or not. You may well be a more mature and less frustrated parent in your 30s or 40s; you are also more likely to have found a lasting life partner. But the truth is, neither sequence is optimal, and both involve trade-offs that men do not have to make. You should be able to have a family if you want one—however and whenever your life circumstances allow—and still have the career you desire.

If more women could strike this balance, more women would reach leadership positions. And if more women were in leadership positions, they could make it easier for more women to stay in the workforce. The rest of this essay details how. Darman sometimes managed to convey the impression that he was the last one working in the Reagan White House by leaving his suit coat on his chair and his office light burning after he left for home. Nothing captures the belief that more time equals more value better than the cult of billable hours afflicting large law firms across the country and providing exactly the wrong incentives for employees who hope to integrate work and family.

Indeed, by some measures, the problem has gotten worse over time: a study by the Center for American Progress reports that nationwide, the share of all professionals—women and men—working more than 50 hours a week has increased since the late s. Pocharski observed:. I have worked very long hours and pulled plenty of all-nighters myself over the course of my career, including a few nights on my office couch during my two years in D. Being willing to put the time in when the job simply has to get done is rightfully a hallmark of a successful professional.

So,I try to stay busy and go for drives and do,my grocery shopping and attend church. It,helps, but it is not the answer. I will pray for,you. Be well. Take care. Thought I was doing reasonably well but the holidays make it seem like yesterday. I am 70 and we were together 39 years. Where do I go from here. Most of my friends , even widows seem to have adapted better than I have. Its funny friends came to see myself and my daughter yesterday and the wife told me something my husband had related to her.

He told her how he was on the golf course In Myrtle Beach when he got the phone call from me about how I wanted to adopt a child. I was very committment averse all my life, but this time I gave in and allowed myself to continue dating him…the rest is history. The second time, was when I got this strong intuitive inspiration to adopt, to bring a child into my life and I never wanted to be a mother before that. I shared this in a parenting adopting group that I always knew I would adopt a girl one day and I was happy with that decision.

Another adoptive mother told me she too had always known she would adopt a girl and she did. The two most significant relationships in my life were a calling which I thankfully answered. Who knows where my life would have gone had I not answered those calls to being a wife and mother. No one can experience me or know me either in mind or body…so yes I am alone, every moment of the day. I once attended an event promoting the adoption of older children and I was surprised because it was within the Jewish community in Toronto.

My husband was Jewish but I am not. In this presentation they asked for couples who would be willing to adopt an older child, many were teen agers. No one has to be lonely…there are billions of people in this world, surely there must be one who we can bring into our lives. Loneliness is a choice not a dis-ease one has to suffer with for the rest of their lives. We were married for 26 years. He was 85 and i am I cry nearly every night and sometimes i feel like I could scream, i do on the inside , when does the heartbreak end.

Sonia, I lost my husband of 33 years. I am in my third month of this process and it is horrific I do not want to live in a world without him. I am in big trouble no children no pets no friends no interests no hobbies. The only time I am not sick and crying is when I am pretending that he is still here. If anyone has made it through past a year or two and can let us know how you were doing that would be helpful. I have lost my husband of 48 years. I cant find enough to do to keep myself from feeling blue and crying.

And therapists dont help. I lost my husband June 1, We were married 44 years and knew each other 46 years. I mourn for him day and night. I have a huge emptiness in my heart.

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We are a generation apart and I think that accounts for the lack of time together because they have their own lives and they are inconsiderate of what I am going through. It it bad in the beginning because they saw their dad everyday so I guess I feel kinda cheated. His family lives in another state and have not heard from them since the funeral.

I have no energy because I eat junk all the time. I had great aspirations to exercise and eat properly and to leave the house, which I do grocery shopping. I still maintain my home as best as I can. That was a very confusing time. I have a medium that helps me get through this. I have talked to him on a few occasions because we both love and miss each other beyond anything. He has guided me though some difficult situation especially emotionally and financial. Everything he said came true. And that makes my life a little more easier.

Author Echo Bodine very famous. She communicates with our souls and helps straighten things out in the state of mind we are in after losing our loved ones. She makes a lot of sense especially knowing what happens to our loved one once they pass. This book is a must, it will help you to understand and bring peace and healing to yourselves. Got nothing to lose, but to gain knowledge. Good Luck. So sorry for your loss. I just found this blog and my heart goes out to all of you forced to live on in this earthly existence without your beloved husbands, wives and others.

I can relate to what you express about your loss. I can barely digest the fact he is gone and time is only going to make it harder as I miss him more and more. I also lost my mother who was living with us in our home, just 9 weeks to the day after my husband… Before this we and all the caregivers had a big family and we live in a big house.

