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The post-acute phase

  • samchik1
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20 Jul 12 #344346 by samchik1
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There are times when I feel I don''t really have anything to add to the forums that I haven''t mentioned before. So things go quiet for a while. Then, some sort of realization hits me, new issues and experiences become consolidated and assimilated into my mindset.

I was writing a PM to a buddy on here today and mentioned something I''m struggling with right now. Here''s the gist:

I''m about 5 months into all this crap now. I found the first 3 months to be characterized by what I can only describe as acute emotional trauma. In layman''s English, I literally "hurt" from my head to my toes. It was raw, primal emotional pain - you all know what I mean. It was so painful at times I would panic about the amount of pain I felt. It would drive me to tears partly because of what had happened and partly because of the intensity of the pain being so unbearable.

I guess it could be likened to having your arm chopped off with a pen-knife. The initial acute pain is MASSIVE on every level.

Now, that was hell. It was truly unbearable at times. And I wouldn''t want to go backwards. However, I''m finding that now that acute pain has passed through me (or I have passed through it) I am encountering new demons.

In a way, it had some pluses to be in that acute phase. For me, the one plus was that I KNEW what I had to do each day - survive and get through the pain. It was that simple. The good folk on here told me...get through each hour at a time...just do one task at a time...baby steps...keep breathing, that''s your task. And they were right, that was my task - simple in some ways (although hard to actually "do").

The problem I find, is that now that awful pain is subsiding I''m left with emptiness where I once had a day filled with "just surviving." I no longer feel I need to just survive...it isn''t that painful anymore in the raw sense. But if I''m not "just surviving," what the hell AM I doing? I don''t know? I am aware of a dark and completely alien world out there now and I don''t really feel like I know what I''m aiming at? I''m scared by that. It frightens the hell outta me. If I give it too much thought I begin to panic...so I try to ignore it...but it is there nagging away at me.

Strangely, a little bit of me wants the existence I had in the first three months back. I knew the deal there...knew what I had to do each day...had a simple "point" to my days. That "hell" was in some ways quite orienting for me...now I feel a bit lost :blush:

  • afonleas
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20 Jul 12 #344347 by afonleas
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((((Sam))))
Know exactly how you feel
Empty!!!!
But we have to look forwards.


Take care
Luv and cwtchs
Afon xx.....................

  • maisymoos
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20 Jul 12 #344349 by maisymoos
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Sam I understand what you are saying, you have come such along way. Slowly you will start to rebuild your own life, focus on yourself, catch with friends. Get out if you can, take a walk. Exercise is a great way to help clear your mind. Try and think back to the things you used to enjoy doing, try and start some of them up again. It''s a slow recover process but you can and will do it

Take care

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20 Jul 12 #344358 by Now Gone From Wiki
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I am really sorry to hear about how you''re feeling. You should focus on the journey you have traveled so far though. You have survived and are now ready to take on new challenges to fill your day. Don''t allow yourself time to ponder the ''what ifs'' as it will constantly take you back to how you felt at the start. Instead create a new plan that sees you doing something all the time. Clean up, go for a walk, ring friends, take up photography/art or something else you might like to try, go for drives....just fill your day with a different sort of activity to the negative aspects of surviving that you''ve had previously.

Remember, you are a survivor already and I hope you can find the focus to take control of your life now that you have survived the lowest point in it.

All the best Sam.

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20 Jul 12 #344368 by Crumpled
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Hi sam i know exactly how you feel and in some strange way your post has made me feel better.I too can cope to some during the day with occasional dips but ido have an overwhelming blackness and emptiness that permanently prevails as well.I feel it is like a state of limbo and i think that probably for me it is because i have not started the divorce process yet although really it is inevitable but my OH keeps dropping a spanner in the works that keeps holding me back.
I think it is this state of not really having a goal that causes me to feel like this maybe that is the same for you...its that not moving forward but dont want to go back stage I am setting myself small goals just to get through the day but i certainly dont want to live the rest of my life like this.
i think having goals is the key to this i have signed up for an OU law degree (i am already a graduate but ive wanted to do this for ages)and i am starting another course in september i also have three children to consider in all of this as well
Sam you are doing brilliantly well to have come so far in such a short time ......
sorry to write such a depressing post what i really wanted to say is you are not alone and i think this is just the next stage in the process ..........

  • DrManhattan1
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22 Jul 12 #344719 by DrManhattan1
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Hi Sam,

Not much I can say other than to relate to your feelings. I''m on month 14''ish. The really early days are so severe like you say- it was really like being in intensive care hooked up to life support machine or something. The months after though, in a strange way were/are just as painful but in a different way- you become far more lucid and aware of the scale of the task ahead and what has happened to you. In many ways the gravity of the situation slowly dawned on me over time.

It sounds like you are approaching the "no mans land" stage. I think the best thread I have read a few times on here is- you are neither the person you once were nor are you the person you are yet to become- or words to that effect. All highly uncomfortable and disconcerting but others seems to come through the stage. The other possibility or analogy is that you are just regaining conciousness after some really horrendous blows- you are bound to feel disorientated and directionless I guess.

Either way Sam thanks for posting- another really thought provoking one and so poignant as its so easy to relate to.

Take care and look after yourself,

Dr M

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23 Jul 12 #344724 by sprat
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Hi Sam,
I''m 3 months post separation & can really relate to the emptiness you''re feeling. Once the initial pain starts to ease your thoughts start to look to the future, which seems such a scary place.
Try not to think of tomorrow but do something you enjoy today. Get some excercise, visit a friend get immersed in your work. Do anything that will stop you thinking too much about what has happened, you are still healing. Things won''t always be like this.
Love, Sprat x

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