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Feeling Sorry For Myself


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Friends, just need to feel sorry for myself a bit, and I know that I can do that here and not be judged.

I had a fall a week ago today, banged up right knee, and right side muscles are just now starting to be a little easy. I was with some girlfriends at a movie, and fell over one of those stupid concrete bumpers where you park your car. Pure stupidity on my part, just was not paying attention. Frightened the younger ladies I was with. Iced the knee down for 24 hours ever 3 hours, and it was good very soon. Now, what made me feel so sorry for myself.....no one was here to help me get the cold bags out of the freezer, or to help me back into bed......so miss Mike. He was not the best nurse in the world, but he would have brought me things so that I would not have to struggle out of the bed!

I have also determined that I had been using sleeping pills on too regular a basis, and have quit taking them for over a week now, it was just a crutch, because, with the exception of last night, I have been sleeping all right without them. I am also reducing the anti-depressant that I have been taking since December, with the thought of being off of them by next week. Have decided I just don't want to be dependent on any chemicals if I can help it. I am starting to think that using the sleeping pills on too regular a basis is what brought on my depression this fall, coupled with other things.

I see the years stretched out ahead, and I know that is not a good thing to do. I see me getting older, alone, and lonely. I have my daughter here in town, and she is very supportive, but she works, and has her family, and I just cannot be calling on her for everything. She would do her best, but she has her own life, and I cannot make her responsible for me also.

I have good friends, and do keep busy with the community theatre, but thank goodness for my dogs. They are what keeps me going most of the time. I am responsible for them, and they are good company, and spoiled. Plus I adore them!

I miss Mike so much, and still have trouble getting my mind around the fact that he is gone, and will not be coming home.

Sorry to be a downer, but I know that you all will understand, just need to vent a little, and don't want to to it to my daughter and my friends here. I just want things to be different, and I know that they will never be the way I want them to be......with Mike here. I have always been a positive person, but it is really hard to be one right now.

Over two years, actually 25 months, but it still seems like yesterday when I had to hear on the phone that Mike was dead. Still don't remember too much about that day. I was in the hospital 1/1/2 hours away from home when I found out. He died of a massive coronary, totally unexpected, no symptoms. We had talked on the phone just a few hours before he died, and he did not indicate that he felt unwell at all. I am not sure I will ever get over the shock of that day.

This month has also brought back strongly the loss of my youngest son, who would have been 40 on Feb. 3rd. He died on June 4th, 1972 at 4 months of age. There are just times you cannot help but wonder why you yourself are still here.

A friend of a friend has invited me to coffee next week. He is a little older than me, and not a widower. I have not met him, but agreed to have coffee with him. The friend says he is very nice man, but I really am unsure about this. He knows who I am from the productions at the Lyric theater. He is divorced, so I am just not too sure that he will get IT. It is just coffee, but I am already wishing I had not accepted the invitation.

Thank you my friends for letting me vent, helps knowing that all of you have these feeling and thoughts at times also. I just seem to be a whiney baby today.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Hi Mary,

I'm kinda feeling the same way today. This morning I noticed that the days are getting longer. It is quite warm and sunny today, and I was feeling that I am not ready to face spring/summer alone. I just don't want to do this.

Beth

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Dear Mary,

I am so sorry you fell and injured yourself. It was NOT stupid, however. Accidents just happen and our minds are elsewhere these days. I fell and tore my rotator cuff and broke two fingers on the curb at the bank Oct. 2010-still healing. My mind was elsewhere and I was in a fog. You and I are about 2 years out from that horrific day. March 27 will be 2 years for me. I still feel shock take over my entire being fairly often....it is shocking to know that Bill is gone and will never ever ever be back....I know your shock, believe me.

I also know what it is like NOT to have Bill (or Mike) around to help when we fall, get the flu, come home and want to share something, change the toilet paper roll, fill the car with gas, bring me tea....whatever. No one knows unless they live this...that I know for sure. It is impossible.

You are not whining...you are not a downer....you are sharing pain. We all get that. I do it also on this site when friends are not available or I just do not want to lay something on them or am afraid they won't get it and I will feel naked. This is what this circle of hurting folks is all about. In reality it is a gift as it opens the door for others to share.

