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I Am So Confused Since My Dad's Death

by Marcos
(San Diego, CA)

I am just so confused. I don't know if what I am going through has to do with my dad's death. Well, he passed away two years ago and since then nothing makes me happy.

Even though I have everything I wanted in my life, I feel empty and lonely. I feel like everybody has a purpose in life but I don't. I am constantly getting mad for no reason, my smile has vanished, I do not cherish valuable moments, I ignore friends, I've isolated myself, and I seem not to find a way to change.

There is something holding me back from being who I really am...a happy social young man. I miss being myself!

How can I be social again? What is happening to me? I became shy. How can I overcome that? People are always asking me if I'm okay or if something is bothering me, but I feel perfect. Am I sick? Do I need professional help?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Marcos, and thanks for telling your story here. I think you nailed it in the beginning of your submission, when you said, "I don't know if what I am going through has to do with my dad's death. Well, he passed away two years ago and since then nothing makes me happy."

Most people do not understand the grief process, or how to move through the stages of grief. There are actual skills that you can learn that will help you to grieve.

You will find a full description of the stages of grief, the grieving process, and the specific skills you will need to learn on this page.

If nothing else, do this: write about all of the things you loved about your dad. Write about everything you liked and didn't like about him. Write about what he taught you in words and example, and thank him for what you like and give back the things you don't want or need.

Keep only the good from the relationship with your dad. That's what he would want for you.

The shadow that has passed over you, that is holding you back from being who you really are, is the unresolved grief over your dad's death. Remember, the love is the most important part. The greater the love, the greater the loss, and the greater the grief.

Also do the three journaling processes described on this page. That will help you process any other trauma in your life, and better understand and focus your anger. The third process, a positive journaling exercise, will help you to refocus and reconnect with who you really are again.

I would not say that you are sick, Marcos. You may or may not need professional help...try these exercises I've recommended, and if you still are having trouble, it would probably be good for you to get some counseling.

You can do this, Marcos, and return to the good person you truly are.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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