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It's Back

Community Member
I've been doing really well the past year or two but the swirling
black dog has returned with a vengeance, the worst it's been.
Lost Mum a few weeks back after caring full time for her for
the past 7 years. She was 97, but there is a big hole but that's
not the reason for the plunge downward. Not sure what the
reason, does there have to be one? Bit scared of the dark thoughts
I'm having, I've lost purpose all of a sudden, bugger it.

3 Replies 3

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Paullus,

I know you say above that losing your Mum is not the reason that the black dog has returned, but that you also feel as though you have lost your purpose, yeah? Maybe, because you were carer for your Mum, that THAT is the purpose you had, and therefore losing her was losing your purpose?

Seven years is a long time to be a full time carer, so naturally, I would think, you would suddenly be thinking "Now what do I do?" After all, it has only been a few weeks since she's been gone, yeah? And learning to adjust to life without someone who was such a significant part of your life, regardless of their or your capacity, can take quite some time.

Maybe you could find or seek some sort of grief counseling, or a carers support group? It may help to connect with others who have been in the same situation as you?

Anyway, try not to be too hard on yourself. Grief is a heavy emotion and can sometimes catch us by surprise because we may 'expect' to feel a certain way about something that we know is coming, but then when it happens, we feel differently to what we thought we would ......... if that makes sense?

The good news is that you are not alone. Dark thoughts are just that; they are thoughts. They can't harm you unless you take action to cause harm to yourself ....... which I do hope you are not considering.

Having been a carer for so long, please remember that you have performed a wonderful service for someone, in the one of the most vulnerable times of their life. Perhaps you could even look at chanelling that experience into something even more purposeful, like a career in caring? Anyway, that's just a thought. Give yourself some time to adjust and to grieve. It's okay to grieve ....... just be mindful of when your mind is lying to you by telling you that it is something other than grief ....... I'm not saying that depression and anxiety are not real, but it's just that it is so much more intense at these times and therefore an opportune time for your head to play games with you ........ time now is to get some care for the carer.

Hope that helps at least a little? Just take it a day at a time. We're here for you. xo

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Paullus

So sorry for your loss. I know this sounds like the standard thing that people say but I really mean it. I feel sorrow to know that this time has brought you such deep pain.

Having personally experienced depression some years ago, there are still times where depression threatens to creep back in. I see these times as being a cue for me to re-identify myself. I understand that this sounds very basic but it does come with incredible and sometimes overwhelming challenges. I believe the longer we have been a certain person (identified our self in a particular way) the harder such challenges can be to navigate. In a way, you may be grieving for 2 people, your mum as well as a sense of self (a part of you that you have lost). I'm wondering if you've given thought to re-forming your self through guidance. Whether this involves seeing a grief counselor or revisiting a trusted mental health professional you may have turned to in the past, guidance may hold the answer when it comes to moving forward.

As Soberlicious96 touched on, you may have already identified your purpose in life, through the actions of caring for your mum. Giving consideration to the idea of continuing to care for others may offer you the chance to reconstruct your life on the foundation of 'carer' (an identify of a unique, beautiful and loving person). Taking some time out from whichever role you choose in life would provide you with a soul searching period.

Whilst moving through grief comes with its own set of challenges the question 'Who am I (now)?' can make life even more complex.

'I am someone who will be kind to myself as I navigate intense and painful change' is perhaps, for now, the best way to identify yourself.

Take care Paullus

Hello Paullus, I too am a little dismayed to find it's back, I thought I was coping well with some family heart ache but the sudden revelation that I have been slowly sinking into a pit for many months took me by surprise. I had been walking unaware the black dog was by my side until I finally looked down to see it. I suspect the heart ache you have endured had allowed it back into your life. Just thought I would let you know your are not alone, I am not far off 60 and time to hunt that black dog away.... Again. Wishing you well as you do the same. Stay strong.