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What's happened to my confidence

(17 Posts)
Sparkling Wed 17-Feb-21 07:06:10

Been on my own a long time, managed most of the jobs around the house, dealing with workmen etc and finances. I had one bad experience when I know I was ripped off as the job was botched and couldn't get it out right do I let it go. During lockdown I've hardly seen anyone, getting myself in a state about doing routine things that never worried me. Car being serviced, jobs test need doing that I can't all GeVsounds great big hurdles. Always thinking have I made the right decision and what if. I am starting to wonder how much longer I can live here feeling as I do,

nanna8 Wed 17-Feb-21 07:12:03

It won’t be forever, Sparkling and once you can meet with friends and chat it will help you to feel more relaxed. You have done really well by the sound of it, well done. Can you phone anyone you know and have a bit of a yak ? Maybe even zoom someone, it is free for the first 40 mins which is often enough time anyway. Can you do something like painting where you have to concentrate and it makes you forget everyday worries?
Good luck and good for you for coming on here and telling us.

Ashcombe Wed 17-Feb-21 07:23:38

You sound like a very capable, independent person, Sparkling, but these prolonged times alone give us all too much time to think. Does it help to make a list of what you hope to achieve each week, for example? Since you won’t have driven much, is having your car serviced urgent for the moment? Perhaps if you can prioritise what you need to do immediately, it will help you feel that you’re getting to grips with things.
There is some light at the end of this tunnel, especially with the success of the vaccine and signs of Spring give us hope. There are always sympathetic ears here for you and sharing your worries could be your first step to alleviating them. 🥰

Kim19 Wed 17-Feb-21 07:48:45

I'm in a somewhat similar position to you, Sparkling (that handle conjectures a lot!) and I totally agree. I find it's when the technical and difficult maintenance stuff rear their ugly heads that I feel at my lowest ebb. I too feel I have been ripped off a couple of times and that sometimes when a job has not come up to scratch I've settled rather than complain. That's very out of character for me. Luckily I have a couple of sons. One is good for morale and the other for practical so I at least did well there. Unfortunately, they both live a distance away but lines of communication are excellent. I have found that building up reliable and friendly tradespeople relationships is king. I think it's just another symptom of this current confounded solitude and it certainly does erode confidence. Telling you that you are not alone will not make it any better for you but there are many of us about and it sounds as though you've done a pretty good job thus far. Hang on in there. I just cling to the success of ticking one box every day no matter how trivial - and I do sometimes mean TRIVIAL. It helps. Yesterday I had my roof looked over. Only been waiting six months! Box ticked. Today will be urgent matters financial. Phhhhhh. I relate to your post utterly and thank you for it. Just keep Sparkling. Lovely!

Marydoll Wed 17-Feb-21 08:06:07

Sparkling, I can totally empathise with you. I have gone from a totally independent strong women, who could be in charge of a school, to a nervous wreck when dealing with anything from online banking to organising my car MOT.
I was even terrified crossing the road the other day!
Unlike you, I am not on my own, but I have seen my big, strong, capable husband going the same way.

Small, achievable steps are what I plan to do. My husband said yesterday that I used to be the queen of multi tasking, now I can only manage one task at at time or I make an absolute mess of things.
I hope you start to get your confidence back soon.

mumofmadboys Wed 17-Feb-21 09:41:45

I find having a job list and only tackling one, stress inducing job a day or every two days helps and otherwise just doing the more easily handled tasks.

Jaxjacky Wed 17-Feb-21 10:01:52

I think some of it Sparkling is because we’re not getting feedback from peers/friends. In normal life you might recount a particular event you’ve been through and get support, both verbal and physical, a well done or commiseration hug from a friend over coffee maybe where you feel valued. It’s difficult giving yourself a pat on the back and not the same. But you are achieving! Every little tick off the list deserves praise. I’ve found, for me, particularly with things that are a chore, I have to have a small treat when it’s done and I write it down in a diary. The diary means I can look back at the things I have done, not just a list of things to do.

Jane43 Wed 17-Feb-21 10:26:02

We have also struggled to get jobs done since the first lock down and there are two of us, both retired so it’s not just you. We wanted six new internal doors downstairs and eventually found a carpenter to fit them and after waiting three weeks he arrived and found an excuse not to do them. The next carpenter just didn’t reply to our voice mail and the third one said he could do them in three weeks, four weeks later we chased him about the job and he said he had decided to shield until the virus threat was over. So DH went on You Tube, ordered some special tools and did them himself, they were fitted just in time for Christmas but it was a struggle for him and he couldn’t manage the fire door which is still in the garage. We also had two new radiators which needed fitting but fortunately we have had a plumber for about 12 years who never lets us down but my friend in Bedfordshire has had a huge struggle to find a plumber. It is exhausting and when we can get out and also when people aren’t being paid to stay home then perhaps things will improve and tradespeople will be vying for business once again. I have also had a problem with things ordered on line, one parcel from Wallis which was supposed to have been delivered by Yodel has just disappeared into a black hole. Emails and phone calls to Wallis and Yodel just haven’t solved the problem and I am out of pocket by £22. Apart from Amazon I always used to use click and collect which was much better. I concur with everybody who is feeling defeated but the end is in sight, it’s been a long 12 months.

annsixty Wed 17-Feb-21 10:39:55

I know that feeling so well.
I try always for recommendations from neighbours and friends but it doesn’t always pan out.
I am also so paranoid about being “ripped off” as I was once to the tune of £450.
I have lots of little jobs need doing but at present they stay “needing doing”.

glammanana Wed 17-Feb-21 10:43:46

Sparkling I am only just getting used to being on my own and have found my confidence has taken a massive hit this last lockdown,the first one went over in a blur after loosing my lovely OH and the second one though hard I was able to be outside in the sun every day.
This last lockdown has been awful,although my ACs keep in regular touch they work full time and have children only my DD is in my bubble but she works full time also and only pops in twice a week I feel I am on a tightrope which is ready to snap.
This past month has been sad as my little dog was PTS so my little pal who I used to chat to do during the day has also gone ,I used to chat to long time GN friends via PMs and even that has gone awol.

