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On ‎02‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 9:16 AM, kayc said:

Gwen,

You've really been on my mind and in my heart lately, maybe because I can relate to your situation...I'm one misfortune from being there, I feel too isolated, no one here to help me and you also live in the Northwest so know the weather patterns here, etc.  I know how scary it is to face surgery alone and to have to come home and be there for your animals because there's no one else to take care of them...and to not know if you can do it.  My surgery was simple and my recovery fast, yours not so easy.  I'm wondering if Senior Services could help, if there's someone who could come to your house while you're recovering and help with things you need done.  I live way out in the boondocks, no one ever wants to come here, but if you're in a city, there should be some services available.  Gosh I wish we lived closer so I could do it myself!  Haha, I can't even get out of my driveway, what am I talking about!  I've got so much snow...

Last night my little sister told me "Well you knew what you were getting into when you moved there."  Really???  I was getting married, I was 24 years old, and it was JULY!  How did I know how much snow would come during the winter or that I'd be the only one dealing with it!  How did I know my husband would leave me and the kids 23 years later and get a new wife!  How did I know I'd find my soul mate, the love of my life and he'd up and die so young, that I'd grow old alone!  No, there's no way I ever foresaw this day.  Nor did I know my kids would be gone and wouldn't be here to check on me when I was older and needed help.  So easy for people to make such pat remarks when their lives are wonderful, they still have their husbands, money is no issue for them, their lives are about decorating, traveling, and parties.  <_< I wonder if she realizes how her life could change so drastically in the blink of an eye...just as mine did, just as yours did.

Oh Kayc:  I have to respond to this.....I too have a sister who did something very much like yours.  I was feeling down because I have a gravel drive and it's expensive to put road bond on.  We were getting a lot of rain and I was having anxiety over it washing away because I had just spent $800+ on the road bond.  In a low moment, I shared with her how I was feeling and she said, "I told you so; I tried to tell you and John not to build up that high."  Like you, that was 20-some years ago, we were excited and John had no qualms about building up here and taking care of the road.  It never crossed our minds how this would turn out and I would be taking care of this property by myself on a limited income!  There is no way you can know these things and it's just cruel for someone to make the "I told you so remark."  When I reacted negatively to what she said, she then said, "Oh, you've always been too sensitive" and I said, no, you are insensitive.  It makes me never want to speak to her again.  A simple sorry you're having to go through this would have sufficed.  She has no idea....many people don't and they don't realize how it hurts, like you're getting beaten up again.  So sorry you had that experience too.....Cookie

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Thanks, it just surprised me because I've always lent emotional support to her and although she's had her huge heartaches and hard places in life, she has a lot going for her, namely her husband is still alive, she doesn't have financial problems, he's good at fixing things and does so much around the place, they get to travel and have parties, and that's not my life, mine is about struggle and going it alone.  I guess if they've never lost their husband they can't possibly know what it's like day in, day out, year in, year out, but still, you'd think they'd stop and consider before giving way to their speech.

17 hours ago, Cookie said:

When I reacted negatively to what she said, she then said, "Oh, you've always been too sensitive" and I said, no, you are insensitive. 

That's a good one!  I never think of things that quickly!

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Last night I had a grief attack out of the blue.  There is a time around midnight I always seem to get the 'blues' .  Last night it overtook me.  Fear, panic, crying myself to sleep a few hours later.  I had a tolerable day, but I never truly trust those anymore.

part is I have counseling today and I am so tired of talking about Steve.  It’s really changed nothing in my heart and has changed everything I do when he was here.  Meaning I do more, have no company and no love in my life.  My back and leg pain become intolerable so what used to feel somewhat rewarding are tasks I grit my teeth thru.  The solitude is torture and getting worse.  My counselors are great but I just want to scream is anyone really hearing me?  For months I have wanted out of this pain.  I’m just existing as I’ve been shattered.  I’m not a complete person anymore.  I have personas now for different situations and even finding them hard to do at times.  I want to care about something, someone, anything!   I’m so tired of the smallest thing feeling like it takes monumental effort to do like make a phone call.  I'm tired of doctors wanting to fix my body when I feel I have no use for it.  I’m 3 and a half years into this and feeling worse.  The solitude is devastating.  No family, no friends, no support on a personal level.   

Memories, for me, are the worst.  I can’t escape them.  I don’t want them right now.  The only memories I can tolerate are pre Steve ones.  When I was just dashing about life as a single person and all the adventures.  Any pain from those times are Long forgotten as they were just growing pains.  I had so much family, friends, guys and love for life uncomplicated by the commitment I made that for so long made life heaven and hell and made me feel complete.  

