I am so very sorry for the loss of your brother and your friend. What is happening to you is a perfectly normal response to the fact that difficult events have piled up to the point that they overwhelm your ability to cope. From a very young age, feeling in control and counting on yourself are ways you have kept yourself feeling safe. I imagine that the two deaths you’ve experienced – losing your brother by Multiple Sclerosis and your close friend by suicide – have challenged that sense of control and therefore safety. On top of that, you have an infection. This will also lower a person’s ability to manage stress.
A healthy way to get back in control is to take the steps necessary to help yourself. You need to deal with both your medical and mental health. See a doctor and get that sinus infection cleared up. If you can also give yourself a way to grieve and to honor the losses of the last couple of years, you may be able to pull yourself out of this on your own. Since you’ve isolated yourself from family, I hope you have a few friends to turn to. Friends shore us up from the outside when we haven’t got enough strength to do it from the inside. If you don’t have a support system, please consider seeing a counselor to help you with the grieving process.
Psychology Today’s website suggests, “If you’ve got too much change (or just too much, period) going on in your life, here are some tips to get yourself and your life back, ASAP:”
“1) Get the best sleep you can
2) Meditate or pray in the morning
3) Make yourself eat, no matter how crazy things are
4) Load up on greens the easy way
5) Get through one day at a time
6) Make no your default answer
7) Take sanity breaks
8) Give yourself a Sabbath day every week”
Your go-to self hasn’t totally abandoned you. That part of you is still functioning enough to write and ask for help. Now please reach deep inside and work with that core of strength to get yourself the help you need to get your life back on track.
I wish you well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on October 20, 2009.