I think getting off the meds is a great idea...you are apparently ready to do that. Good for you...do it slowly...wean yourself.

I can't imagine the shock of getting that information that Mike died. I took care of Bill for a long time and I was still shocked when he drew that final breath and I felt his heart stop. You had no warning, you were in the hospital and vulnerable already. Shock and more shock. This journey is a long one....and I do not mean 2 years....I mean longer...much longer. There are so many secondary losses like no one around to pay the bills, long evenings when we are tired and lonely, etc.

I also believe that when we open the cave within us that keeps our pain...all the pain, like the loss of your son, comes flying out and we have to deal with all of it. I am sorry for the loss of your son. I know one never ever forgets just as we will never forget or get past the grief of this loss. I won't be here in 40 years (I will be 72 in a few weeks) but I know if I were I would be thinking of Bill.

As for your coffee with a friend of a friend....if you truly do not want to go...call and cancel. It may be fear and once you are there it would be ok but it may be that you just do not want to go....cancel it....stay home and eat chocolate :)

I wish you peace and I wish me peace....I am reading a book written in 1990 but it has good points in it about this journey through pain. It is Seven Choices by Elizabeth Harper Neeld....got it for a buck + shipping at Amazon. She has a neat tool she calls a map (NOT stages) that is interesting and relevant to my journey in some ways....

Mary

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Hi Mary,

I'm kinda feeling the same way today. This morning I noticed that the days are getting longer. It is quite warm and sunny today, and I was feeling that I am not ready to face spring/summer alone. I just don't want to do this.

Beth

I hear you Beth. We have had hardly any snow this winter and I was looking forward to the short days, lack of activity, silence and hunkering down with a cup of tea. I am NOT in any way ready for spring....do not want to see it and it feels lonelier when everyone is having fun with their spouses.

Mary

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Mary,

I can totally relate as that is how I was feeling this summer...I had just been laid off work and had TWO falls, the first one busted my tooth across the canal and broke my nose, it cost me over $3,000.00. The second fall broke my right elbow and I haven't even tallied the bills on that. Trying to get dressed/undressed, fix something to eat, get groceries, take out garbage, vacuum the house, walk the dogs, was a herculean task with no one here to help me. It's times like that my mind can't help but think about how George would have pampered and taken care of me and I did my share of feeling sorry for myself. But I also started a file to keep note of the positives in my life, so I could remind myself (this person took me to lunch, this one called, that one mowed my lawn when I couldn't, etc.) and it is amazing to me now, looking back, that I managed to survive. I remember struggling to open Rx bottles and couldn't get them open, I couldn't open a can with a can opener, had to have the neighbor come to my rescue. And I'm an independent cuss so that's a dilemma! :)

I don't hear from my kids much, they have their own lives and are busy (they don't live nearby either). It is an odd feeling to know if something happened to me no one would notice for how long? A guy I know just died (he was younger than me) alone at home and they don't even know what day for sure because no one discovered his body for 2-3 days. My neighbor and I check in with each other regularly so one of us will know if something's amiss, not a bad idea!

I'm sorry you hurt yourself and I know your greatest wounds are inside the heart where you are missing your husband. Just remember that he still loves and cares for you and wishes so much that he could put his arms around you and be there for you. This has to be hard for them as they watch us struggle, but on the other hand, I think they are applauding our triumphs and efforts too. That you are getting off of sleep and depression aids is commendable. Everyone is telling me I need to be on antidepressants but I really don't want to, I don't feel it's bad enough to warrant them and I can't help but feel it's circumstantial. I've had a run of bad luck for seven years now, it has to change sometime! Hang in there and I hope you heal soon!

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Kay, great idea on the list of people who help. I made one of those and when we moved here less than a year before Bill died (we were in a town 7 miles away but wanted to be here so Bill could walk through town) I counted 22 people who helped me move. The list grew with those who brought meals, many of whom I will never even know as they left the meal with no name or call....they are still here for me in ways they can be. It matters. And yes, I often wonder if I died who would know. Friends check but not daily....I guess it won't really matter as I will be somewhere else :) But if I fall or something, that could mean a lot of pain. I carry my cell phone at all times but of course, the time I fall, it will be in the next room because it was the ONE time I did not put it in my pocket. C'est la vie.

