When Routine Tasks Are More Difficult After Losing My Partner to Suicide


As I lay on the floor with sobs wracking my body, I hear myself uttering the words, “Why is this so hard?” I was trying to do something my partner Steve and I had done together in the past and, of course, he would always make this mundane chore fun for me. It was something many people might take for granted and may complain about (myself included), but it’s also something I can struggle with due to a movement disorder.

I was trying to change the sheets on the bed. After about 15 minutes of frustration and tears, I was finally able to figure out how to put the contour sheet on the mattress. It was something as simple as that which brought me to tears.

It is the unseen symptoms of my neurological issues that sometimes cause me the most distress and frustration. After Steve took his own life in 2015, I was left with many responsibilities to do alone. Not having Steve to make me laugh while doing them has made it so much harder for me to get through some routine tasks. These tend to be very simplistic in nature, things we learned as children while developing our cognitive and fine motor skills, such as tying shoelaces, wrapping food in Saran Wrap or trying to put an item in a knapsack or box. Ironically, some of my physical therapy exercises make use of childhood development tools like peg boards and necklace beading.

Sometimes I am so puzzled as to what is physically happening to me. I never know which body I am going to wake up in. One of the things I find so hard to comprehend is my loss of strength in doing certain activities, like lifting the mattress corner to make the bed, or turning a door knob. Yet I am doing the same weight workouts in the gym (without reducing the weights) I have done before my movement disorder symptoms started manifesting themselves. The medical professionals tell me it has to do with different neural pathways… Go figure.

However, I have hope. I will continue to fight my neurological issues with my diet, alternative medicine, meditation, yoga and physical therapy. I truly believe my body is temporarily out of balance due to the extreme trauma of losing Steve and the stress-filled years before and after his death. As Steve would always say, “The beauty is in the balance.”

I will continue to strive to find that balance once again.

Image via Contributor.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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