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Suddenly feeling lost

(46 Posts)
Rocknroll5me Sun 16-Jun-19 09:24:25

I wonder if others feel like this. I live alone and have a creative small business, see my daughter most days as we dog walk together. Have Grandchildren, who I rarely see but keep up an apparently happy distant relationship. And then suddenly I see my self as desperately alone and unloved triggered, possibly, by news that others are going away, on trips etc. I don’t go away anymore since I have had a couple of dramatic health scares and have been reluctant to get out of my safe zone and I don’t have anyone to go with.
I think I still feel I am in recovery and am still grateful that I am well. I was diagnosed with a terminal condition s couple of years ago which has no symptoms but can cause death at any time. That seems to be my main aim., Not to stress myself too much. But this means I am not changing things, not travelling. I would happily go travelling with a companion but I don’t have one. I also have two dogs whichcas well as providing me with much joy and love also stop me being spontaneous, eg jumping on a train to Edinburgh..
The feelings yesterday almost brought on a panic attack of not being able to breathe which scared me. Weird how my happy stable life can be unhinged so easily. Has anyone else found this? I think I would get more solace from feeling I am not alone with this. But perhaps I am.
I have had two husbands both now dead. My mother is dead too and my brother. They were anchors.
I have had therapy and normally function well but it is such a scary feeling when you suddenly feel how alone you really are. Both my adult children are very happily married and busy and don’t need me to be anything but happy I feel I am failing them a bit there. I think some of my friendships have faltered as they so often flaunted their many friends and trips and demand for their wonderful grandmotherly skills that they depressed me rather than made me feel better, loved or needed.
There is something to be said perhaps for fellow sufferers helping each other. Do I just expect too much? Should one just carry on faking it?

Luckygirl Sun 16-Jun-19 09:37:08

I am so sorry that life is so hard for you at present. Your illness is bound to make you wary about taking chances, and having no-one at home to share all this with must be so very challenging for you.

I am sure you will find caring people here on Gransnet to share the burden with.

And it is my belief that most people are faking it to varying degrees. People think that I am coping well with my current circumstances, and keep telling me how brilliant I am - little do they know! smile

Like you, I frequently feel envious of others who are filling their retirement with interesting travel, excursions etc. which are a closed book for us, and that is hard - I do understand where you are coming from. I have a friend who has a house in Europe and she and her partner bob back and forth all the time; and they use it in a house-sharing scheme so they get to stay on lots of different countries as well. I have to curb my envy!

Could you talk with your GP about the idea of getting away a bit and see if she/he thinks it is advisable - although I am sure you would have to just take the risk and go uninsured.

I wonder if you could confide in your adult children a bit, without coming across as needy. I know my DDs have said they wish to know when things are going badly - and when they are going well of course.

I wish I had an easy answer for you; but I can at the very least send a sense of fellow feeling for your plight. flowers

Izabella Sun 16-Jun-19 10:01:36

I think there are many on these forums in the same boat, struggling with all sorts of life events. I'm not in a good place generally to offer you the support you need, but have a look at soops kitchen thread and introduce yourself there. Its very supportive and helpful. In the meantime I can assure you you are not alone. Sending hugs ......

sodapop Sun 16-Jun-19 10:30:07

The 'stiff upper lip' can be a curse can't it. Sometimes we need to put on a brave face but at other times there is nothing wrong with saying it how it is and asking for support.
I'm sorry you are both having such a tough time in different ways Rockandroll and Luckygirl have a good scream and cry at the unfairness of life sometimes. We can't change things on GN only wish we had a magic wand but just say how you feel. You do have families who can help, don't hide things from them, let them help.
Bon courage to you both.

Gonegirl Sun 16-Jun-19 10:51:26

Could you talk to your daughter about how you feel, maybe on one of your dog walks? Perhaps she might be happy to have some little weekend jaunts with you. If you don't talk, no one knows how you are feeling.

I think a lot of us feel that others are doing a lot more with their lives than we are, and it probably isn't necessarily so. For instance, I never read the 'Good Morning' threads on here because everyone else seems so busy and active, and then I realise how few people actually post on those threads, compared to the perhaps hundreds of people reading this site. So most people are probably just like me.