NellG Wed 17-Feb-21 10:45:48

This enforced isolation from each other is really taking its toll isn't it?

I think confidence will come back as things get going again - and they will. Once we can connect with others like we used to and have the validation of being part of something again I think things will improve.

Relying on tradesmen is hard - I'd been waiting for three weeks for one to finish some work here - he called three times with various excuses, the last being that he had Covid. I was happy to believe him until he sent me a text, thinking I was another customer and completely contradicted himself. He got quite unpleasant when I took it up with him - went quiet when I offered to give his number to SIL who works as a contact tracer...I ended up doing the job myself. I have the skills, just not the stamina and energy these days. It got done, but I am now battered, bruised and exhausted!

For things like home maintenance I think word of mouth is always the best way to go - this is where local Facebook groups come into their own. If not I wonder if Age Concern might have a list of approved, local tradesmen?

Anyway, whoever you were before all this will likely spring back when all the things that supported it spring back too. Take care. x

Sparkling Wed 17-Feb-21 19:15:13

You are all so kind. It’s such a strange time but I know things will get better. This has made all of us feel more vulnerable I think, I don’t think I will ever view life the same or be the same.💐

Ro60 Wed 03-Mar-21 02:48:19

Another one here feeling exactly the same. Though I started having these feelings of inertia the year before last, its some comfort to know I'm not alone.
Tomorrow's job is to order (somehow) my HRT. 😨

MOT 😨 car tax 😨 - even though it's So easy on-line! Workmen😨

My to-do list keeps growing, though some jobs do get ticked.
That I had a busy, successful career, cared for a family, supported OH, managed a larger home than my current one & had a social life makes me wonder why I can't do the simplest of things without making a big fuss (to myself) these days.
Does anyone know is this hormones?

BlueBelle Wed 03-Mar-21 05:58:19

I have a bit of a problem too and it s not to do with lockdown (although it doesn’t help) it’s not because I m on my own I have been a long time, but it’s the confidence of getting older and making a mistake, as I find the older I get the more I make ...little ones but they all add up to knock me into believing I can’t do things
So all these little things, like accidentally leaving a light on over night, finding I ve bought the wrong item when I get home from shopping, ordering something online that turns out to be not at all what I was expecting, all these little things, that probably everyone does add up, and knock my confidence, so now I ve become a nuisance by asking my daughters’ advice about stupid things I would have had no problem with before or would have even given my own advice to others
It’s very very annoying and very confidence sapping
I want to make a decision and it be a good decision
I need to buy some white goods and I m putting it off and putting it off (as I m sure it’s going to be the wrong one after I get it and there’s going to be something go wrong) I ve sent my daughter pics and she s said all seems fine but I still haven’t pressed the button to do it
And I hate this feeling, this lack of confidence, outwardly I ve had plenty, inwardly I ve never had a lot but it feels what bit I had has wandered off
Very uncomfortable

Luckygirl Wed 03-Mar-21 08:38:14

I understand how you feel and share some of your thoughts. Before lockdown (which happened just after my OH died) I was a very confident person: running a choir, a book club, singing in a choral society, fetching GC from school, running an arts festival etc. etc.

But now there are days when it is hard to imagine I was doing all that; and also hard to imagine that I will do them again.

We just have to keep the faith and convince ourselves that we will return to normal and we will do all these things again.

Don't give up on yourself - it is all still there under the surface and waiting to emerge.

Jaffacake2 Wed 03-Mar-21 08:45:15

Feeling just the same with loss of confidence which is making me feel useless. I tend to go off down a "what if " scenario,like a catastrophe theorist. For example I need to have the kitchen tap replaced. It looks awful,about 30 years old peeling ceramic which is hard to clean. Bought a new tap last year and there it has sat in its box under the sink. Contacted plumber who cancelled due to me shielding.
Now I'm thinking well what if the under sink main stop cock has seized up. I should have tried it but haven't for years. Then there will be a flood and it will be my fault because I'm useless.
So what starts off as a small task suddenly turns into an imaginary disaster !
And I'm like this with every decision so basically nothing gets done.
I wish I had the confidence of my youth . I brought up my daughters alone after their father left us,lived abroad, had a career as a nurse . Maybe life batters us down with traumas and that drains our confidence.
Take care ladies and remember all that we have lived through and take that strength.

Eloethan Wed 03-Mar-21 18:28:03

Sparkling You are obviously a very able person. I am pretty useless about practical issues and leave them to my husband to sort out. When they don't get sorted out, I just grumble to myself. My son says I should be more pro-active and risk making mistakes about getting work done at home or buying domestic products. But you have dealt with them single-handed for a long time and are obviously very capable.

I think the current situation is making lots of people feel vulnerable and nervous for the future. This general malaise is, I think, quite common at the moment and hopefully will pass. Don't fret, there are so many people on here who admit to similar feelings.