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Now this is my second night totally alone, except for pets, since my sister returned home. Mike and I were dedicated to shepherding my mom through her journey with Alzheimers and believed we would be together on the otherside of her passing…. But no, now I am here with a home full of memories of our 31 years together and my mom was here with us for 6 years. I feel devastated and lost.

All my previous ideas of what I was wanting to work toward are nothing. All I want is Mike here with me and us to be planning and enjoying all the daily things like shopping, walks, day trips, visits, holidays, etc. The silence… emptiness… so excruciating. I hate time apart only grows longer and longer. I have felt some very special moments of connection with him…since his passing, but I get needy for more…it is my only hope, to feel his presence or be surprised by his help in a moment. Just, I want more and I want him back…tho I deeply respect that he has made this transition, and not one he wanted to make…so I hope to be less demanding.

Still he was my constant companion and sounding board, my hero, my anchor, and my world. So hard to digest that he is gone…NO, it cannot be… so hard. No way to know how to get through this…I have our horse, our home and our pets… family and friends…but all I want is Mike… heartbroken…yet hope to learn to believe as I know he only wants to benefit me from the otherside. I am on my knees. Love to every one of you…may you find support to feel all of your feelings and to be kind to yourselves. Love, Kathy. I want to know how do you look forward to anything anymore,I lost my love of my life Feb 24 this year,we were married 48 years,together since I was I try everday but it is hard.

To answer your question about how will we ever get over our loss and start anew????? I just try to cope from day to day there is no magic formula to help us with our great loss! It is what it is! I have no future, only the present and some days are kinder than others!

I hope all of you are doing better than I am! Love Patricia. Dear Left Behind: I could write what you have written word for word as I am having the same feelings. My husband has been gone 1 week tomorrow! The funeral was yesterday. He died from lung cancer. He did not die peacefully.

In fact it was the opposite. He struggled as I held him right to the end. I just want to be with him. No, I am not suicidal. I am not going to make it happen but I just wish it would, to stop the pain which I cant bear and so that we can be together again. My husband is on my mind constantly.

I talk to him, ask him to talk back to me, come and see me, take me. We were married for 22 years and we were soul mates. The children and grandchildren have busy lives like yours. I am not alone, I have two young foster children. I try to be strong for them and try not to cry in front of them. I wonder whether I will be able to care for them or God forgive me even if I want to.

I am just going through the motions. I am able to get out of bed unfortunately and I can do my housework and all the mundane things. Went to the local shop thismorning and just lost it and broke down crying. Everyone stared. I am 63, my husband is Too young to die. Our children are adults. There is no reason for me to be here. I lost my husband 2 months ago. He was also Everyday is a struggle for me since he passed away. I miss him a lot. I love him so much. I am so sorry for your loss. I too lost my beloved husband 87 days ago just before his 55 th birthday.

He died suddenly while we were watching TV I tried to revive him but could not neith could medics. I have known my hubby since kindergarten and we reconnected later in life. We were together almost four years married this past July and he died in Oct. I miss him every second and just want him back. I never even got to say goodbye. The pain of it is incredible and no people that have not experienced the loss of a spouse may THINK they understand it but they do not.

Not one little bit as they get to go home and feel the comfort of their well alive partner. I lost my husband from melanoma cancer 4 weeks ago he was 54 years old. We were 1, my best friend my soul mate. I also can not stop crying. So lost without him. My husband, Raymond, passed away 5 days before Christmas last December. He had many health issues when a stroke finally did him in. We were together then married for 23 years. I went thru the grieving process and at the same time took care of practical matters. I missed him terribly but thought I was holding it together pretty well.

Yesterday as I was cleaning out a drawer, I found a 15 page love letter that my husband wrote to me back in when we were first together. I am so totally devastated and the grief I had felt back in the beginning pales in comparison to how I feel now. The love that I feel for him is so deep now and I did not want to face how lonely I was without him. I have been crying on and off since reading this letter. I went and wrote a love letter back to him re-telling our history and confirming my love to him. I have his ashes still and when I am ready to strew some of it, as per his wishes, I will burn my love letter to him and scatter this with his ashes.

Writing the letter made me feel closer to him and a little better. I pray with all my being that he will wait for me until my time comes so we can be together for always. Thank you all for listening to me. My husband of 30 years slipped away from me February 22, Lung cancer claimed him after a two-year battle, and it was an ugly, painful, and difficult battle. I pray he knew I was holding his hand and singing to him in the end. The doctors were cruel and impatient, and the hospital staff was rude in their rush to have me make arrangements for his body so they could clear his room.

