ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How My Anxiety Interfered With My Grief

Updated on December 29, 2013
You need to grieve properly.  Photo by Ambro at
You need to grieve properly. Photo by Ambro at

My brother passed away last May, very unexpectedly, and I was devastated. He was the last of my family, the last person I could totally count on. For me, the first few months after such a loss are spent in shock and a numbness that is hard to explain. You are just trying to manage what needs to be done and, while you are sad and crying, the full impact hasn't really hit yet. It is perhaps, in a very bizarre way, the easiest time of your grieving process.

I have suffered, on and off, all of my life from an anxiety disorder. As the months passed after my brothers death, my anxiety got worse and worse. In the last four months or so, I have been battling my anxiety 24/7. For anyone out there with this disorder, you know what I mean. But for those who don't know much about it, you spend your entire day trying desperately not to feel anxious and in fear of having a panic attack.

It is exhausting , paralyzing and mind -numbing . I have been practicing Claire Weekes (the expert to many on anxiety) theories on controlling anxiety, which basically teaches you to not fear them and try to just ride through it. Fear is the root of anxiety so you have to learn not to be afraid of it. Easier said than done, believe me! Very effective, but it takes a long time to achieve.

During this time, I have also had to cut out anything that makes me nervous, when I can. I don't read the news, watch crime shows, do anything that I feel pressured to do, and on and on. You have to let your nerves heal. Of course there are things you can't avoid so you will always have some chance of becoming so anxious you have a panic attack.

What I didn't realize until very recently was that in battling my anxiety, and thus avoiding getting emotional about things, I had not let myself grieve properly. I was pushing away the sadness and despair I felt because I was afraid those feelings would undermine my attempts to get rid of my anxiety. I wasn't even aware that I was doing this, so it came as quite a shock when I recognized what was happening.

I wish I could say what it was that made me have that "aha" moment, but I don't remember...something I read that made that light bulb go on in my brain. I have rarely cried since he died (something I have done buckets of with other deaths and believe firmly in) and it kept me from grieving the way I needed to. One night, not long ago, I was watching a movie and I started crying and couldn't stop. It wasn't even a sad movie, it was just one of those scenes that are so touching it makes you weepy. But I was really crying over my brother and it felt cathartic. One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Smith:

Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid upon it.

I have just begun to be able to cry again and be emotional about his passing in order to go down the grief road. Realizing this has made a huge difference in how I feel. I am still battling my anxiety, but I can now separate my grief from my anxiety. I can cry and not worry that it will give me a panic attack.

For anyone out there who is in the same position, I hope this gives you that "aha" moment, so that you can grieve the way you should. It's hard enough dealing with either of these things, but when your sorrow over your loved one is put on a back burner, it is even harder to deal with them. I'll leave you with another of my favorite quotes (I have many, many favorites) by Washington Irving:

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues...they are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.

Has this ever happened to you?

See results

A great book from Claire Weekes


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)