Now I sit.  Meaning, purpose, someone that made life so much more than I ever could imagine has vanished.  I don’t feel him except as pain.  I ask myself how does one live like that?  Everything says it comes from within, but I am black and charred inside.  Ashes for a soul. I sailed thru the first couple of years in normal grief.  I found comfort in reading I was normal.  I don’t  feel normal on this path anymore.  I want off.  I can talk about him here and they are words on a screen and everyone has their own pain to deal with.   

so I’ll go to counseling, come home and the yard will be cleaned up.  I’ll look at lt and shrug.  I’ll fix my solitary dinner and tolerate my new roommate, the TV.  I’ll be so glad to go to sleep not caring if I wake up, many times hoping I don’t.  I feel for my dogs as even they can’t break me out of this darkness.  

Journalling was suggested and if this is like that, it doesn’t help.  It’s just a black day today.  more so than usual.  I don’t want to stay home but I don’t want to go out and see people living as I once did.  So busy and engaged with plans.  I can see it them by thier laughter or urgency to get home to thier normal lives.  I'll come home hoping I can stand another night.  All these words really are saying is...I feel like I died already so what the hell am I doing anything for?

 

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Gwen,. I feel a lot the same.  Life seems so pointless.  I have very little reason to keep going.  At my age, it is one physical problem after another without the most important person in my life to share it.  My church  closed this last month.  I have not been there since Al died.  I tried really hard to try a new one this week.  I am not good at going to new places alone.  I did it.  Came home and decided to visit my brother about an hour away.  I was feeling ok.  Five minutes out and all of a sudden I felt like I was passing out.  It passed and I pulled over and phoned my brother and told him I could not come.  Went home and it happened again in the house.  Never actually passed out, but felt I was.  Went to doc and he wants me to get carotid artery ultrasound and test blood sugar and blood pressure.  Part of me says, "why bother".  But, I go along with it because I am scared.  Facing these things without Al is very, very hard.   I stay up half the night watching tv.  Keep the light on.  Usually finally fall asleep with everything on.  Nights are rougher, but days are not that great, either.  

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Someone sent this to me and I find that it says pretty much how I feel and probably how anyone who lost a spouse or significant other might feel.  I'm with you Gin about the evening hours ~ even after almost six years I still have those moments that going on seems pointless.  We do go on because that is what we do. I know nothing will ever be like it was when Jim was here.  I accept that.  I talk about my grief and make some people uncomfortable when I do.  I know there are no answers as to how I'm going to live this different life but there are things I can do about it.  When I get up in the morning I am grateful to have another day. It doesn't mean that I like how it is going to go but it does mean that I have a chance to do something even if it seems pointless.  I have been doing more volunteering because it fills part of my day.  I read and meditate even though I don't know if it will help me in this different life.  I try to find at least one thing I do each day that takes me outdoors.  I love my yard and the area I live in gives me opportunities to enjoy nature. I also have a hobby that fills up some hours of my day.  There will always be a hole in my heart. We do what we can to make the best of things.  

facebook_1520383571770.jpg

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It’s possible you had an anxiety attack, Gin.  I’d ask my doc about that as I’ve been thru so many tests turning up nothing.  And those tests pile on more stress.  Just a thought.

Enna, thank you for posting that.  I should make copies to hand to every person that tries to tell me they understand, wonder why I an not better or think it is something that needs to be taken in account because I have changed so very much and they think I will be back.....good ol' Gwen.  Nope, she’s gone for good.  

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Anxiety.jpg.755f0aa9e7f45a23d2949a729e18dcbf.jpg

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12 hours ago, enna said:

Someone sent this to me and I find that it says pretty much how I feel and probably how anyone who lost a spouse or significant other might feel.  I'm with you Gin about the evening hours ~ even after almost six years I still have those moments that going on seems pointless.  We do go on because that is what we do. I know nothing will ever be like it was when Jim was here.  I accept that.  I talk about my grief and make some people uncomfortable when I do.  I know there are no answers as to how I'm going to live this different life but there are things I can do about it.  When I get up in the morning I am grateful to have another day. It doesn't mean that I like how it is going to go but it does mean that I have a chance to do something even if it seems pointless.  I have been doing more volunteering because it fills part of my day.  I read and meditate even though I don't know if it will help me in this different life.  I try to find at least one thing I do each day that takes me outdoors.  I love my yard and the area I live in gives me opportunities to enjoy nature. I also have a hobby that fills up some hours of my day.  There will always be a hole in my heart. We do what we can to make the best of things.  

facebook_1520383571770.jpg

Exactly. I know I can't understand others' grief if I haven't been in their shoes, but that said, I have zero understanding of how loss of the person I slept with every night,  made coffee for every morning, discussed our day & life and everything with every day, went to for comfort, came to me for comfort, gave me the great feeling of belonging to a special partnership, brightened every day with her radiant smile, texted constantly, joked with constantly, was my perfect sailing partner, was my perfect crossword partner, remembered our whole history together....and all the things above...and so much more I could write....is not worse than the loss of someone with a less intimate connection. For example, someone who is really close to a parent might call them every day and have dinner once a week. That is zero on the scale of my intimacy with Susan, so how could the loss compare? 

