Q: I am not sure how attractive I was when I was a young lady,but I never wanted for male attention and when I was going through any number of boyfriends I was never alone for very long.
At times, I started a new relationship before I had quite finished with the old one. It was a good thing, too. I grew up in a home that was always on edge with my dad’s drinking. He was a hopeless alcoholic, and a mean one at that.
I don’t have many good childhood memories. It seems that my various male relationships gave me something I wasn’t getting at home. Without those various guys, my life would have been meaningless.
All that has changed. Two years ago, my husband left me for a younger lady and that has been devastating. I cannot bounce into a new relationship as I did when I was younger. Instead, I get all kinds of anxiety reactions. I don’t sleep at night. I am cutting shifts from the nursing home where I normally love to work. Nothing is making sense.
I am horrifically lonely. Even my kids are getting tired of me. My son says that he would love to come over more, but when I cling on to him through my misery he gets scared off. I think that the same is true for my daughter, although she has not said so. She just stays away. I need to do something. What would you advise?
A: The short answer to your question is that, yes, you do indeed need to do something, and most likely do it right away.
You are coming off a marriage that was not working well and so we are tempted to look at the divorce/separation and suggest that you go for counselling to help you resolve what might be called a delayed grief reaction.
That might be helpful, but when I look through the brief history of your personal life, I am inclined to think that you are struggling with something a lot more serious than grieving.
This could be a significantly challenging time in your life.
My advice is to make an appointment to see your family doctor as quickly as you can. You have to talk to your family doctor before you get to see a psychiatrist and that is most likely where you should end up.
Please make sure that your family doctor knows how desperately you feel after being abandoned by your husband.
Let her, your family doctor, know that things are not making much sense to you at the moment. The more information about you that she has to pass on to a psychiatrist, the more likely it is that you will be seen sooner and the more likely it is that you will get an appropriate diagnosis. This is so very important.
The truth is that if you are properly assessed by both your family doctor and your psychiatric consult, some great things can be found to help you through these difficult times. That needs to happen.
Psychiatrists are busy so you may have to wait until you get to see him. In the interim, your doctor can get some advice from the psychiatrist and start you on the path to recovery. I wish you well.
Jacklin Andrews is a family counsellor from Saskatchewan. Contact: email@example.com.