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British Heart Foundation
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Feeling low

Hello everyone. Well, it’s 11 months since my lovely Mum died and 10 months since HA. I’m confused! I thought a HA was a totally blocked artery. Mine was a small narrowing and they put a little stent in. I am battling with anxiety and depression on a daily basis and feel sometimes that my life is over. I am on the meds and having intense counselling but it doesn’t seem to be helping. I feel so flat all the time and don’t really enjoy anything. I am 48, have a lovely husband and two amazing sons but nothing seems to cheer me up. I cry most of the time and live my life feeling so scared. I get a lot of jaw pain but the dr and the dentist say it is anxiety. Will I ever feel better. Sometimes I think I will always feel so ill. I have had loads of bloods done for B12, iron and full blood count and all is normal. My dr says my heart is in a fabulous condition and I am unlikely to have a repeat episode but I’m scared. Will anyone talk to me xxx

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Hi Craftyhare. Your mum died. That one of the most devastating things to happen to anyone. I lost my mum 27 years ago and there isn’t a day I don’t think of her. I had my heart attack 3 months ago find I’m very 😢. How you feel is totally normal. You will get used to the bereavement (you won’t like it but it will get easier to deal with). I am assured by my cardiac team that I’ll get used to my new life post “heart event” as they put it. Please don’t feel isolated. There are friendly helpful people on this site. Take care.

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It’s good to know there are other people who feel like I do x

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Maybe a bite guard worn at night would help ease the jaw pain.

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My dentist has suggested that

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Hi Craftyhare,

You have had a lot to deal with over the last year and I really empathise with you. I remember losing my mum and how long it took me to get over her death, thinking about it I don’t think I ever will. But I think over time you do learn to live with it.

My experience of heart attacks and heart problems is not dissimilar to this, in the sense you begin to learn to live with it. But it’s only natural to be a bit scared, however, look at the people on this forum for strength, I know I do, every single one of us have a feeling a apprehension in regards to what we have been through and what’s to come.

By the sounds of it you have a lot of terrific things going on in your life, your fantastic family, your Doctor saying yr hearts fine.

I know it’s hard Craftyhare, but stay strong 💪🏼 focus on the positives and like they say. Fake it till you make it 😬

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Thank you for your confident words x

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Hi Craftyhare

I agree with everything that Gunsmoke123 says and I am so sorry that you are feeling down. It's only natural after you've lost your mum and had a further shock of a heart attack. In time you will learn to live your life without your mum - that's not to say that you will forget her. What advice would she give to you now? At present you are in a whirlpool of unhappiness and you need to do whatever you can to break out.

As far as your heart in concerned, a potential crisis has been avoided and you now have the protection of the stent and medication. As long as you pay attention to maintaining a healthy lifestyle you will be fine. Look to the future and concentrate on the positives in your life. You have a family who need you and who will support you. Keep active; get out of the house and go for a walk in the fresh air. Concentrate on being aware of what is going on around you rather than what is going on within.

Best wishes and take care.

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Thank you

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Try to find a small win. Something nice or enjoyable that's simple even if it's a coffee out somewhere. Journey starts with first step

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I try and do small things each day. Things to be proud of x

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Think about what your doctor says about your heart and remember it. That should be very reassuring. And you had a timely diagnosis and were stented before a major cardiac event occurred. Celebrate and focus on the new lease on life you have as a result of your early diagnosis. I'm sorry to hear about your mom and now dealing with your own heart issue, but you will learn to cope better with each passing day.

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Xxx

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It takes time, and stent's continue to give various pains aches and other feelings. Consider the meds. Talk to your Dr about reducing meds. After a month I went to Dr asked him to go through echo cardiogram results with me. Gave up BB, felt so much better. It's okay it's all part of the journey, in few months this will be history. Look forward to a healthy life ahead, get out and walk. Good luck, you'll be fine

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Sometimes I feel it is my stent that is hurting. It’s only a fleeting feeling but I often wonder if it is the stent

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I think it is, but just bedding in.you'll be fine. Don't worry, it will get Less and less.