 

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So many things to do to try to help yourself and that is the chief wording, trying to help yourself.  It is not selfish to want peace.  We all want  peace.  They tell you to journal your feelings and this is something that helps many people.  I have lost the use of my fingers to write much.  I can type, unless I am in an anxious state.  If I am angry, my fingers shake too bad to write or type, if I am anxious they do the same.  I have made grocery lists I could not read.  I honestly could not read them from my shaking fingers.  I have tried journaling, and what I could read back cut into me like a knife.  Somewhere is mentioned "widows brain" and I am not afraid of dementia, or Alzheimer's.  I do not tax my brain with trying to remember something if it is reluctant to come to mind.  The grief seminar that helps so many people, I would come away from it crying.  Not for myself.  I was crying for the women who had lost children, young children and grown children.  My grief was terrible, but trying to add their grief to my own was unthinkable.  Just like visiting the cancer survivors groups, I went one time and could not go back.  We all handle things differently.  I saw the flowers and trees each of the last three growing seasons, but this year there was a small amount of appreciation for their beauty.  I do have my family, which sometimes can be a blessing and sometimes.......well, maybe not a blessing........but certainly a distraction.

I miss Billy so terribly much.  I still cry.  I still cannot listen to some music.  I cry at happy shows on TV, I cry at sad shows (and try to avoid them), I cry at commercials.  Not boo-hoo crying, but silent tears that I still keep a roll of paper towels close at hand.  But, a lot of this comes with aging, I think, because Billy had tears at the animated movie "Wreck It Ralph."  As we get older, sometimes tears just come.  

I have no answers.  We all have to face this stuff in our own time, in our own way.  I could use more Xanax, and I use it to keep the shaking down.  I shake from anger, anxiety, and TMI, but also shake from having to take the  Miralax every night.  I have cried to where I could not breathe, and that scared me and was a dangerous relief for me too.  I still have people who depend on me and I have to help them.  How could I enjoy anything if those I loved had to do without it.  I do so want to buy Billy's and my memorial and hopefully I can do that before I go, but none of us are promised tomorrow.  

Not to be dreary.  I feel the pain.  I cry from frustration, but no matter how much I cry, he is not going to talk to me and he is not coming back to me.  My grandmother lived well over 20 years after my grandfather passed, missing him terribly every day, thinking of him constantly (I have her memoirs).  We exist until we leave, and perhaps there might be something during that time that takes our mind off our loss for a moment.  I'm waiting.......

There really is no solace.  I have lost half of myself.  We all have.  There is no right way, no wrong way.  There is only our own way, whatever that happens to be.  I leave with this.  Billy said that I was him and he was me.  We still are.  I miss him terribly, but I do not miss him enough to substitute him.  That is just me.  After 54 years, really nearly 57, I am still him, he is still me. It would be very hard to be with anyone else, it would not be fair to them or fair to me and the guilt I felt would be my undoing.  I would have liked to have him forever, he is still my forever.  No answers, really no questions.  It is what it is................but then again, this is my own coping.  They were right, one size does not fit all.

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Marg, I so relate to your post. The many things that have been suggested don’t work for me either.  Someone was once bugging me about a support group I knew I could not handle and would make things worse.  I attended one when I lost my mother and got tired of being surrounded by pain.  I gave up journaling as it just put into words, and not effectively, how I felt.  I even dread counseling now because I have to talk about this at a specific time and it gets cut off after so many minutes. 

It’s a conundrum trying to figure out what will work as these are the gold standards and if they don’t help, I feel I am failing.  I get tired of explaining to people, docs, whoever that grief affects everything and they say they understand but they don’t.  Same with the anxiety.  This isn’t normal nervous.  This is knowing you are alone now, always will be and you are shattered.  I don’t just get nervous, I have attacks.  All one has to do is google anxiety or panic attack and they would see the difference.  Kay, what you posted really downplays the severity of attacks.  It’s sad that people feel we have control over our brains releasing adrenaline in massive doses. It does  work for those who experience 'normal' anxiety.   I post This for the list of symptoms.  Much of the rest is info that one might read if they experience this. 

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/panic-attacks-and-panic-disorders.htm#medication

As Tom said, this makes other losses almost zero in comparison. Tho I know they evoke pain as well.  I may miss calling my mother, but she wasn’t my life day and day out.  As I have found out over years, the silence and isolation is torture with half your heart shut down.

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14 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

 I don’t just get nervous, I have attacks.