Best not to try to compare yourself to others.

crazyH Sun 16-Jun-19 10:57:19

You are not alone Rocknroll. My 3 adult children live within a 10 minute drive. Sometimes, I am invited for Sunday lunch, sometimes I'm not. I do cook for them as well, but when the weather's good, they all plan their own thing. They have toddlers and babies and like to take them here and there. Times and life changes and we all have no choice but to adapt. You say you see your daughter most, that's great. Today is Father's Day. so they (my sons and families) will be celebrating with their little families. So they should. My divorced daughter will probably be on her own because her teenagers would have gone to their father and she will take this opportunity to have a nice chill-out day. I am on my own. I bought some begonias and will go out and put them into pots. That's my day sorted. Hope you feel brighter soon . Sorry to hear of your health issues Rock and Roll flowers

LuckyFour Sun 16-Jun-19 10:59:32

Could you perhaps try to find one interest that you could pursue which could give you the opportunity to meet new people with similar interests. I'm thinking of maybe a book group or poetry group. I am a member of these two groups which provide friendship and fun and are not physically taxing. Your local library may be able to help with this. I do urge you to see what you can find, it'll be worth it.

EllanVannin Sun 16-Jun-19 11:22:02

Oh Lord, I daren't ever let my guard slip ! Most of the time I keep up " a front " for my own benefit as if you remained in the dumps you'd start to feel unwell even though it's easy to slide on a downward spiral.
For the time being, think of things that do make you feel happy and smiley, animals are a boon at a time like this.

It's surprising how many people could feel like you have described but wouldn't know how or where to start.
Like yourself having been given a diagnosis, though obviously mine isn't nearly as drastic as yours but it's neverthless halted my " jaunts " as I too feel that I can't venture very far ( mine is all in my mind ) but it's still debilitating and restricting.

It does get more difficult to manage your health problems as you get older----no more shrugging off that odd twinge or ache, it becomes a massive worry if you've never had it before and when you're on your own you tend to think about all kinds of nasties.

Try and keep on a brave front as it will help a lot, even if/when you're feeling like a dying duck in a thunderstorm. Also try and offload some of your symptoms to the family, slip it in a conversation, lightly so as not to alarm them and they'll then have a picture of how you're feeling.

Don't be put off by how others live their lives, if you can't now manage to do the things you did well it's no big deal.

Pity you didn't live next door to me---we'd make a good pair !

quizqueen Sun 16-Jun-19 11:24:56

Could you take a holiday within the UK where you would have access to any medical services you need? There are plenty of companies which offer singles type holidays. I have used Just You many times and they are very friendly and really look after you well with a 24/7 resident tour guide; there's also Saga and others.

Ask your family to look after the dogs so you can go away or find a reputable dog sitter or advertise for a local trustworthy teenager or retired person to take the dogs out. People make excuses why they can't do things but there's always a way. Also, widen your interests at home to find new friends- church activities, political groups, U3A, voluntary stuff etc.

Dillyduck Sun 16-Jun-19 11:55:04

Time to step slightly outside your comfort zone. Get a Friendship Travel brochure and book a trip - they do some in the UK. Alternatively, try the Mistral Hotel in Maleme, Crete. After my husband died I stayed at home for a few years due to illness. Going to the Mistral was the best thing I ever did, I've made lots of new friends. This year, one of the other "girls" and I are going Island Hopping for a week before ending up at the Mistral. Again, just outside our comfort zone!

Gingergirl Sun 16-Jun-19 12:00:25

When you don’t have anyone else with you and your children are doing fine, I think it’s easy to feel lost and alone. I do agree that some small excursions could help....if only to enable you to appreciate your home life, when you get back! I wonder if the dogs could go in kennels for a few days and you could venture out to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go to...perhaps a small journey away....with some nice accommodation. You mentioned Edinburgh? If that seems too much, even a coach day trip could’d be with others for security but get to see a new place maybe. I wouldn’t be fooled by others around you that seem to be having a wonderful can be misleading...and I maybe would just mention in a low key way, to your children, that you feel in a bit of a they can register that you’re not totally happy.

Nanaval4G Sun 16-Jun-19 12:43:33

Gonegirl you are spot on with the Good Morning thread. I have read it a few times but never contributed as my day seems so dull compared to others. I can go days without seeing and talking to people, even my adult children send texts rather than phone. I read a lot of threads and envy the people who can have lots of holidays, days out etc. Being alone the thought of going as a single person on holiday does not appeal to me.

BlueBelle Sun 16-Jun-19 13:44:24

rickanroll if you talk to any of my family and friends they will tell you I m energetic, bubbly, bright, fun, an organiser a strong and confident person but it’s all a big veneer I m not at all. I am strong (stubborn my daughter calls it) but the rest is crxx, inside I m just like you and I bet 50 or 60% of older folk will tell you the sane We plod on with a great front which we only let down in the privacy of our
Nanaval I so agree, everyday I organise a holiday in my head an£ that is exactly where it stays I haven’t even made a day trip yet x

Nannytopsy Sun 16-Jun-19 13:58:09

There are UK hotels which are dog friendly. Perhaps you and your daughter could go for a weekend with new walks for the dogs?