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It will get better, sending you a big hug!

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Thank you

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I understand, life appears to go on as normal for everyone else and you feel overwelmed by emotions to the point of inertia. I also struggle with these feelings and have found the last year since my small ha to be terrifying, and the person who can make it better is not there. I cannot make it better, but I can tell you what has started to work for me. I planted a small rose bush when my mum died and everytime I want to gain strength from her, I talk to the plant. It is now taller than me and has beautiful yellow roses and large thorns. it sounds stupid, but it helps me. I am also a crafty person, and found no joy in creating, so I joined an online group through facebook, where I could be anonymous, but connect through the groups posts, and slowly I have got back into my crafts bit by bit. Reach out to other like minded people and take the time to nurture yourself. If you want anymore information or to reach out to me you can.

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That was beautiful 🌞

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I’m a crafty person too and I have struggled to find my mojo. Hopefully it will come back one day

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With two very difficult life events happening at the same time it is hardly surprising that you are depressed. Try and separate the two events in your mind. By the sound of things your health will improve and you will look back at your concerns with slight surprise. Concentrate on making your physical health better for the sake of your family. Then look for bereavement counselling to help with your depression. You will get better.

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I struggle daily with my relationship with food. I seem to either eat nothing or binge eat. I am a little overweight and know I need to lose it but just can’t find the willpower

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We all have to find a way that works for us. Maybe try to have regular pre-planned meals and completely ban snacking except for apiece of fruit or some nuts. Don’t buy biscuits cakes croissants etc. Don’t even have them in the house. And exercise. Start off slow and small but every day and build it up. The key to weight loss is fewer calories and more exercise.

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Hi Craftyhare, I totally relate to how you feel, I had a similar experience but without the loss of a loved one. You have had a double shock that’s totally knocked you sideways but you do need to break out of the spiral...easier said than done but you can do it. My advice is to take the positives out of it. A blocked artery would have been a cardiac arrest when you’re heart stops and you need CPR, a heart attack is when your heart isn’t getting enough blood and causes you pain as a warning, lots of people ignore this and end up in a much worse position further down the line. The loss of your mum will have brought on stress which has highlighted that you had a heart issue and it’s now been fixed before it could do any real damage to your heart......you could say that it’s the last thing your mum did for you, that she is still watching over you. Don’t waste the chance you’ve been given, accept that you are fixed and be happy and live the life she has given you.

I found being out in nature, just walking, really helps me. It makes me appreciate that I am alive and well. It takes time but you can do it.

Lots of love, Rachael x

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I love your words, thank you x

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I feel very much like you. It's the low mood that is the worse- feeling there is no joy left in life. Just letting you know your feelings are not unique to you.

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It’s good to chat on here. X

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It's totally normal honestly.its a emotion we all go through after HA .I been same and every twinge scares you but it does pass..mine was same as yours small narrowing and 1 stent but promise you gets better x

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Thank you for your words. How long ago did you have yours x

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Feb this yr..and been on this sight knowing we all been through similar is brilliant.people are all so nice and really helped me...i get out everyday meet different friend's just to socialise as sittin in house just made me think too much..you will be fine love x

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Deffinetly change coffee to decaf..it honestly works x

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Hello Craftyhare, that is quite an eventful year you have had. Either one takes a while to come to terms with.

I lost my mum14 years ago and I took many years to accept it and not feel guilty or angry because I wasn’t able to get there before she went. I still think of her most days but don’t feel sad anymore.

A HA is a life altering event at any time and takes a while to adjust to on its own. To have a HA so soon after your mums death has turned your world upside down.

I have had long spells of being very down, worrying and crying following my husbands HA, bypass and stroke last year but reaching one year milestones helps and the other thing I have done is to change to decaffeinated tea and coffee at home and that has made a big difference.

Try to get out every day in the fresh air, go for a walk or visit somewhere, someone on another post suggested taking photos as a way of getting out of yourself as you look for sights/objects to photograph and take a different view of the world.

