When I lost my brother to suicide a year ago it made me very depressed and isolated. I’ve lost weight, and started drinking a lot. It’s ruining my current relationship, because my partner just doesn’t understand. I just want to be happy and don’t know what to do, but I feel stuck. What should I do?
My condolences to your loss. Losing a close person is difficult; however, losing them to suicide can create conflicting emotions.
Drinking is a drug that allows us to avoid challenges and issues in our life. I’m certain that you understand this is not a healthy coping mechanism.
– What could you do for yourself that would be a healthier strategy?
– What have you done in the past during challenging times to get you through it?
– Who has been your support before?
When an individual is feeling depressed, trying something different can be a daunting task. That is why it is so important for you to begin to seek support from the people in your life who you feel cared for and safe with.
I suggest attempting one small positive change in the week ahead of you that will move you towards caring for yourself in all domains- physical, mental, spiritual, and relational. This can be simply calling a supportive friend or family member and speaking to them about what you are experiencing, going out for a walk, or engaging in a meditation activity.
Many individuals experience grief in different ways. The important element is to allow yourself to feel the emotions surrounding the loss- whether it be sadness, pain, or anger. By giving yourself permission to experience the emotions, this can help you through t he grief process.
It is also important for you to experience a type of closure with your brother.
– What would you say to him if he was still with you?
– How would you feel?
Sometimes, a release letter can be helpful in this process. A release letter allows you to externalize your thoughts and emotions, releasing it from within you. This can be challenging to do on your own.
I would suggest seeking therapeutic support in your community to help you through this closure process. A therapist can provide you with helpful strategies to achieve closure, while also supporting you in managing the associated emotions.
Asha Thomas, B.Sc., Marital and Family Therapy Intern