Gray day with flurries floating here and there. Weird winter this year. Off to interview for the next issue of Voice. I sent March to press yesterday.

Mary

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Queenie!

You just vent away and feel as sorry for yourself as you care to!!! Everyone here has certainly listened to me feel sorry for myself many, many times. If we can't do that here, I think we would be in big trouble! Your comments are not a downer. We have all been there and know it's just part of what our lives are now. We all wish comfort and peace for each other.

I am so sorry you hurt yourself. Bummer. It's so easy for us to have accidents when our minds are so cluttered with other stuff.

Having to deal with your injuries by yourself is hard. Hope you heal quickly and are not in pain. I hate it when I fall and hurt myself. Don't care much for pain! Dick's wasn't the greatest nurse in the world either. For some reason, he acted almost mad if I was sick. He told me he couldn't stand the thought of me "not being me". :) It scared him to think about me not being around. Pretty sweet.

We have not had much of a winter here in South Central Colorado. I am not looking forward to an early Spring either. I prefer shorter cooler days, not a summer person. Dick hated the cold and was a total summer person. We were such opposites. It's a wonder we had such a good marriage for 39 years.

I was interested in your comments about sleeping pills and anti-depressants. I used both before and after Dick's death. I no longer use either. While the depression is no longer an ongoing problem (I do still have spells of depression that don't last long enough to require medication), I have learned some coping strategies that help me with depression.

However, sleeping remains a chronic problem. I use over the counter herbal supplements. Usually, I get 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night, then I will be so tired I will actually get a good night sleep.

I am grateful I don't have to get up and go to a job! I would appreciate any suggestions or tips for things you have found helpful.

I think it's wonderful we have a safe, supportive place to come and vent and feel sorry for ourselves. Don't know what I would do without all of you!!!

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Ah, you wonderful people, already you have made me feel better, by bringing home to me that I am not alone in these feelings, and that others understand.. Thanks you so much for your words, you truly don't know how much that means to me today.

One of my biggest fears is that I will die here alone, and my daughter will be the one to find my body. She found Mike's body, and I would not want her to ever go through that again. She and I text every morning, and I know that she would come if she could not reach me.

Mary, I truly don't know how I am feeling about this coffee thing, it may be fear. Maybe fear that I might actually want to spend time with someone. I don't know, and I have several days to figure out what to do. Chocolate sounds pretty good! I always feel so much better after reading your posts. You have a wonderful way with words.

Kay, you are so strong, and such a positive person. You are like the bunny, that just keeps on going. I admire your determination. I know that I have been very fortunate in financial matters, and in having family and friends close by for support.....makes me ashamed to be so down, when you have so much more reason, and you are still so positive and wise. I am going to start the list, I think that is a wonderful idea.

Beth, I think that is the heart of the matter....we just do not want to do this alone. Spring was Mike's favorite time, he loved working in the yard, etc. I am not good at it.

Anne, I would be interested on your coping strategies for depression. I think getting off the sleeping pills will help me, but I don't think that was all causing the depression. I have reduced my anti-depressant to 1/2 and plan to end that on Sunday. My brain just does not function well with all the chemicals, and I think I would rather be a little depressed than feel that my thought process is not all there! As for sleep, I have never gotten a lot of sleep. If I get 5 hours a night, sometimes 6, that is pretty good. Last night was a bad night, it was 2 before I got to sleep, usually I go to sleep early, wake up after a couple of hours. Before I stopped the sleeping pills, I would take one after I woke up in middle of night, and that would give me another 3 at least. However, my body had adjusted too much to the pills, and it was getting to where the sleeping pills would barely give me another 2 hours. One night I forgot that I had taken one, and took another. That was a "wake-up" call that told me I needed to give them up. When they interfered with my memory enough that I could not remember taking one, then I knew it was bad for me. Just hope I have not permanently damaged any of these few brain cells I have left. I usually read myself to sleep...literally, wake up a lot with Kindle on my chest. Luckly it turns itself off after a bit. And, I know this is really not a help for sleep, but I do enjoy a glass of red wine before bed, and it usually does help me go to sleep. Last night however, that did not work, brain just would not shut off.....however I did not take a sleeping pill, and don't intend to take another anytime.