It does get better, it just takes time.

Best wishes

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Thank you for your encouragement. Yes I have cut out caffeine too

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The subject is very difficult to answer and to begin to actually address the way you feel since your feelings are so very personal. All that said, you have had two life changing events in a relatively short time but no matter what anyone tries to tell you, like intensive counselling for one, it will make no difference BECAUSE you are suffering with stress and depression. That is acknowledged by your doctor and his suggestion that you go to counselling. Now how to deal with how you feel? You make no mention of anti depressants the doctor may have prescribed - you could truly benefit from them and could make you feel much better and stronger to face the future.

It is a horrible thing to say but it needs saying - everyone has to deal with death as we go through our lives. If we are lucky we will only have to deal with death through old age but sometimes that can be through ill health or accident. No matter how or when it happens, it is almost always unexpected and to be quite honest, we grieve for our own loss, thinking how we will deal with the loss of the loved one - rarely the life the loved one has lost which is sometimes a blessing due to ill health or some debilitating disease they are dealing with. I personally watched my mother deteriorate before my eyes as dementia stole the woman she was and I remember - this was over ten years and caused my wife and I much heartache. I would not wish that situation upon anyone, for we lost our prime years looking after her at home. So death can be a welcome release - it can just be that the person is so tired, they want to leave the life that is crippling them. Give all of that some deep thought and then try and find how you will deal with it.

Now the heart attack - thats all done and dusted - the doctor has confirmed that and how well your heart is. It's like having an MOT or a major service on your heart, shedding all the build up the heart has developed over the years and poor life style choices made. After a HA, I had a triple heart bypass last June and during the treatment felt low and scared with foreboding for the long term future (like almost everyone here) however all went well - I SURVIVED and when I saw the specialist for my assessment, signed me off and told be I was as fit as I could be and had extended my life by years and envied me (!) since he had not had any remedial treatment and therefore was not as fit as I was. Your situation is also in that SURVIVOR bracket and should make you feel just great and confident you will live a long life.

Finally, and this will take an effort to understand - stress and depression not only affects the sufferer, it affects the whole family and makes everyone stressed and fearful of upsetting the sufferer. Reading between the lines I get the impression your doctor is being very good with you and has done everything to help you get over your health worries - so believe in the doctor! Secondly, go back to the doctor and discuss anti depressants - they know your health and will do whatever necessary if they believe it will help.

An old lady told me once that "The good Lord will never fill your barrow with more than you can push" Occasionally I sometimes think He ought to come down and just check the weight he is giving me, but to date, my wife and I have survived and have now been happily married for nearly 46 years. As an aside, my wife lost her eldest brother to a HA two hears ago, then my HA and operation last year and in April this year lost another brother to a totally unexpected HA of a fit and supposedly healthy man. We are dealing with this loss and trying to be positive and trying to remember the good times and the way both brothers affected our lives.

You are needed and people depend on you too. Go see the doctor and remember you are important and people want to see you well again and believe it or not - it will get better with time - you will never forget but it will be better. I feel sure your councillor will have told you similar, so again have faith, they are not fibbing! Go for a walk and hear the birds and see the new growth on the trees and think of the summer and all the good things in life and enjoy your new health - you deserve it. xx

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Bless you, thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely reply. All the best to you. X

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You are very kind and also very welcome - No real surprise that I also suffered with chronic stress and clinical depression after being bullied for many years whilst working in the police - not something that is unheard of in that regime. I still suffer but with the pills and a great wife life is good. Just like Churchill, his "Black Dog" as he called it does return however I now recognise the symptoms and try to remain positive - the very first thing I do is tell my wife just to make sure my silence or ratty mood alienates her. We also have three dogs and talk to them all the time! Having a pet is a valuable asset to anyone suffering with stress or depression for who could not be uplifted when they "know" you are feeling low and come and lick your hand or when they play and roll about - wonderful!. If you need anything more than this venue then you can private message me through the forum - it is still anonymous if that concerned you. Anyway, just an offer to talk. Best wishes to you

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That's so much to go through in such a short space of time, no wonder you are feeling anxious and depressed. It's frightening to have your confidence in your heart shaken but hopefully as time passes you'll be able to focus on and believe the doctors' positivity about your future heart health. Have you been offered any sort of counselling? I spoke to a psychologist quite regularly after my diagnosis (despite being quite skeptical about it) and it really helped me. I was in a very dark place and didn't believe I would ever get out of it. It took lots of time, support and effort (and I still wobble sometimes) but I did get back to a life I could enjoy living.