I am afraid, suspect, mine is a form of parkinsonism.  My grandfather died at 56 with this and his brother at the same time.  I retired in 1997 (first time) and when I worked for neurology they said it was not Parkinson's disease, it was just plain congenital tremor.  Well, my dad had it and my aunt also.  Mine started at puberty.  I remember the very day it started and I was in the 6th grade.  Got  up to give reading on a paper and I could not keep the paper still.  It shook like a leaf blowing in a breeze.  Never happened before.  Sure has since.  I begged off public speaking and one time I was left to give a talk in our district church meeting.  The girl that was to give it, some friends came to get her.  I was unprepared and started crying in the pulpit.  My dad had it and led singing every time we had a service.  His hands went up and down with the music so, it was hidden.  I have his Bible and in his 60's his handwriting is so shaky.  Xanax helps, but does not get rid of it.  Anything too strong might bother my colon and we cannot mess that up.  No pun intended.  It was the year I retired that they discovered some reference to familial Parkinson's disease.  I know all the symptoms though, and I don't have them.  Just the shaking if I get angry, excited, or scared.  No one cares really.  I tell them before I sign anything and they  are okay with it.  Panic definitely plays a role.  

 

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23 hours ago, TomPB said:

For example, someone who is really close to a parent might call them every day and have dinner once a week. That is zero on the scale of my intimacy with Susan, so how could the loss compare? 

I have learned not to compare because in so doing, we are invalidating someone else's grief.  It's not a contest with a winner.  To each of us our own grief is the greatest, and there is great truth to that.

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22 hours ago, Marg M said:

They tell you to journal your feelings and this is something that helps many people.  I have lost the use of my fingers to write much.  I can type, unless I am in an anxious state.  If I am angry, my fingers shake too bad to write or type, if I am anxious they do the same.

You might try voice recognition, I tried it out in Microsoft Word, it's amazing.

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18 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Someone was once bugging me about a support group I knew I could not handle and would make things worse.  I attended one when I lost my mother and got tired of being surrounded by pain.

There really isn't a "one size fits all"...we try things, but not everything is for everyone.  We try but what works well for one person may not be another's cup of tea.

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18 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Kay, what you posted really downplays the severity of attacks.

That was not my intent.  I have anxiety, I've had panic attacks.  I posted that because we were on the subject of anxiety and I had just seen Anne's post in Tools section.  No way does it downplay the severity of panic attacks, which are different than dealing with mere anxiety.  That said, those of us who experience anxiety would never feel it was "mere anxiety" because that alone can be so hard to deal with.  It keeps me awake during the night.  It is the boogeyman that makes me feel in those wee hours that all is doom and gloom and I might as well just go kill myself.  In the morning things look different.  Some experience it in the broad of day, I used to.  To lay there and take it is hard, sometimes distractions help your mindset, and I think that's all that post was about.  Again, we can never assume "one size fits all".  I'm on anti-anxiety medicine.  It helps some, it doesn't alleviate it.  Remember, when someone posts something, try not to over-personalize it, they aren't necessarily directing it at you personally, nor assuming it'd be your overall answer!

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15 minutes ago, kayc said:

You might try voice recognition, I tried it out in Microsoft Word, it's amazing.

I love your posts dearly Kay.  You are a wise woman.  I have got to say this "voice recognition" took my beloved hobby job away from me.  When voice recognition took a doctor's words of "parenthesis" and made "bull flatus" out of it, I knew it was time to quit.  I wish I had had the nerve to leave it instead of doing my job and changing it.  

Memories stay in our head even without writing them down.  Some do not need repeated.  But for some people it is the saving grace that helps them.  This is not to knock them though.  Love ya.  

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1 minute ago, Marg M said:

When voice recognition took a doctor's words of "parenthesis" and made "bull flatus" out of it, I knew it was time to quit.

I'm sorry, but you gave me a laugh here!  I'd forgotten about all of the garbling.  My son's voicemails come in as texts to his phone.  I left him a message the other day and he never got back to me.  I called him again.  He said he got it as a text but it didn't make any sense.  Instead of calling me and asking what I'd said, he just let it go.  All of this new fangled technology isn't perfect!  Sometimes I long for the days when people had land lines and actually ANSWERED the blanking phone!!

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In the time it would take me to text someone, I could have already had a live conversation and ended the call.  lol

My granddaughter has lightning fast texting ability and her phone is an extension of her hand. It is all "greek" to me. I much prefer a real conversation with someone. I still believe I am worthy of conversation and don't want to become any bigger part of our robot universe. Just getting too old for "newfangled" stuff, I guess.

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Many people text me using voice recognition. In part it's because everyone seems to communicate from their cars. If I miss a call from my brother and call back after he's got to where he's driving he doesn't answer. So I'm very used to incomprehensible and/or funny texts. Another texting gremlin is autocorrect. The name of my friend Mara becomes Mars if I'm not careful, etc.

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Yeah, my son set up his phone that way because that way he can get a message at work without it disturbing someone while he's in a meeting, etc.  I guess I need to hone my voice recognition skills.

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