It has been a weird winter, we had 1 1/2 inches snow Monday, and that is all we have had. My grass is growing!!

Thank you all so much for your support on this gray day. I will do my best to be there for you all when you need support also. Comnfort and peace to each of us.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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I would be interested in the coping strategies for depression too. I am up and down and never totally given in to it, but I seem to battle it now and then.

I don't have a hard time going to sleep, but I wake up at 3:00 am and can't go back to sleep, and it doesn't afford me enough sleep for functioning, esp. the days I have a long commute and stressful workday.

Mary, it must feel good to get March done! Like YAY for another deadline! I know I feel that way about some things.

I just got another rejection email (for a job I applied for), I guess I just have to laugh it off after a while, right?

It's a beautiful albeit cold day today...tomorrow more snow is coming.

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Coping strategies for depression? That is an excellent question! Please share any that have worked for you.

Here are some I've just found on the Internet, and I hope other members reading this will add more:

Dealing with Depression: Self-Help and Coping Tips

Depression Self-Help Tips

Coping Strategies for Depression

15 Strategies for Coping with Depression

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(Queenie) Mary,

Sorry to hear about your injury and I hope you soon feel better - even if you have to go it alone. I have a knee surgery coming up, and I guess I'll have to take a taxi home and hobble around at home. No one to pick me up or make me dinner. The hardest part is what to do with the dog. Like you, I enjoy having the dog around, but it is an extra responsibility that's a little difficult at times.

As for depressions, I'm still taking antidepressants. I tried to reduce the dose, but I felt worse, and I didn't want to risk feeling even worse than I do.

I suppose there are other ways of dealing with it - a therapist, maybe.

I understand why you're feeling blue and also thinking about your son. I'm so sorry that you had to lose him at such an early age.

Hope you'll start feeling a little better soon.

Melina

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OK, lets talk strategies for coping with depression. :unsure:

Here are somethings I DON'T do anymore and why:

1. Drink glasses and glassed of wine or beer. It gives me a killer headache, makes me sick to my stomach and was getting expensive!!! (I don't like cheap wine or domestic beer!)

2. Eat everything I can get my hands on!!! This particular coping mechanism caused me to gain 50 pounds which were a killer to take off. I'm not interested in going there again!!!

2. Sit in my chair listening to sad "break up" type music. You all know what that does to you. Sigh!

3. Refuse to get out of bed. This generally results in a back ache and confuses the dogs.

4. Use non-productive "self talk". It's just self defeating!

Here are some things I do to fight depression and why:

1. Take the dogs to the dog park. Their excitement is contagious. (Pete, the Boston Terrier, whines and yips all the way to the park.) We usually meet other dogs and dog loving people there. It is nice to discuss the silliness of your pets and watch the dogs run around with pure love of life.

2. Listen to upbeat music and, if no one is around to witness, dance around the room.

3. Look at pictures of Dick and I having a good time together. Remembering the best times, is really very therapeutic for me. Remembering how we laughed and teased each other.

4. I am blessed with a best friend of almost 40 years. We both have lost our beloved husbands. I call her, tell her I am miserable!!! She will talk with me, listen to me, then after I have vented to the point of illness,she will tell me to pull up my big girl panties and soldier on. (I do the same for her.)

5. Do something for someone else. I am a volunteer reading tutor for two little girls. We meet twice a week. After spending an hour with each of the girls, it's hard for me to be too depressed. Lexus, 8 years old, and Haylee, 11 years old, are a joy to be with. They both usually come full of tales of things at school and full of silliness.

6. Occupy my hands and mind with knitting. I love to knit socks.

7. If I am angry, I pound on the piano for a while. I'm not a great pianist, but I am LOUD!

8. If I need to I CRY! My favorite crying place is in the shower. I stand in there and cry my eyes out!!!!! It's private, and the salty tears don't just sit on my cheeks and burn! I do my best crying in the middle of the night in the shower. Most of the time, the crying fit will make me so tired, I will actually go to sleep when I go back to bed.

9. I look for JOY every single day. At first, I had to really, really look to find something joyful. The person who suggested that I look for joy every day, told me to write what I found joyful on my daily calendar each day. I no longer need to do that, but the practice did help me "stay the course" and work at finding joy. Yesterday, my joy moment was when I was in the car and saw a field full of Mamma and baby goats. The little babies were stark white! It was a wonderful sight.

