After a lot of suffering, my mother just died. She was only in her mid-fifties. I have a lot of mixed up feelings about her death. She knew she was COPD years ago, but she kept on smoking like a train. She really didn’t take very good care of herself, and now I’m without a mom. I am both angry and sad, and I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. My sister is mad at me because she says I’m not sad enough. My brother just stays drunk most of the time. How am I supposed to feel? – Lost Daughter
When I had a fella die who I did occasional business with, I found myself half-crazy with my bizarre emotions. Sometimes I would not think anything about him for a while, then I’d feel guilty I hadn’t been mourning him. Other times I would be in the middle of a work project and almost “hear” a debate I’d had with him. I felt like I was losing a few of my marbles, so I went to go see my supervisor. When I explained that I was not grieving normally, he asked me what normal was. I responded, “Well, first I suppose I should be denying this whole event. Then I should probably be angry. Then I …….”. He interrupted and asked, “are you giving me Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief?” I wasn’t on purpose, but clearly I was doing just that. I laughed and agreed that I was. He asked me to describe my shifting emotions regarding Raymond’s death, and we discussed that for a while. After I left, I had a clearer picture of my sadness. I was grieving in my own private manner, and however I was doing it was “normal”.
Sadness / grief is an unpleasant place to dwell. Nonetheless, it is both an inevitable and important part of our lives. Grief is evidence that we have had a significant person in our lives. If God popped into your room and said, “I will relieve all of your great sadness, but in doing so, I must erase all memory of their existence from your mind”, would you do it? In a vast majority of cases, we would accept the sadness and keep the memories and experiences. Although it’s a whole lot easier to say this when I’m currently not going through it, suffering is an extremely important, and often times beneficial time in our lives. Rarely does a family member have the skills to act as a therapist. If you need to discuss this with another person, it sounds like your family would not be the ones to do it. A discussion or two with a decent counselor might be helpful. Although sadness sucks, I’m glad your relationship was significant enough to make your heart ache.
I have a job, no kids, and a shaky relationship with my boyfriend. I smoke meth, and he doesn’t like it. I say that I have a job and smoke meth, and so it is not affecting me in a negative way. Is it possible to use meth consistently AND productively? – Pam’s Pipe
Dear P. Piper,
My dear, if you will excuse the pun: you’re living a pipe dream. Because of increasing tolerance and simply just the nature of this drug, ♫There’s A Bad Moon On The Rise♪. Learn to add the energy to your life through consistent exercise, a well thought out diet and meth-free entertainment. The clock is tickin’ toots.
Therapist in Brownwood
John Sommer has been a therapist since 1977 and has been providing counseling services at his Brownwood facility since 1987. John specializes in assisting clients with a wide range problem areas such as child and adult issues, family, social and emotional issues in juveniles, relationships, and depression. He also works with non-problem areas including prenuptial counseling, marriage enhancement and assertive training. To submit questions for “Hey John” please email: JohnSommerCounseling@gmail.com