I was left emotionally and physically drained after two years of caring for him while attending grad school. I was also left homeless and penniless by his passing. At the mercy of well-meaning but clueless friends and their couches and spare rooms, grief is rarely a luxury I am allowed — I have even been chastised for not fully appreciating what I had.

For all of you suffering the loss of your husband, I understand the depth of your grief, and wish I had the right words to comfort you, as well as myself. For anyone who is trying to help someone else grieve, please, PLEASE, understand we are doing the best we can in a world we no longer understand, or much care for. I am a Therapist, surrounded by Therapists, but this is a deeply personal journey. I was unprepared for the length and depth of my grief, and am just grateful. As our anniversary approaches next week, I feel the sadness and anxiety threaten to overwhelm me again.

How are we supposed to bear this and remain human? I also lost my husband and partner after 30 years in March Cancer is a dreadful painful disease. David was very nasty as his pain increased. Frustration of not being the leader. My only way of carrying on is I will survive because that is what he would have wanted. Chin up. Hi Julie. I understand how you feel. I lost my husband April 25th from the flu.

It is so raw still for both of us. Reality has set in for me but I still cry everyday and miss him terribly. God is what keeps me together and gives me a little light in this lonely journey. Know you have people on this site who share your grief with you do care. I lost my wonderful husband on January the 13th We lived for each other, we were soul mates. We were married for 46 years. I miss him so much that it actually hurts, I feel so lost and lonely. I went to a group therapy session for widows and widowers and I saw people in my same predicament and heard them say exactly what I am thinking.

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It did not help and I felt that some of the people were feeding off each others misery. I talk to my husband every day. I held him in my arms as he passed away and he told me to live my life but to be honest I do not want to live without him. I feel that every day I just go through the motions, I hate eating alone, I eat just because I have to. I woke in the middle of the night a few weeks ago and smelt his aftershave all around the room, that gave me comfort and made me feel he was near. Don and I were one, I miss him so much, his big bear hugs and how we told each other every day how much we loved each other.

I have a face for my family and a face for home, I have a constant lump in my throat and could burst into tears so easily all the time but I am actually scared that if I do i will never stop. I have a little dog that I adore, Don adored her too. She is a great comfort to me. I want this pain and sadness to stop, life without Don is just too hard.

Hi Hazel…. So so sorry for your loss, you can be yourself here, we all understand…. Hazel with you all the way. A friend has just been on the phone. He was saying I seemed much better and more like myself so I must deserve an Oscar. I had just been at the doctors and cried through the whole 15 minutes. Not of the opinion that time is a healer.

Seems to get harder by the day as longer since we spoke.


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Like you we told each other we loved each other all the time. When he dropped me off at work we always kissed much to the amusement of colleagues. This existence is too hard without him We are lost souls clinging to each other through this site which I do find helpful. Thanks to all. Hi Hazel. Believe me I know just how you feel.

It will be 6 months on the 25th of this month and your right it seems to get harder. Sundays are always the worst for me but everyday is such a struggle. I have strong faith so i believe we will be together again. In the meantime I just try to get through each day and cherish the wonderful memories.

Hi Hazel, my husband died a month ago and I feel the same as you do and I know I will feel the same in a year, we were like two pees in a pod, life can be so cruel , I keep wondering why. Hugs to you my dear. It is an impossible situation, unless you can move out of the square. There is romance, life and love out there. Lost my husband of 42 years 2 years and 4 months ago and it still feels like yesterday.

I have come a long way with the help of spousal loss groups, church family, other widowed friends but sometimes I am right back to square one and it feels like my heart is torn apart. It helps to have people to talk to and share and to pray about it. I know exactly how you feel.

He was my soulmate, my lover, my friend. We had such a close and loving marriage that I cant see how to get over his loss. He was 85 when he passed away and I am 80 this year. The terrible longing for him does not go away. How do we recover from something like this.

Or do we ever recover. Dear all, reading your reply and your words are very touchy like mine. I am just 46 years and my husband passed way in April I have feeling very bad, and I could not see the reason to live this world without my husband and his love. He was everything in my life. I have no children however, he was like my kids, like my mom, like my elder and younger brother and like my sisters. More-then, he was my power and my happiness. Now I feel my world is completely empty. I recalled my 19 years togetherness with him how he encourage me to work, and his love… It is very hard to spent my every second without his phone call, viber, skypee.

Some time I have thought I should die… I can not control my self. I lost the track of my life and no concentration in my work. No interest to cook, and food. No sleep. Almost all night I remember him and I am so disparate to listen his voice and just checking my mobile to see his message or call… It is very hard for me. How do I spend my entire life without his love. My dear Baba, please take me with you.

