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I don't know how to live anymore
Still Waters
Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2016 10:40 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092

I feel like Brooks from Shawshank Redemption. I feel like I have been in jail for a long time and now that I am free, I don't know how to live anymore. I run errands and can't wait to get home so that I can relax. I have no motivation to do any of the endless things that need to be done at home. Now that I have a ton of free time, I forget simple chores. When I force myself  to go out with friends, I still feel like a caregiver and need to get home to care for my mom. I get nervous and want to leave after an hour or two. I have no desire to wear nice clothes and dress nice. When I am out of the house trying to have the fun - the fun I deserve - I feel guilty. I also lost my courage and strength. I could move mountains to get my mother the care she needed. Now, loud noises startle me. I constantly have a feeling of dread. Is this going to change in time and how long does it take? I am worried.

Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2016 12:12 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 19849

You are in the middle of a huge life change. There is no reason that you would know how to live a totally different way. I think that if you will understand how great your loss is and how it affects you in so many ways you will be able to manage more easily. There is a lot of healing to takes time. You can not rush it and you can not avoid the process.

You state that no one understands but we do. All of us here have suffered a great loss. All of us here know raw pain. Many face fear, not knowing logistically where they are going to they are going to be able to have any money to live on.  Many of us are now alone and many of us are alone and old.

As for happiness and freedom and wanting to be out and about? It has taken me a year to start.


Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2016 12:29 PM
Joined: 7/29/2014
Posts: 217

Hi Still,

What an appropriate example, you hit the nail on the head.

I really wish I had all the answers, I was so isolated for so long, that I really have a hard time leaving my home now that I am back in it.  I have been trying to venture out more, but it is REALLY HARD.

It is interesting, after my mom passed, and I had to get all the Trust stuff done, her house sold, it was not an issue.  Guess I was just on autopilot.  I find that my concentration level is still at an all time low.  I make lists, lots of lists, try to at least get a couple of things done.

Been doing a lot of research on the effect of being a caregiver has on us.  Some say it is a form of PTSD.  Please don't anyone get me wrong, I would never ever compare what I have been through to anyone going or serving in combat.

It has been a year since my mom passed, and I am getting better, baby steps and time, and more time, but I am better than I was a month ago. I am not the same person that I was going into the world of Alzheimer's with my mom.  I have always been a person that could put all my problems up on a shelf in my mind, and deal with issues, when the time was right.  Well, all of my shelves collapsed all at once.

Hoping today will be a GOOD DAY for you.

You have and are being so very brave, you sacrificed so very much to make sure your Mom's journey was one with love, and so much selflessness. It's not an issue of feeling sorry for one's self, it is an issue of being able to move forward, and get out of the VOID we are in. I'm still working on it.

Sending a hug your way...Ann

Still Waters
Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2016 2:37 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092

Jfkoc, if I said that no one understands then I apologize. I never thought that. What I think is, no one feels the same way I do right now, here on these boards or anywhere in my life. Its all about timing here I guess. I am sure that most felt the same way I do now at some point, but have moved on. I am glad that you and others are here to provide me with the answers I am looking for. Thank you. Your right, it in a huge life change. Did not look at it quite that way before but its true. I am not trying to rush it, I am trying to understand it.

Anib: Interesting for me to read about your journey. Interesting to read that you are still not comfortable venturing out. I feel like I never will be after what I have been thru. Thank you for all your kind words. I do feel like I am in a void. Neither here nor there anymore.

Still Waters
Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2016 3:26 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092

I have no energy to do anything. I used to be able to get up in the morning and do three different things PLUS take care of my mother before I walked out the door at 6:45 am to go to work. Including taking a shower and getting dressed. Now I drag my sorry ass out of bed, smoke about 3 cigarettes and try and get out the door. Ugh this terrible. Just a vent. I know its part of grieving but its so weird for me.

Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2016 3:58 PM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 2008

Hi, Still Waters, Brooks in Shawshank Redemption, which is a movie I love, commits suicide at the end.  I cannot drag people out of suicidal thoughts.  I'm the wrong person for that.  I am grieving myself.  It's not fair for you to expect the others who are freshly grieving to pull you up.  You do need to speak to another who can help you to see things another way and who can lift you up or at least provide for you the company you need right now, nonjudgmental company that can just listen to you go through your grief and care about you.  I am out of hugs but I still have a hug for you {{{{{{{{{{{{Still Waters}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}.  You are a good daughter.  Your mom wants you to be HAPPY.  She does not want you to cling to her physical self that is now long gone into another universe where she would like to splendidly play with her new friends and she would like to look at you and see that you have your feet on this earth and are truly working on being yourself again. If you would like to private message me I will do my best to lift you up but it will take more than me, it will take YOU and ALL OF YOU, and MANY OF US fully present, just like you were Fully Present with your mom.  It will take ALL OF YOU FULLY PRESENT to lift you up. With much affection and serious concerns about your WELL being.  Nadine
His Daughter
Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2016 8:29 PM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2270

Still Water, I know I sound like a broken record, but all of this is a part of what happens when you are in grief.    When my mother died, everything died inside me.  Physically I felt horrible.  I had no motivation.  I could no longer multi task, and frankly didn't want to.    I had three young children who needed me, and I could barely get out of bed.  One day my husband walked in the bedroom, threw back the covers and said, "You are going to get up and dress today."   I mentioned on another post that I would walk in a room and forget why I was there.      

Look, this process takes a tole like none other.  It changes our brain chemistry and drains us physically.  Please don't falsely believe that this is permanent, because it's not. 

 I'm glad you are on an antidepressant.  Now do some other good things for you body and spirit.  Put a list together, not a big one.  Just small baby steps.  Everyday take a multi vitamin, eat well, drink plenty of water, and try to get in bed at a good time every night.  Do just one small thing everyday that is only for you.  A hot bath, paint your nails, anything that is just for you. Also, have you seen a good ole GP doctor lately?  Maybe it's time for a check up, just to make sure that all your labs come out good.  Like thyroid as one example.  Grief can play havoc with our hormone systems.   

I promise you're going to be fine.......someday.  But it doesn't go away over night.  I remember talking to my sister-in-law about it, and asking how long I would feel this horrible.  She said it took her almost a year to feel normal again.  And a year later, I was feeling better. All of this is too complicated to see it as just sadness.  It is both physical and mental as the two go hand in hand.  At least for me, intellectually understanding this really did help.