It must be so hard to deal with your grief while trying to process your feelings about your HA. Lots of good advice in the comments above. I don't think I can add anything useful to them really but just wanted to say hello and send you my love as another person who has been in a dark and seemingly hopeless place but has made it through. Be really, really kind to yourself and celebrate every little step in the right direction that you make. And keep talking (to a professional, to family/friends, to people on here) about how you are feeling.

Good luck and a huge hug to you xxxx

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Loads of love, hugs and thanks back to you too. Xxx

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I had a Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest nearly 2yrs ago . I had terrible anxiety after which is normal . Over time and with exercise and mild anti depressants I am fine . You will get there I promise

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Thank you x

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I am very sorry for the loss of your dear mum . Loss of a parent isn't something to be "got over" . I lost my mum when I was 16 and Im now 66 ! I still think of her most days but slowly, slowly we enjoy the memories that make us feel warm inside , rather than tragically sad.

Your HA was like being hit by a lorry twice just months apart ..not surprising at all that you feel depressed, anxious and sad. I can only agree with all the other wise replies above, take it a day at a time, maybe seek some medical help for your depression.

I have recently been diagnosed with angina/ ischemic heart disease , and like you am feeling anxious about it. But maybe we could both find a way to feel better in ourselves, by offering extra help/support towards a friend, family or something charitable, which can be a great leveller taking the emphasis off ourselves. Each day is a new day, stay strong x

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Bless you and thank you x

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Hi Craftyhare. I lost my mum 31 years ago on a late Bank Holiday in May.

She, like your mum, was inspirational and lovely.So hard to lose her from a massive heart attack. She was only 60 years old.

My sister, who lived away and hardly saw Mum developed symptoms of a heart attack - chest pain, jaw pain, and like you went to the doctors. An early diagnosis that her heart was in a bit of trouble followed and like you, she was sorted out.

I'm not sure who said is on this forum but I remember telling my sister that this was Mum's way of helping her.

We are all thinking of you and wish you the very best xxx

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I love the idea that it was Mum helping me and preventing me being really poorly x

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It takes quite a while to get over the shock of losing someone special. Look after yourself and use this forum if you need to let off steam! xxxx

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Every one else has said it all; please listen to them but remember also that some of your tablets may be making you feel worse. I had unbearable side effects from some of my tablets and got them changed. IT's only now, 8 months after the heart attack that I'm starting to feel normal. Did you go to cardiac rehab? If not, you must arrange i t because the supervised exercise will help you come to terms with the heart attack and get more confidence in what you can do physically. You are now in far better health than you were before. The shock of losing your mum probably precipitated it so you can really thank her for that. She's given you many more years. For her loss, time is the only healer but it will happen. Good luck.

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I feel very emotional reading these replies. Thank you x

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Hi You gorgeous soul.I am feeling exactly how you feel I lost my beautiful mum 1.5 years ago then soon after my loyal best friend my dog of 11 years the heart ache and loss is to destroying I then had to have ablation for svt which sadly hasn’t worked successfully.I totally understand your low mood fear anxiety as I’m living on the edge in fear of my next attack where will I be how long will it last it’s stopped me from going on holiday going places and the only person I want is my mum😢.Sorry for burdening you with my anguish but I felt a slight relief to read your post as I’m not on my own and neither are you please try and find something you can focus on iv really got into yoga .Im also 49 an amazing supporting husband and family but this anxiety I live with makes life so scary and dull.This forum is full of brilliant advice and lovely people well done for reaching out .Go gently be brave and trust your heart xxxx

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Oh bless you. So glad I’m not alone. Always here for you. We are in such similar situations. It would be amazing if we lived near each other.