I am missing you so much. Baba, I am feeling very alone you know every one is busy for their daily life…….. I love you so much.. I lost my Husband Richard of 26 years on April 16 He was my first true love and best friend. I feel like i am so lonely even though I have family and friends everywhere. I miss our conversations and our laughter. But I know God wants to use me for good and my children all need a relationship with God.

Hi Ava, I know exactly how you feel. I lost my husband of 46 years in January this year and I feel so lost. We lived for each other, we were total soulmates. The children are grown and I have 2 adorable grandkids but they have busy lives. I miss my husband so much it actually hurts, I talk to him everyday and there are days I wonder if it worth staying around but I have an old rescue dog who really needs me and I am sure that she knows how sad I am.

Will this pain and heartache ever stop?. Big hug for you Ava. We had been married 43 years — together He was my best friend. He loved and accepted me for who I am. I know I will never find that kind of love and acceptance again at my age I miss him every day and cry for him. I have been going to a bereavement group that meets once a week. It has been so helpful to talk to others who are going through or have been through what I am feeling.

Slowly, I am starting to find my way — to build a new life for myself. God must have a purpose for me. Walking helps. You have to get out and go. I joined a bowling leaque. We bowl once a week. THe group is made up of other widows. Take care and know that you are not alone. There are many of us going through the same emotions and pain. I lost my husband of 13 years just last May 9 I have been crying everyday. I know I have to take care of myself but sometimes, I feel that it is difficult to move on. I have enrolled in an certification class and dance class just to have something new to do.

Luckily, I have a very supportive family, trying their best to cheer me up. My husband also died on may 9. He had undiagnosed pulmonary fibrosis which has a life span of years but he had only 5 weeks. Its been very helpful. I have also taken a part time job. I love him dearly and always will but I know he would want me to try to make my life happy. My church friends have helped, but there are many days I just lay around missing him so much. We did everything together, so going to get a cup of coffee is sad.

I also lost my husband of 37 years to pulmonary fibrosis on 1 May What a vicious disease this is. He was admitted into hospital 8 weeks before he died and never came home. I ache and long for him. I am planless and dreamless. All I can see is enormous sadness and emptyness. I lost my husband to glioblastoma on May 9 I have good and bad days.. I have not been able to return to work.. I will after Labor day.. The hardest thing for me is he was a master musician and produced his own music.

He only was sble to do this full time for 18 months until he fell sick. The hard thing for me is that I feel his dream was taken away piece by piece as his brain deteriorated.. I gave most of his music away to people I thought would use it in his memory.. I love him dearly,but for me for now,the music has stopped…I pray a lot.. God will take care of u and me. The only thing to do is stay as busy as you can to distract yourself. My husband of 45 years was my best friend — my soul mate. He was a remarkable man — full of energy and enthusiasm for life that he carried with him in whatever he did.

I gauess the Lord must have some purpose in mind for me since he left me here and took my husband. Stay strong and hang in there. I am devastated. Every morning I cry that I am still alive and did not die during the night. The pain of being without him is unbearable.

I get up and go through the motions of every day of life. Today I cannot do it. It does not get easier. Everyone lies about that. Therapy once a month is not helping. Nothing is helping…………. Thank you for your comment, Ann. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We had so many plans , he was my everything , my best friend… Now what? Why he promised grow older together … Why so soon… He was 40 years old, I was I was left with no family, he was my family. AM i going crazy. All I do is cry…and blame myself for it.

Because he left that day to go get chinese food, I tried to get in the car, but I had a back fusion… I wish I can turn back time. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from a. Pacific Time; our phone number is ext. Dear Ann, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my husband in August after 47 years of marriage. I have also been to hell and back but believe me it does get a little easier as time goes by.

She told me to get up every morning, shower and get out of the house as often as I could. She told me that in the beginning I would have to make myself do these things but in the end, she was right. I too still have days when this is still very hard for me to do but I do feel better when I follow her advice.

You need to slow down and take baby steps in the beginning otherwise it can all become very overwhelming. Good luck and know that there are people who care about you and want to help you through this very difficult process. Ann I just came across this website and saw your post.

It is exactly what I am feeling. The first two years I was a total mess. I to went to therapy every week. I basically was told what I was feeling was normal. My daughter and grandson have been a huge help. My daughter finally came to me and pleaded to me to get better. She cried how bad she needed me and my grandson needs his grandma. We talked for qwite a while. I gave her my word that I would try. I started doing small things at first.