So the holidays are here and the loneliness and the depression are really getting to me.

I moved to a new city for a fresh start a little over a year ago after some important people in my life passed away. I moved into a small back house where I rarely see my neighbors. It was great because I was going to do some writing and some soul-searching and then make a permanent move in September or October of this year (ha ha, never make plans). So the people in the front house didn’t even know the back house existed until I told them I lived back there!! So on top of that, my job was a work-at-home temp gig and I only worked with them a few months before this AVM thing happened. So now I’m stuck here (it’s a nice place to be stuck at, don’t get me wrong), but my closest family members are 4-5 hours away, I haven’t made any friends here and I’m pretty much isolated in my house all day. Waiting… I’ve got no significant other and am pretty much doing this all on my own, but my independence has been shattered. It seems everybody has at least somebody to help them out, but I’ve got nobody close and it’s starting to wear me thin. I’m getting better slowly day-by-day but it feels like this thing is crushing me emotionally and spiritually and I’m almost ready to just let it. And I feel so lucky that I don’t have many deficits, I just don’t know where I’d be if I did…

I try to talk to my friends/family about it but everyone has their own problems or I express a hint of negativity and they suddenly don’t want to talk any more, like it’s too much for them to handle.

One of my friends says I have to find some “community”. Well that’s easier said than done. I didn’t make friends quite so easily before this all happened, but now I don’t like going out in public at all because it’s just so taxing and I’m so slow compared to everyone else. My thinking is crap, my memory is crap and I don’t know if I can do this all by myself any more, but what else am I supposed to do??? Maybe I just need some good meds.

Nicole, this is the community you need. We all understand what you are going through and what you are feeling. When no one else seems to want to listen to you, vent here. We’re all here for support and to offer a kind word. If you have not talked to your doctor about how you’re feeling, I encourage you to do so. Meds. aren’t necessarily needed, but it’s something to consider if you can’t seem to get yourself out of the funk. Therapy is also a possibility. Talking to someone is sometimes all we need to pull us up. Good luck and I hope you start feeling better soon.

Hi Nicole, Welcome. The truth is that the holidays can be really hard for so many people, I’m glad you’re reaching out and sharing your troubles. I read a bookmark at the store that said perseverance: Rest when you’re tired, but never give up. I really liked that simplicity. Share your troubles with everyone here, you’ll be impressed with the wonderful people like Trish that remind you what great giving hearts are in this world. My blessings go out to you, and I know you find support here and hope you hold in there and keep a hopeful heart.

It’s just a very unique thing to go through. There’s also many sources for community like church, charity groups to volunteer, etc. Sometimes helping others is the best way too. I know that so many people need help this time of year.

Sometimes medication does help. I took ritalin for a time to help with daily fatigue and it helped me to have the energy to workout, which boosted my overall energy. I didn’t want to take any drugs, but for me, it was really helpful, and after a while, I didn’t need to take it anymore.

depression and anxiety are highly treatable, and meditation, yoga, healthy food, can be natural ways to deal with it as well as exercise and meds. I loved yoga, and tai chi too. take care!

Hi Nicole

Do you have any hobbies (before) that makes you relax? It might be a good thing to find something to do to reduce your pressure both mentally and physically.


Hi Nicole…As Trish said…we are the people who will listen to you. It’s difficult for people who haven’t had a brain injury understand, but we do! I have days that are exactly like yours are now. Please talk to your doctor about your depression…he can help you. While my daughter lives only 45 minutes away, I also have days of lonelines because I live alone. My neighbors have no idea about me and quite frankly stay away from me. (It was that way even before I had my brain bleed…I just don’t live in a friendly neighborhood). Can you get a dog that you can walk with and meet people that way? Seriously, my dog is my savior some days! Please keep in touch and when you need a friend, contact the people on the AVM Survivor Network. We understand and will be there for you!