10. Count my blessing! I know that sounds trite, but it does help me. I need to use "Kinder" talk with myself and to think about the positive things in my life. I try to think of the things that would make Dick proud of me. He would never be proud of me if I just gave up. He NEVER gave up!

That's all I can think of right now. How about you? Care to add???

Anne

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Some excellent links Marty, and Anne your list of do and do not is very good. I like the joy list also.

I try not to have more than one glass of wine a day, and succeed unless I am in a social situation. I have to be honest, and say that I do enjoy a good red wine.

I have started (early in January) getting regular exercise in the Silver Sneekers program through BCBS. Does not cost me a dime. I do Tai Chi 3 days a week and seated aerobics 2 days a week. I really love the Tai Chi. I find that gives me a good purpose in the morning, and gives me a real feeling of accomplishment.

Also, my very very best friend in the whole world for the last 30 years and I talk nearly every day. She lives in Arizona, and we can and do talk about everything. I was grateful to have been able to have really been there for her this past weekend, and we spent a lot of time on the phone. Her daughter-in-law almost died in childbirth, and the adorable little girl is a Downs Syndrome baby. She will have to have heart surgery in a couple of months, but she is a beautiful full term little girl. They all know the challenges they face, but they adore her. Kathryn and I talk about everything, and she knows the depression I have had. She is very happy I am off the sleeping pills and getting off the anti-depressants.

Also, as I said previously, my little Corgi girls are life savers for me. They keep me busy, and are letting me know right now that it is suppertime! So I had better get going.

Melina, will be thinking of you and the knee surgery. What type are you having and when? It is hard to have to take care of ourselves.

Thanks for all the input. Wish I knew what to do to sleep more, but maybe I just don't require a lot. I have never been an 8 hour person.....I have tried a lot of strategies for getting more sleep, but nothing seems to work. Anyone have some strategies for getting more sleep, that work for them, pass them on.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Time for me to chime in with my coping strategies when grief overwhelms me and I will tie it in with Melina's question about introverts.

I am reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain I AM an introvert by behavior, feelings and Myers-Briggs taken many times...INFP a small minority test this way. An INFP is 4-5% of the population....a lonely place to be. Bill was also. I do not like big parties but I do enjoy coffee, tea, lunch, with one or two people I can be real with. Bill and I socialized that way avoiding loud, noisy stuff whenever humanly possible. So that is one of my coping strategies....time with one or two people at a time who are real and really want to share. Yes, I do believe it is harder for introverts with grief as we prefer a quiet life and would rather read a book than go to a party. Introvert really means guided/directed from within. Groups drain my energy. I am also reading Introvert Power by Helgoe and have been in contact with the author. She spoke to her findings about introverts and grief and found it is more difficult.

I made a vow early after Bill died that i would leave the house every day. It is rare when I do not get out even to the post office and chat with the clerk at least or drop into the General Store for coffee as there is always someone there to talk to. It helps when I find i have sat and sobbed for a couple of hours or longer and can't pull out of the grief and need to. I have to force myself sometimes.

I started watercolor lessons and joined a group of painters who are friends and help me a lot with my skills. I am, however, the ONLY one in the group who paints my feelings. The others are excellent but it is technique based. One I am closer to wants to paint her feelings and works at it. But we meet every two weeks and it gives me a goal so I show up with something.

I read a LOT...I usually have 5-6 books going on grief, life after life, introvert, book club selection. I publish a magazine. Huge distraction.

I try to keep sugar intake down. Alcohol is a depressant. For those on anti-depressants. Using alcohol is just the opposite so a bad mix. It ultimately feeds depression. Sugar is one molecule different than alcohol and is also a depressant. It lifts you and then drops you on your heart. I crave it to keep me going but really work hard on not keeping it in the house as i feel crappy when I eat a lot of it.

Walking the dogs helps but I have to push myself as it is think time and when I am already in the drink....I tend to think too many painful thoughts. So it is a double edged sword. But he has to be walked and the exercise helps with sadness.

I write in my journal..I write to Bill or just write my pain and get it out of me. I post on this forum also.