Tillybelle Sun 16-Jun-19 14:04:26

Rocknroll5me. Bless you, my dear, how I can identify with what you say! And yet - please forgive me - I am a bit envious of you because you can walk your dogs and you can see and talk to your daughter! I am by no means trying to shame you because feeling upset and low is terrible and is not dependent on little details so please do not misunderstand me. There are so many of us here who are lonely, many are house-bound like myself, and many like Nanaval4G "go days without seeing and talking to people,"
I was very struck by Gonegirl saying she never reads the "Good Morning" thread "because everyone else seems so busy and active," I am so sorry to hear you too are unable to get out and about Gonegirl! I have said in the past - I could feel when you arrived here that you had "extra dimensions" which I now understand more from your life experience. Maybe there is a thread for those of us who are not able to do the things we would love to do?
I remember feeling so unhappy where I used to go to church because most other people had their families there. Grannies had grandchildren as well as children living nearby and were always boasting about them and also boasting about the wonderful upbringing they themselves had had with their amazing and perfect mothers. Christmas, Mothering Sunday, I used to boycott. I do understand OP when you say "some of my friendships have faltered as they so often flaunted their many friends and trips and demand for their wonderful grandmotherly skills that they depressed me". I actually think the "Good Morning" thread is a flaunting-opportunity for people to show to which prestigious groups they belong and which stately homes they have privileged access. Nobody seems to say "Hi I'm in pain, tearful, cold. Still in pyjamas and can't change the bed although it is needing it. Haven't spoken to anyone for a week. Have run out of milk." No one except me that is!

But I must try and be a bit more help! I think, in my own case, it has helped to hear the sympathy and understanding of others in the same boat. In this respect therefore, I'd like to say, you are not alone, not by a long way and there are many of us here who are sending you love and support, albeit over the internet. Hard though it is, life does get more difficult for most of us as we age. I sincerely think you could benefit from talking this over with your GP (doctor - because GP= grand parent here!) Please do not feel upset if the Doc suggests some antidepressants. Your synapses might need a boost of serotonin! That's all they do - and it will bring your mood back to your old self.
Can you talk over the diagnosis with anyone? Is there anyone at the Hospital whom you are under? Or is there any self-help group for the condition? I did contact the self-help group for one of my conditions and they helped a lot in practical ways as well as by giving me some friendly and understanding people to talk to.
How I wish I could hug you! You say you are a creative person at the beginning of your letter. Is it possible to get immersed into something creative to take your thoughts outwards instead of inwards?
Suddenly feeling alone is not at all unusual. It often happens after a shock or after a life-threatening event. I had a terrifying ordeal not many years ago and it made my PTSD from a previous event much worse. I can only say that I had to plough through it as best I could and take one day at a time. Seeing your daughter is a great bonus so please try telling her you've been a bit "down", not necessarily saying you feel alone, as it might hurt her. But if you link it to the shock of the diagnosis and how it makes you see life differently, she may be able to understand better.
Please do not feel you are alone - well - I know you can't help feeling it - but try to remember there are many of us out here and we all try to think of each other, support each other, send love and understanding to each other - so that you need not feel alone. Even if I see nobody for a week, I do have my dogs and I can communicate with real people here on GransNet.
Sending you much love and praying you receive comfort soon, Elle. flowers 🍰☕️

trendygran Sun 16-Jun-19 14:13:03

I am in the same position as several people answering on here.l have been alone since losing my DH well over 10 years ago now. I also lost my younger daughter ,aged 33, to suicide 16 months after losing her Dad. Last year I had an operation which has left me with a life long condition and made me afraid to travel away from my ‘safe’ place. I also find it very hard when so many friends still have their partners and seem to go away on holiday, or out for meals etc.quite often I feel desperate or a break, butdon’t have anyone to go with, in spite of having several good friends.I have been on my own on coach trips, but they aren’t easy.
My remaining DD and her family are going to Canada in August for over two weeks. They only live 5 minutes away, but I still don’t see them very often- school, shift work as nurses, etc.
My other granddaughters live 300miles away with my former lovely SIL and now a very lovely Stepmum. They are also very busy and rarely return here, where I and their other DG live. Getting to them is not easy either.
So many now seem lonely and cut off from family they love. Not a good situation for any of us.

EllanVannin Sun 16-Jun-19 14:15:23

Nanaval, I've lived like a hermit for the past couple of years since my closest friend took ill and died. Ours was a very long friendship since 1960 and we went holidaying all over the place together, sometimes having five in one year.
It was such a close bond that it felt like part of me went with her and it took me all of a year or so to buck myself up.

