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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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Wow, I thought I was losing it.... Well, I am, but... not alone in doing so at least. I'm at 1 year, 5 mos, 12 days. Am trying to get back to work. I have been working but I have been half-assing it. In sales so it can hurt a bit in doing so. Oh well. Tis my reality. Just came out of our wedding anniversary. Would have been 20 years married, 25 together. Two hours into the calendar change of our actual anniversary I have essentially lost my shit... Aside from a few business appts, I have not been able to stop crying. Emotions are welling up. Trying to stay busy, but that and keeping a focus and any level of concentration has been like achieving world peace. Sounds good in theory, but has not even been a remote possibility of achieving.... Have tried being productive with honey do chores and business. Just default back to the melancholy state pretty quick. I am exhausted. Utterly exhausted. Don't have the energy to work out (started back up last month) or anything that I set out to accomplish. Be easy on myself. Blah blah. I am a wreck. If I was to create a superhero, I would be apathetic asshole man......  Going nowhere fast and leaping nothing but FB, phone games, and a movie (in home of course) here or there. I am just tired of being tired. Of being sad and despondent. Tired of looking forward to "allllllll the possibilities" this new chapter in life has to offer. I'm just tired of being exhausted.... Sorry to not add anything of value here. Just needed to.... I am not even sure what I needed to do......  

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On June 12th it will be exactly 18 months since I lost my wife to cancer at age 49, and 25 months since her diagnosis.  Last August would have been our 20th wedding anniversary.  36 months ago I was laid off after 21 years with the same employer, a career I loved and for which I was well respected.  My life in a very short period of time became completely foreign to me.  As I often submit to those who ask, my life for more than 20 years was fairly simple:  my wife, my job, and my hockey.  Never could I have anticipated losing my career and my wife (and best friend) in the space of 18 months.  Essentially, I lost virtually everything that I was and ever wanted to be...

 

I've not yet returned to work.  in fact, after her diagnosis, my job search was put on hiatus as we were determined to walk her journey through treatment together, never accepting it would lead to her passing so suddenly, if it did at all.  I occupied much of my time immediately after her death preparing her memorial and ensuring all financial and legal considerations were taken care of.  But in the time that's passed since, I have also struggled to find motivation.  Besides, it's just me now, right?  All those lofty aspirations I may have had seem so meaningless now.  I'm also the youngest widow I know, and the first in my circle of hockey buddies or former coworkers who has lost a spouse.  It's also difficult for them to relate because they are so invested in the daily busyness of life with their careers and families.  As we did not have children ourselves, we traveled.  But now my traveling companion - the woman who first introduced me to the adventure and love I found for travel - is gone.  So, too, is any interest I may ever have had to travel alone, for how worthwhile is any travel experience unless it is shared with someone who cares as equally about you as the experience?

 

My mother is nearly 80 and receiving palliative care at her home.  Her well-being has given me immediate purpose, but she has a terminal condition and I know all too well where this path leads.  I have completely lost myself as a result of being a constant caregiver for the last 18 months, and at times the prospect of finding and returning to meaningful employment seems so distant, daunting, and meaningless.

 

Thank heavens for good friends  -  those that may not always know what to say, but who do not judge and stand by me regardless of what society might otherwise expect of me...

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3 hours ago, Minny9 said:

.  I'm also the youngest widow I know, and the first in my circle of hockey buddies or former coworkers who has lost a spouse.  It's also difficult for them to relate because they are so invested in the daily busyness of life with their careers and families. .

 

Hey Minny - my deepest sympathy on the loss of you wife. Yeah those hammerblows all so close together can sure take the wind out of your sails.

 

There are damn few young widowers in any location - given your situation, I think it would be helpful for you to seek them out if that is possible. I was 51 when widowed but was fortunate to run into a small group of guys that also had lost their wives. I was, by far, younger than all of them. Even so, they provided a great deal of help and advice to me. Or we just sat there for an hour or two and said nothing. You know, like guys. Very helpful.

 

The loss of your job, as you stated, adds to the whole mess - alot of us define ourselves by our work. Without it, we can be a bit lost.  

 

Hang in there buddy - PM me if you wish.

 

Good luck - Mike

 

 

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