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Feel Overwhelmed


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I was wondering if it was just the holidays coming or if I have something wrong with me. I go to a room then turn around and go to another room in search of an article or have 25 things going on in my mind that I have to do at one time and then end up not doing any of them unless I write them down. This happened very seldom when my husband was alive. Sometimes I just feel overwhelmed with the life I'm living now.

Of course there were times I felt like I was on a roller coaster when I was taking care of my husband. He died of lung cancer. I don't think the doctors thought he'd live that long but he lived 1 month short of 2 years. He was an angry patient because I feel he never got past the "anger stage". I was not allowed to call Hospice in until a week before he died, and I know it would have taken some of the pressure off of me.

I could go on but I just wish we could have had a good two years together because he (I kid you not) was never sick or nauseous and had really no pain to speak of. It was just the breathing.

However, I am 68 and that could account for some of this........hahaha.

Anyone else feel like this?

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For sure I felt exactly the same way. For the first six months it was terrible. For someone that is(was) always organized, it was very hard to deal with.

Now I'm nearing the 2 year mark and ,though it is better, I still at times will go downstairs to get something and come up with something altogether different. I now write down the important things and don't sweat the small stuff.It does get better.

When did you lose your husband? I'm sorry that you had a rough 2 years, anger can be so negative and you deserved to be able to at least try to enjoy the time you had left.

Lainey

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OH YEAH! We've experienced that! It's such a jolt to the brain when you experience a loss of this magnitude, and although it settles down some eventually, I don't think the brain is every entirely the same...at least for me it isn't. I'm 59 and it's been 6 1/2 years since George died and my focus is not what it once was, although it has improved some. It's still difficult for me to read and I was an avid reader before.

I doubt it's old age...you're still relatively young! :)

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All that forgetfulness and distraction is a common result of grief and of exhaustion. Anticipatory grief is exhausting in a very subtle way. You are also dealing with regrets...the pressure of caregiving...and loss. I am 71, took care of my husband for 4+ years (Alzheimers) and it is now 18 months and I am still exhausted, unfocused a lot of the time. Age is a piece of it for sure as my friends are all doing some of this also but not as much as I am. I am sorry your husband was so angry. My guess is he was afraid and frequently people handle fear by striking out with anger. That way they do not have to deal with the fear and helplessness. I too have some regrets as I know in hindsight I was traumatized as I watch my love deteriorate, took care of him, my work and the entire house....I got impatient with him. Luckily we had a change to talk about it a bit about 3 weeks before he died...hug each other tightly, apologize etc. But I still regret that I could not have been the perfect caregiver. Overall I did pretty well. Just take a day at a time and be patient and be in the moment...wherever you are , you are. Peace, Mary

mfh

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I am the same way. I think grief plays a big part in it, but I have never been terribly organized, and have become much more scattered, especially the last few months. Only at my job, before I retired, was I really organized....or when I am directing a play in the community theatre. However, some of the day to day things are what seem to cause me the most problems.

My best friend came from Arizona and just spent a week with me...she is very organized, and helped me clean out and organize my kitchen cabinets (I did not even recognize some of the stuff!!) and rearrange things in the kitchen and dining room. It really looks better, but boy was it hard....I am a border line hoarder I think! I took 5 full boxes to a local organization, where the money from the items they sell goes to buy food for people who are financially stressed. It was a good feeling to get rid of some stuff, but was stressful also. Thank goodness my friend helped me, don't think I would have done it all alone. We also had a fun weekend by going to Arrow Rock, Missouri to the Lyceum theatre where a young friend of our is the Artistic Director. He and another actor were all 22 characters in "A Tuna Christmas", it was wonderful, and lifted our spirits after a busy week. She went back to Arizona yesterday, and I really miss her. We have been best friends for over 25 years.

I think you are right Kay, the brain is never exactly the same after a jolt of this size, and at age 66 I don't really see my memory improving much. Mike's death was so unexpected, and such a shock that I still am stunned. I had no warning, and was in the hospital, having had a total knee replacement only two days before, when he died. It has been over 22 months, and still sometimes seems like yesterday.