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You have such lovely strong replies on here you are so not on your own all these AMAZING people.If your mum was here what would she be saying to you right now ?that’s how I think and I talk to my mum all the time it gives me comfort.Where do you live?xxx

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Oh bless you. I know exactly what you are going through. I lost my mum 18 years ago and my doctor told me that the shock to my body possibly cause the svts I started having. I was on anxiety tablets went to counselling, etc etc. I also started on my heart tablets. I had my ablation in January this year and thank goodness the episodes stopped.

You will feel low for ages till your mind accepts your major loss. You will learn to live with it, you will never get rid of certain guilt if you are like me, you blame yourself for certain things but this is normal, you need to concentrate on your lovely husband and sons.

Try and have a little me time set aside each day to think of the nice things you did with your mum, then have your family time to laugh and enjoy life.

It will get easier honestly it will.

All the best, sometimes writing it down and sharing your thoughts with others like this site helps.

Ursula x

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Thank you. I miss her so much x

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Hi Craftyhare

I went to the doctors thinking that I had a chest infection on a Friday evening. I was told it was most likely a Heart problem. The following morning i had a phone call to say that my mother had suffered a Heart attack whilst on holiday in Turkey. I flew out alone within a few days to see her and I managed to see her before she passed away. To say that week was s***y is an understatement. A quadruple Bypass later and three years on I'm feeling great physically. Without trying to get morbid or pessimistic I've managed to find peace with myself. We know that we are all going to die eventually one way or another. Once we eventually TRULY accept that, we can get on with a great quality of the life that we have. What I'm trying to say is, Enjoy life with your family. Go dance naked in the rain, take that parachute challenge or complete the bucket list but DON'T waste the time, long or short worrying about what might happen.

PS, My mother had heart problems but she collapsed on the coach taking her back to the airport AFTER a two week holiday.

That's the way to live.

Phil

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Bless you. Thank you x. I love the bit about dancing in the rain. We live in the country surrounded by fields so I could do that!

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I dare you. I double dare you, and if you DO I envy you :)

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'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain.'

I miss my mother too.

The Portuguese have the word Saudade.

A wistful longing for our former life and loss of the future we thought we were going to have.

You are feeling how you do at the moment. However your 'storm' will pass and you will find a way to dance in the rain and puddles once more.

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Hi, what lovely words!!! l still struggle not being able to talk to my lovely parents and when l was gravely ill in hospital for three months having two open heart ops five weeks apart and every infection known to man all l wanted was my Mum and my favourite bullmastiff dog, they died almost the same time. Just lately when l go walking l see small white feathers on the pathways, l like to think its my Mum letting me know she's watching over me, that gives me great comfort. l think we all grieve for the person we were before heart events but it does get better over time, now two years on l live life to the full and l'm sure many others here do also. lts a different life but we are alive! Take care and keep inspiring others with your words. Sue.

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Hiya

I’ve suffered with anxiety & had several periods of depression well before my major open heart! Don’t beat yourself up your fragile & vulnerable & it takes time (months or years just to adjust to losing your mum) to come to terms with this huge bolt that’s knocked you sideways lol x

What YOU feel isn’t anyone else’s pain - the best thing I’ve learnt is just take one day at a time !!

Are your anti depressants working ? Perhaps you might want to try a different councillor- sometimes we just don’t quite ‘gel’ for what ever reason even if they seem very nice & say all the right things !!!! ????

If you want to talk I’m here xxxxx

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Hi I'm same as you honey...it will ease I promise

You well never get over losing your mom...

I would listen to all the advice you have been given on here I know I did....

You have a loving family.... but feel alone?

I listen to classical music in the bath....

I sit and look at my family getting along in life...

And I'm thankful every day I m still here to enjoy life.....I hope this helps....

I'm here for you to chat anytime...

Sending big hugs xx

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