I help others in pain a lot. I am only seeing one client now and that is not heavy (by my choice as it is all I feel competent to do) but I have one friend just finishing chemo, another who lost both parents in 6 months, another who is just NOW after 20 years dealing with the loss of her husband....she did not do it back then...., on and on...another going through a divorce so I step into their pain and put mine on hold and use it to help them for a while.

I talk to the handful of people I can share with.

This makes it sound like I do well. I do NOT....I just use these as I can. Sometimes I just sink and sink and sink. and frankly it is ok. If I stay too long....I grab one of these and get out of the house....sometimes i wait too long. I am planning a 7 day retreat around the 2nd anniverary of Bill's death in late March. I cleared my calendar and plan to read, paint, meditate, journal, walk, cook up some stews etc., take drives etc. It just happens to coincide with the anniversary as it is the first week with no comittments....but in a way I am glad it does. If I need to talk to someone, I will....but I have some transition work I want to do and it all takes time.

I think this is enough for you to read.....and i appreciate all the ideas shared him. We are all doing the best we can do. I find I HAVE to make choices that are hard in order not to fall into the deep holes around me. Sometimes i fall in anyway.

Peace,

Mary

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Thank you Marty and Ann...it seems I pretty much already adhere to your lists but will check out Marty's links to see if there's anything else I could be doing. I'm finding it's hard to motivate myself to do things I don't have to do. In other words, I work when I have it, I keep the house clean, do laundry, etc., but I don't feel like doing things I used to really enjoy and love to do, like making cards. If it wasn't for the dog I probably wouldn't even walk, but thank God because of him I walk twice a day. Since I've been job hunting I've been in the house more than I used to, I have to watch $ so don't like to spend on gas unless I have to, but I get together with my neighbor on a regular basis so at least I'm not always alone and talk to my sister almost every day. I put on my makeup and jewelry even if I'm not going anywhere, I do it for me. I try to focus on the positive and count my blessings. But I'm not sure how to motivate myself above and beyond the things I have to do.

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For now mostly just want to say a great thread and great posts here all. Some excellent suggestions and insights but what struck me most were several things I can relate to very much about what you've felt and dealing with all this. Mary, your comment about "seeing the years stretched out ahead" and worrying about "getting older, alone, and lonely" really hit home. This is my ultimate fear. I am not close to family (in any sense of the word), do not have family of my own, and although I have friends, many (most?) have seemingly abandoned me after this loss and the few that have not as you all have said, have their own lives and I hear from sparingly. Basically I have had my share of loneliness but now with the loss of my loved one it is magnified a great deal more as she in many ways WAS my life. Comments you have made about no one there to share those ordinary day to day things with also really struck me hard - even things as simple as grocery shopping or talking about the day, what do we want to have for dinner, should I pick up anything, what flowers should we plant this spring, so on and so on. Bottom line I also fear the road ahead and even when and if I deal with the loss itself, will I ever be less alone. I don't wish this on anyone and I'm very sorry for anyone feeling similar.

On the plus side, like some of you I also have a dog and he has in many ways kept me going, gives me reason to get up in the morning and "get out" some, even if it's just for a walk. And I have made new friends who have helped, 1 or 2 in big big ways.

I also enjoy a little wine most nights. smile.gif But not a lot, generally just a glass or 2ish to relax me and it does help ease me into sleepiness sometimes. I see nothing wrong with that, or with an anti-depressant if needed...that said it is good to be able to get off of them or cut them back if you can and props for that. Wishing you all better days!

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I go for long periods of time when I don't post anything, although I read the posts every day. I forget how wonderful this group of people is, on this site, to lift my spirits, to understand, and actually to share my feelings. I probably won't give up my glass of wine, I look forward to it, it is my evening ritual. Rituals are important to me right now, they help me get through each day. I am off the sleeping medicine for nearly two weeks, and have had good nights (for me) except for one night. I am still slowly getting off the anti-depressant, but very slowly, as I don't want to go through the feelings I was having this fall again.

My two friends (who lost spouses before and after Mike), and I are having our monthly get-together this Friday night, and I am going to share with them some of the things we have talked about on this thread, and on Harry's thread of looking for the positives. They both struggle, as do I.

Hoping for better days for us all also.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Mary, Good for you!

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