I have lived in this town all of my life,with the exception of a couple of years, and it is not a huge town, but I can catch myself getting lost and turned around if I don't pay close attention...worries me. I am one of those people who have no sense of direction, don't do north, south, etc....my brain has never been wired that way. Mike had great sense of direction, and always did the driving, and I HATE to drive....now if I want to go anywhere, I don't have a choice.

I think I am rambling here, but so good to have a place to come to rant, rave...and even ramble.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Queeniemary,

It sounds like you had a good and productive visit with your friend. I wish I had someone to help me clean out my place, it weighs on me, 34 years of family living and stuff and some of it is too big for me to lift or reach (like what's in the attic above the garage, you need a ladder to get to it), and it's overwhelming. I'm also probably borderline hoarder, not like on t.v., but definitely am not a "throw awayer"! I guess it comes from having depression era parents that felt something could always be used for something and we shouldn't waste. It's hard to tackle projects like that without help. I did get rid of my treadmill though, that's a start!

I also went through the stunning shock of losing my husband totally out of the blue, unexpected, and I think that's what really hit my brain, there was no time to get used to it, just shock! I really notice it with my brain, it just doesn't work like it used to. I want more than anything to retire but can't afford to. Things have changed in the job force so much, expectation is so tremendous and appreciation is zero.

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Thank you so much for replying......everyone of you.

Lainey, my husband passed away on February 8, last year. However, I know I didn't feel this way then. I guess my head was still somewhere "out there" and I was trying to get everything organized and still understand some things that were never explained to me.

However, this year I (as I said) am feeling overwhelmed. My mom is 91 and has dementia. She is in a nursing home and I go to see her every week-end. She barely recognizes me now. Two weeks ago I was "rear ended" in my car. He hit me twice!! Three days ago I was pulling into a parking place at the local grocery and I sideswiped the car beside me. Not much damage was done and we got it all taken care of but I went home and just cried and cried. It seems everything is happening at once and Bob isn't here to help me. I didn't tell my son about my accident in the parking lot because he thinks I should be over things by now. I've tried to explain that grief doesn't work that way. We were married for 35 years and memories don't just go away. Sometimes, though, I wonder why I remember those things and can't remember my password a lot of the time.

The rest of you who answered me made me feel so much better and I'm so grateful. On my worst days I'm afraid I'm getting like my mother. I have to TRY to get my head together and I think this is just the site for that.

God bless all of you.

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BLW215,

These memory issues will pass, I made a list early in this process and still have to some weeks, our minds are on overload at this point, keep the positive energy flowing, I know this is a hard thing to do but it will help. Move at your pace to find your comfort zone.

NATS

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Blw215,

I also lost my husband to lung cancer - even though he'd never smoked a cigarette in his life. He only lived one year after the diagnosis, and we both existed in the illusion that he would survive this thing. He'd always been so healthy.

When I lost him about 15 months ago, I had this sort of weird grief adrenaline rush and managed get all kinds of things done - some of them I didn't even need to do. But now that energy is gone and I also feel overwhelmed by life. I forget a lot of things and have to write every task in a calendar. I even have trouble remembering what day it is. If I didn't have to work full time, I'd probably never go anywhere - it's exhausting. And I'm 53. I have wonder what I'll be like in ten years or twenty. If I'm lucky, I'll forget the grief, though unfortunately, I don't see that as likely.

Melina

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blw,

I can relate to what you've said...my mom is almost 90 and has dementia and mental illnesses and refuses to cooperate or let us help her, in the end we'll probably have to go to court to force her to get a complete evaluation, which is tough because none of us has any money and all of us are going through hard places...it's hard to muster the energy when you can't even seem to help yourself.

I think you've reached the state where the shock wears off and reality hits and...it's tough. If it weren't for this place I might have gone nuts. When we're under so much stress it's really hard to think straight. I remember when my kids' dad and I were going through a divorce after 23 years of marriage, I had three accidents and a ticket within two months...why? Basically because my head was in a fog and I couldn't think straight...stress! Grief can put you there too. It will lift eventually, it clears somewhat, maybe not like it was "before" but better nonetheless. One thing I like about coming here is knowing I am not alone, I am not crazy, there are others going through the same things, and these are the effects of grief and loss.

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