I lost my husband five months ago. Since then i have gone through massive lows and massive highs. Sometimes i am hyperactive and super happy, then a few days later i will collapse in a heap. I am drinking very heavily and i feel as though my coping and feelings are becoming worse. I have so many mixed emotions. I feel as though i have engaged in behaviours that were previously uncharacteristic to a degree, well at least now they are extreme compared to before. I have no idea how to move forward as i seem to be spiralling down a very dark road. I also witnessed and experienced a very painful slow death and was pretty much the sole carer. i wonder if i may have PTSD on top of everything else i am experiencing.

Your emotional reaction to losing your husband five months ago is normal. You lost someone you love and that is very painful. Unfortunately, there’s no way to expedite grief. It must be endured, but it does not last forever. There are ways to make it less painful and it does get better with time.

The problem is not that you have strong feelings; that is expected; it’s how you are attempting to cope with your strong feelings. Drinking has become your solution. It’s destructive to numb yourself with alcohol. It’s an understandable reaction, no one likes to feel pain but it is self-destructive. It can be corrected with counseling.

Choose a therapist who specializes in grief counseling. You might also try simultaneously attending a grief support group. The benefits of group therapy are that you are with other people who know what you are going through and who can share their coping experiences.

The fact that you wrote to professionals at Psych Central. shows that you are on the right track. The next step is finding the right therapist and grief support group. Contact your primary care physician who can refer you to the appropriate professionals. I am very sorry for your loss. I hope you can get the help that you deserve during this difficult time. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle