Grieving --
Geometry art created with iOrnament app.

Grieving, not depressed. No bipolar depression. No depressive thought process. Just grief. Just a deep overwhelming feeling of loss. 

I miss my father. Miss him deeply and dearly.

Going to individual therapy and taking my medications for bipolar disorder, but now may be time for additional support, time for a grief support group, preferrably one led by an excellent licensed mental health professional.

As a licensed clinician, I have a bias. I need a group leader with advanced clinical knowledge of serious mental illness like bipolar disorder, as well as grief. As someone with bipolar disorder and a history of depression, I’m at risk of complicated grief.

Not only did my father recently die, my mother is a stroke survivor living with vascular dementia. She lives in memory care, but wants me to visit more often than I can afford to emotionally.

Squeezed between generations, I cheer my newly adult son as he takes steps to overcome social anxiety and manage his migraines. Until he gets his driver’s license, I chauffeur him to and from specialists appointments.

Rather than spend all my time and energy caring for the needs of others, I must care for myself. My personal boundaries are poor. Groups overwhelm me. I take care of others, not myself. Find myself overstimulated and become mildly hypomanic. Perform, rather than sit, listen and accept help from others.

Always a been performer, love being onstage, enjoy public speaking. Now’s not the time to be the center of attention, to be right, to be smart, to solve problems, to be the hero.

My brain isn’t functioning at its best. Grief-related brain fog. Can’t concentrate. Can’t remember. Simply overwhelmed emotionally. Often, I can’t even come up with a simple word to answer a question my husband asks. Cannot make a yes or no decision.

Today I deleted emails of great content I would usually share as a mental health advocate. I leave that to others for now.

Now, I grieve. Now I cocoon. Now I draw mandalas and patterns using iOrnament. Now I do jigsaw puzzles on my iPad. Now I watch TV.

Now, I cry softly, sometimes gently sob, for the father I love and miss.

25 thoughts on “Grieving

  1. bpnurse October 21, 2018 / 8:47 pm

    I’m so glad to see this post. I’ve been thinking about you recently and wondering how you’re doing. I’m sorry the grief process is so difficult, but as you know, there’s no way around it except through it. I think you’re holding up better than you give yourself credit for. Please keep posting as you’re able…you have a lot of friends here who care about you. God bless.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley October 21, 2018 / 10:22 pm

      Thank you. You know what my mother is going through, having lost her husband, the love of her life. God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kbailey374 October 21, 2018 / 6:59 pm

    Yes, facing the wind, it is better in the long run. I don’t think I have really cried for either of my parents or my brother. One short sob at first hearing the news then silence. I always have had a low level of depression on meds (less threatening to me than mania) – but I imagine I could be a little freer if I faced the facts a little better. ((HUGS))) for you Kitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley October 21, 2018 / 10:19 pm

      Thank you. We all grieve differently. Whether or not we shed tears. In your silence, you may have grieved. Thank you for the hugs. I hold you in my prayers. I like to believe that our loved ones are in heaven now. Still I feel an emptiness where I used to feel my father’s presence.


  3. Joy Johnston October 21, 2018 / 5:56 pm

    Self-care is so important, especially during the grieving process, so kudos for recognizing that and taking steps to build the support system you need.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cassandra Stout October 21, 2018 / 4:31 pm

    My condolences to you and your family for your loss. As you know, and have alluded to, grief can be healthily or unhealthily processed. I pray that you will be able to take care of yourself as much as possible during this trying time, and that your grief process will be healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bereavedandbeingasingleparent October 21, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    If you think it may help try all the support you can. Looking back I wish I had found somewhere to talk. I ended up internalising my grief when normally I’m a very social being. For me it wasn’t healthy. Yet I remember speaking to a colleague who tried a bereavement support group and he hated it. Everyone is different. Look after yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rabia @ fairlyliterary October 21, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    Firstly, my condolences to you on the loss of your father. I understand that losing a parent or a loved one in general is tough. Beyond that. Grieve as much as you need, if that’s what you need. I haven’t joined a group as I’m scared to but I suppose if it’s something needed might be worth considering

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley October 21, 2018 / 10:10 pm

      I’ll let everyone know how it goes if I join a grief support group.


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