It's not until people are no longer there that you realise how empty you feel. My family have their own lives and I wouldn't dream of ever saying how I felt. I'm much better in myself but have resigned myself to the fact that " this is it now " and to make the most of the rest of my life even though I'm not one for going solo anywhere, I'm not going to let it get me down that there aren't any more holidays. It would never be the same anyway so I'd rather be miserable at home than go somewhere and still be miserable.

As BlueBelle said " we plod on " which is exactly what we do and grin and bear it.

Tillybelle Sun 16-Jun-19 14:41:18

On Friday last I posted the following on "Good Morning"

"Possibly the weather - wet and cold - but I feel so depressed today and tearful. Hate myself like this. Can't go out as my pain levels are rather high and I have a bad headache so won't drive."

Maybe those of us here who can't go to the marvellous places and outings could try posting on "Good Morning" with an honest account of what we are doing? It might give a realistic picture of what our generation really does.

Wishing you well, everyone who is feeling low, everyone who has burdens to carry and bad news to deal with. I hope and pray you will find strength, hope and love, and be able to move onwards in your path. 🌈

Tillybelle Sun 16-Jun-19 14:45:32

trendygran. and all affected by suicide. My deepest love and condolences. I truly understand. 💐🌹🌸

flaxwoven Sun 16-Jun-19 15:00:40

I would suggest try and think of all the good things you have in your life, your daughter you see every day and your dogs. People who boast can sometimes be hiding the real facts of their life, that's why I don't like Facebook. Everyone is always have a wonderful party. It's not real life at all. If it's depression you have, don't suffer alone, see your GP. I know someone who takes a low dose of a tiny tablet, and what an improvement! I lost my sister to mental illness, my mother to stroke, my father to a lung condition, my son 4 years ago, inlaws died, husband has had cancer 4 times. I got like I didn't want to go far from home. I think I was in shock, I felt numb, and felt I had to be at home to be ready for the next disaster so it would not take me by surprise. The people closest to me who I loved, who were my biggest support, were all ill or dying. With all the bad stuff I had lost confidence. Gradually I improved by joining a church community, an art class, a walking group, swimming, all in my local area. Learning new skills gave me back my confidence. I would say try and join a group which is gentle and does not tax your health. Our local library and museum have daytime activities. Our local college has adult education classes. Leisure centres and swimming pools often have activities for over 50's. Don't worry about going on your own, because I have found people are mostly friendly and welcoming and many people are on their own. Sometimes the world seems just full of happy couples, but that's an illusion.

DanniRae Sun 16-Jun-19 15:05:29

Hello Rocknroll - I am sorry that you are feeling 'lost' and hope all these caring replies have made you feel a little better. I just want to say not to be fooled by people making their lives sound amazing. Sometimes they are just trying to convince themselves that everything is great - scratch the surface of their lives and this is far from the truth........Who was it who said "Most people live lives of quiet desperation?" Take care and I send my best wishes to you sunshine

Ionia Sun 16-Jun-19 16:01:33

RocknRoll, I don't think you need to put on a front at the expense of your feelings. I believe one can have strength and resilience, enough to get up every day, smile, interact with other humans, and walk among others while feeling life lacks meaning. This doesn't diminish your very real and honest feelings of aloneness and isolation, which are just as true. In life, there's often a paradox between circumstances and feelings. In our relationship with death it can sometimes feel distant, sometimes very close. It's a relationship we are constantly negotiating, or at least I am. I am so sorry it's causing you to feel lonely and isolated. Our bodies are very knowing when it comes to our deepest feelings and fears. The experience of deep anxiety can be very frightening.

I am fairly healthy, and often wish I could jump on a train to Edinburgh too (I live in Scotland). My limitations are self inflicted as I feel like a

Ionia Sun 16-Jun-19 16:03:52

I don't know what I did to lose some of my post...

Mainly I wanted to say to honour your feelings. You have had such terrible losses, and my very best wishes to you. X

crazyH Sun 16-Jun-19 16:37:13

Trendygran, so sorry about your daughter. How you cope, I dont know. flowers for you and more flowers for all those going through bereavement xx

Esmerelda Sun 16-Jun-19 17:22:20

What a lovely long post Tillybelle, full of sincere feelings and good advice. I never even look at that "Good Morning" thread but am so sorry that you often feel depressed and tearful. I'm on my own and have no children to cause me distress or give me feelings of abandonment ... actually I'm quite happy with my own company, have lots of friends and interests, and go on 'singles holidays for the mature traveller' with One Traveller (who are brilliant), but for you, Rocknroll and everyone else who finds themselves wrestling with feelings of loneliness and depression I'd like to send you all a BIG hug! 💖💐🏵💮