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angelk75

Having trouble functioning

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I don’t really post here much but right now I just need to be here where people understand. It’s been about 1 1/2 years and until recently I’ve at least been able to function fairly well, but now I seem to be stuck in a vicious cycle of apathy and anxiety. I want to get out and do things, visit with friends, etc. but then when the time nears to do so the anxiety takes over and I shut myself away, this then leads to me becoming apathetic. I was working before so I at least had somewhere to go and something to do but then I developed some health issues which are preventing me from working at the moment so now I’m at home all the time and it’s getting harder to get myself up and even harder to get myself out. I married young so this is really the first time in my adult life I’ve been alone and I’m having some trouble figuring out how to do this. Any prayers and/or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated. If I could only find that strength everyone around me seems to think I possess...

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I remember feeling similarly in the same timeframe you're in.  The first year is all about survival and when the second year came around I was tired of trying to be strong, I no longer fit into our old life and had no energy to try to create a new one.  I can only imagine that not having the routine of going to work every day is making it even harder for you.  The way I got out of my cycle of apathy was to make some big changes and take on new challenges.  I still have social anxiety issues at almost 5 years out and have lost many friends from isolating myself for too long but I have a better sense of purpose in my life again.

 

Try setting small goals for yourself.  One practical task each day to accomplish and one social activity a week that is outside your comfort zone.  If you can't work, can you do a few hours of volunteering a week?  You can get through this stage, just like you got through those first few months that seemed impossible to survive.  It's not easy, none of this is but what other choice do we have than continuing to put one foot in front of the other.  

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32 minutes ago, Trying said:

The first year is all about survival and when the second year came around I was tired of trying to be strong, I no longer fit into our old life and had no energy to try to create a new one.

This. Seventeen months out this is what I am fighting against as well. I have accepted that my spouse is gone and am now faced with a future where I might live more years without her than I had with her. It is a thought that has removed joy from my life. In addition to what Trying suggested I would also let your friends know exactly what you need. Share with them how you are not feeling strong, how you are having anxiety and feelings of apathy. Be honest with them so that they can help you. 

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When I was a year and a half out I took 3 month of work. It was the first time that I really let myself fall apart, as I did not take much time of when it first happened. The first 2 month where probably the worst time I had ever had. I did not leave the house, some days I wouldn't eat at all. It was really bad, and the more I let myself fall apart, the harder it was to pull myself back together. (I should say that I have no kids.) I realized then just how much good the forced routine of work had done for me. The last month I went to see my sister in another country. I did not want to go, but she made me promise, so I had no choice. To my surprise the change in scenery was great for me. I was away from our home, and I could imagine that I was on vacation and he was waiting for me at home. When I came back, I felt the best I have up to that point. The lighter feeling did not last that long, but it was what I needed to break the downwards spiral I was in. That was my experience anyway. If there is something that you can do to change things up for a while may also work for you as it did for me. Hugs

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I can so relate to this. I still struggle with it to be honest but that may just be that I'm generally an introvert anyway and in my job, I have to be out in front so by the end of the day or weekend, I'm toast. But the 2nd year was so much harder in so many respects. You are likely exhausted from everything you had to do following your partner's death and emotional exhaustion is just as debilitating.

 

i agree with Trying. Small goals are important. Asking for help can be hard but is also important. If it is too much to get out, can you have a good friend come by to spend time with you? How about some activities that limit social interactions naturally, such as going to a movie or taking a walk with someone. Both of those can allow for some quiet time.

 

It can be far too easy to just withdraw from the world but ultimately much of our isolation ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is hard and you are still so early. you don't have to run a whole marathon (metaphor here!), just take a few baby steps to start.

 

Glad you posted. This group means the world to me and is the one place I feel truly understood and at the same time, feel I can offer something in return.

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It’s frustrating and tiring how long it can take until we feel like the ground beneath us is anywhere near firm again. For me, I guess it took about five and a half years, but I know people on the outside looking in think it was sooner. I used to force myself to do stuff I didn’t want to do by calling it my ‘widow homework’. At this point, I call my friends to do stuff and I have a good time, but this process took me years of going out even when I didn’t want to. Boy, do I understand feeling apathy and anxiety! It sucks.  It can take a while to become comfortable and accepting of this new person we are becoming. I fought it a lot and was miserable with her, but I’m finally figuring out how to enjoy her. Grief can take longer than we think it could or should. Be patient with yourself, but set some goals on what you want your future to look like and take those baby steps to get there. There’s no time limit, but effort is everything. 

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