Hi Nicole,
Along w/this website, is there a local stroke support group, head injury group near you where you can attend and participate in? These groups are often held @ hosptials, so check with them. While there may or may not be another AVMer @ these groups, they do share the same issue’s as AVMers & CMers.
Since my 4th surgery I’ve not been driving much so I know how very small the world can become.
Take care and hope you’re feeling better soon,

Hi Nicole,

I echo what everyone else has said, and especially Trish. This is the place to talk about the AVM and related issues. That relieves family and friends of that “burden” that the often wish they could help with but simply don’t know how or don’t feel qualified to. And while it may seem superficial to have friends who don’t want to “deal” with the struggles we face…well those superficial friendships have their place as well. They are the easy, fun, good time kind of friendships that don’t take a lot of time and energy from either party. They are still important just not on a deeper level. We can handle some of that deeper level stuff.

Also, although you say you don’t like to go out in public much, it may help. Just being around others and their energy can sometimes lift our spirits. What about making a regular coffee run or something? Stopping in at the coffee shop, smelling the aroma, smiling as customers come in and out. Seeing peoples fun holiday outfits and such. People watching. And the more often you go, the barista’s will know your order, they will interact with you and provide you that tiny dose of happiness that might make your day better. My husband loves his coffee and the kids at the coffee place. We both do. And on days that Josh goes to get us coffee to go…sometimes I get little “love notes” written on my cup by the kids. I love it. It always makes me smile and brightens my day. THAT is the little happy moments you need to find that will help you.
And really, meds could be a solution as well. They really do help and there is no reason to avoid them. Honestly, if it helps and you feel good and happy…what harm can there be? The benefit outweighs whatever negatives can be associated with the “stigma” of taking meds.
Hope you have a great day today and consider this my “love note” on the side of your coffee cup!

Hello, Nicole. You are not alone with this group. I’ve felt very isolated and depressed while going through my AVM experience, and while recovering. Some members of my family couldn’t stand to be around me because of it, not to mention me memory lapses, and limitations with intellect had annoyed them. I also lost a lot of friends while going through this, so I felt pretty lonely, until I found this group. This place will make you feel at home with yourself.

As far as going out in public goes, maybe you can think about going out and walking a bit for starters.
Best wishes.

Hello Nicole, as others have said, you are in the right place!! Actually, I'm pretty sure that you have given me support in the past Nicole and I would like to help you too. Over the last couple of months, I have had many 'hard times' and in this site, I have also had so much help and support from these wonderful people who understand what we AVMers can go through. Like Shalon said, meds can really help you get out of the negative state; I know they have really helped me as I was soooo depressed before I talked to my doctor.

Like you, I didn't like going out in public, so I walked most days and eventually, I started to go to the shops and coffee shops just as soon as I could talk and ask for coffee.....doing that did help me so much. Now I have been cleared to do volunteer work with an organisation that looks after people with brain injuries and I start there on the 12th Jan 2011. It has taken time for me to get out and about, now it's 17mths since surgery and I see the light(s) at the end of the tunnell.

This site is the best thing since sliced bread!!!... even better as people here REALLY do understand and care about you Nicole. Please do take care of yourself and keep us posted, thoughts and prayers are with you.

Hi Nicole

Strange as it sounds, you may be amazed at how many of us 'tough' AVMers have gone through the 'depressive' state, but have found comfort through our community. Lesley is a fine example of an awesome AVMer who i have had the op to meet up with, for a coffee, a chat, and (OMG) laughter. And Leslye and Shalon have been wonderful to me, and helped in my healing process

There is an old saying - Two Steps forward, One Step back - its what we go through, but you will survive - and guess what? You will always have us, here for you.

You Hang in here! We are all pulling for you. I know and understand how you are feeling. (read my story)

I hope to type to you on the live chat some time. Every day you can make small inprovement and some times you will just have it fixed out of the blue. I had a hard time talking for a long time but it would just keep getting better and better. It was some time early this past year I woke up and 98% of my studering was gone. I'm still having the wrong words come out but it should get better. Some of this stuff gets better fast and some of it takes a long long time. You are in a place where you get to experience some stuff for the first time once more :). Spin life's lemons in a fun way and you get to see them dance on the table and it helps you and all of us Bounce back. I hope we can build your hope and a firm your hardship at the same time because this AVM life path as some big hill to clime but there are paths a round some hills.

Go find a wedding you can go to it's how I meet my wife :)

We will be praying for you!

Thank you everyone for your suggestions and kind words!!