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Over the past several months of this year I have been under a lot of stress, the worst of it was when my mother passed away in May. Now I am dealing with her estate.

Lately I'm easily distracted, losing and forgetting things, and driving myself crazy. An example: this morning, I misplaced some important paperwork. Yesterday afternoon, I bought a few grocery items, and left the bag with the club soda behind. The day before, I lost a Home Depot gift card with $65 on it. It goes on and on and on.

What's the cure for my missing marbles? Vacation, pill form?
 

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Loosing important paperwork.... leaving your groceries behind.... Forgetting appointments... finding your glasses in the fridge.... washing your hair with toothpaste.... wearing mismatched socks.... not knowing what day of the week it is...

This all sounds completely normal to me.


But a vacation is almost always a good idea.

Cheers
 

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Miss Gulch - I am truly sorry for your loss.

Grief takes many forms, and it takes TIME to go through all the different phases and stages of dealing with such loss. Every person deals with loss and grief differently - however the sort of mental confusion and forgetfulness you describe are quite common during the process, and will, with time, abate.

Recognizing that the mental changes are part of grieving can help - give yourself room to go through it, and make whatever accommodations in your life you need to, in order to take good care of yourself.

Meanwhile, if you have a good support network - a close circle of friends and/or relatives - they may be able to help you through this. Or it may be time to seek out some counselling - possibly from a hospice group in your area.

Over the last several years both I and my spice have experienced the loss of parents, siblings, friends. I have both seen and experienced being "easily distracted, losing and forgetting things, and driving myself crazy," as well as other mental responses to great loss.

Be patient, be kind to yourself, ask for help when you need it, both from friends and from people skilled in grief counselling.

All the best to you …
 

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Miss G., I went through what you have recently gone through. Duosonic's words are empathetic and very true, so I shall not try to add to his wise words.
 

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It's normal, I think, to be a little off mentally and emotionally during the weeks and months following the death of a close loved one. We've endured bizarre mistakes at ATMs and lost articles... at such time you tend to ceaselessly obsess and chastise yourself, thinking "how could I be so stupid?" But you're not stupid at all, actually. You're simply reflecting something much larger than you.

To me such instances are actually signs that you need to slow down and take stock. A death, whether by accident or expected, can be signal events in the lives of the survivors, especially those closest to the deceased. People often change course in various ways, the significance of which is rarely understood in the immediate aftermath of that death. Sometimes it's a career change. Sometimes it's a move or an estrangement.

Hang in there. I won't say that things get better but I will predict that, as time goes on, you will make far less addled mistakes and that you will find a certain grace.
 

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Hi MissG
Sorry to hear of your loss and your stress.
Your mind is subconciously struggling to deal with matters that are far more important than the mundane day to day things - so the trivial gets pushed out to make room.

One thing - please recognize that distraction is a form of impairment just like drinking and driving, or cellphone talking while driving, and take extra care when doing critical stuff -- I know that I have 'zoned out' in the past and driven home or to work on 'automatic' and that is dangerous. Please take care of yourself by taking extra time to bring sharp focus onto tasks that really count.
 

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Over the past several months of this year I have been under a lot of stress, the worst of it was when my mother passed away in May. Now I am dealing with her estate.

Lately I'm easily distracted, losing and forgetting things, and driving myself crazy. An example: this morning, I misplaced some important paperwork. Yesterday afternoon, I bought a few grocery items, and left the bag with the club soda behind. The day before, I lost a Home Depot gift card with $65 on it. It goes on and on and on.

What's the cure for my missing marbles? Vacation, pill form?
I am sorry to hear of your loss. I too have had a series of such lossesover the last couple of years: the favourite uncle, my dad, my mom and my very dear-to-me mother-in -law followed by all the related estate crap.

I too suffered symptoms exactly as yours - I was pretty sure I was loosing my mind. In particular, I could not deal with multiple tasks - if there was more than one thing 'on the table' so to speak, none of them got done. A number of things helped me.

First and probably most important was to get things done (GTD). In order to accomplish this I had to become quite single minded about things: decide what I had/wanted to do next and do it without allowing distractions - one thing at a time. This is not easy as at these kind of times one's head is full of all kinds of memories of the dear departed, guilt about one's handling of related things - the I shoulda done this or that differently phenomenon. Suggestions of friends/acquaintances are a terrible distraction in this regard and are usually singularly unhelpful. Trust yourself. Of course you also have all the other things you are not doing to ignore. Again, one thing at a time - comparmentalise: you probably have to work but work is work and stays there (at least for the time being). It is slow and it is tedious and it is long. But after a while, you will notice that things are actually getting done. Then you will begin to feel you are getting some control back. The thing is that things outside your control have invaded your life - yes they need to be dealt with - but also you need to get back to yourself. For me it is now 2 years and counting, but I am feeling much better now.

You mention vacation. That is a mixed thing until you feel that you are clear. I had never taken a sabbatical in my life and so it was easy enough to get a year off, particularly in the guise of semi-retirement. This allowed me some time to sort priorities and GTD (you see a theme?) but it also eroded confidence. I returned to teach a course that I had never taught before and very nearly convinced myself that I wasn't going to be able to pull it together, but I did it (one step at a time and it came off very well) and that was a confidence boost.

Take the time to heal - not by 'running away' from things, but by facing them one thing at a time (even if other things beckon: I_G_N_O_R_E is a good word to learn!!!). My thing right now is that I still tend to forget stuff. For the first time in my life I actually keep something of an agenda (iCal). I still have to work at focusing.

I do not mean to blather on about my own situation, except to say that I know exactly what you are trying to describe. It is real but you can get through. Don't expect to be the same person exaclty as before because you will have learned so much, experienced so much, in this process.... But this is growth and growth is good.

Hope this helps even a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks a lot for the healing vibes, and also to those who sent emails. People have been recommendating relaxation techniques and pharmaceuticals. Hee-hee

I had important stuff to do today, and the nasty commando side of me took control of the space case. After making a bank transaction, nasty commando ordered space case to put the receipt in the right place.

I bought a large money order today, and commando ordered space case to push the check envelope down in the bag, all the way down, then zip up, and check the wallet that the photo ID was put back inside.

Space case bought a few groceries on the street, so commando ordered her to put the change into a closed wallet, and not stuff it into a shirt pocket.

Commando seems on top of the game, but even so, think I'll take both of them on vacation.
 

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Sorry for your loss, MG. It's been over three years since my wife's death, but I can report that my marbles are slowly starting to roll on home.

I'm tempted to offer that marbles are overrated anyway, but that's exactly what someone who's a few steelies short of a bag would say.
 
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