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Grief Makes Me Feel Old

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I keep telling myself that 36 (I will be 37 on the 26th of this month) is still relatively young and that I need to not give up on life, but I feel as though I have aged at least 20 years in the last two months. Before Arthur died I felt like I was just entering the summer of my life...life felt ripe, full and vibrant...but since he died I feel old. Colors are not as bright...I think I actually LOOK older...I have less energy and I am less optimistic.

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Lina, I am certain we all have felt this....we have been hit and hit hard and the toll that this extracts is normal. Although I do " feel better" at just over 1 yr, somedays I dont recognize myself in the mirror.....but I guess this is the new me. Hope you are able to try to take care of yourself, rest exercise,and the rest of that good stuff. Take care! Dave

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One big *hug* for you. I cant relate (being a man and all), although I know how Celene's look on life was during her late 30,s. I look at pictures of myself from a year ago, six months ago and two weeks ago; and can see how I am slowly starting to overcome the "worn out" look. I can tell you from my own journey that Dave's advise speaks volumes. Again, *hugs* - Anthony

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I'm sure we do look different. Once the stress look wears off, perhaps we'll just have a more pensive look...at least it's a little softer. I like my hair better now than when George was alive, it makes me look younger, but nothing makes me look as happy as I did when he was alive! My sister was just mentioning that to me the other day, how our wedding pictures were her favorite pictures of me...probably because that was the happiest time of my life.

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I have thought recently, as relatively trivial/dumb as some of it is, how much "loss" describes all this and not just the obvious ie of the person or your old life. For ex:

- lost many "friends"

- lost my home

- lost motivation to do much more than get by

- lost sense of humour - rarely is anything genuinely funny

- lost my smile and laugh - I never laugh or smile unless it's a fakey/polite one for apparences

- lost my ability to enjoy much of anything (people, a good meal, a nice day, name it)

Back more to the point, even physically:

- lost a lot of weight (have gained back more lately)

- lost color in my hair, suddenly graying speeding up

- lost lots of hair itself, was gradually losing anyway but suddenly scary thin on top (and I'm not "THAT old")

- I fear losing some of my eyesight ability - I can't look at distances much without it going "double" on me (as if I was drunk or something)

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I lost a lot of hair also. It was coming out in clumps. My sister in law suggested taking a B complex since that can help with stress. I am not sure if it is helping or not, but I seem to be losing a bit less hair now.

You are right...you lose so much.

I lost my husband.

I lost my best friend.

I lost the life we had planned.

I lost the babies we were going to have. I even had our first son named.

I lost all the memories we had not yet lived.

I lost knowing my daughter had a good daddy who loved her.

I lost my hope.

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Please get your eyesight checked...when my vision was going double, it was because my left eye was drifting out (lazy eye). Some simple eye therapy helped as well as different prisms in my glasses. I notice it happening more when I'm tired (it takes a while to come into focus first thing in the morning) or under a lot of stress. You've certainly had the stress part. One trick is to put your forefinger about an arm's length in front of your nose and slowly bring it in to your nose, following it with your eyes. That usually brings my vision back in focus. But there are other things you can do, walking back and forth on a 4 x 4 plank. Hang a ball from the ceiling, while standing on a balancing board (a 2' x 2' board with a block attached to the middle underneath it) and swing the ball around your head, focusing on it with your peripheral vision as it comes into and goes out of focus. Pick up cheerios with pick up sticks. Tie a string to a doorknob, while holding onto the other end of the string, follow it up and down slowly with your eyes. I paid $900 twenty years ago for these exercises so am happy to share them! I'd still get your eyes checked though, it can affect driving.

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