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Suddenly feeling lost

(47 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?

Overthehills Sun 16-Jun-19 17:24:26

Thankyou Rocknroll and others for being so honest about how you’re feeling. You’ve had lots of good advice on here and the only thing I would say is to go on to Soop’s Kitchen and say hello. They’re a lovely, supportive bunch and, like you, are honest about how life really is!

MawBroonsback Sun 16-Jun-19 17:32:30

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

I think this is an unfair judgement on Michael 12 ‘s harmless and friendly thread which gives us an overview of weather round the country and an opportunity to say “Good Morning” to each other.
Many of us will admit to how we are feeling - worried, sad, apprehensive- whether we are ill, in pain or facing painful procedures or hospital appointments.
We feel sad on behalf of those who are sad and rejoice for those with good or uplifting news. And sympathise with the vast majority who may be having a quiet day or an appointment with the ironing board.
Not flaunting anything.
I do empathise and sympathise with you RocknRoll as I expect do most of us. It is the old “swan” thing- serene on the surface but paddling furiously below the waterline. After years of frankly resenting being tied to the house as carer for my ill DH, I have the “freedom” if you see it as that, since he died to go anywhere and do anything I choose . Allowing for my lovely greyhound of course, who gives me that sad eyed look.
But then I find I frequently don’t want to because nobody is free, friends who are couples are very kind but it is not always fun making up an odd number, and I would be on my own.
So I pin a smile on my face and force myself.
I usually find someone to have a wee chat with (sometimes easier on your own , actually) but yes, I am acutely conscious of my status.
There is sympathy and help out there, there are organisations of people who seek simple friendship and company, but I am not much of a “joiner”
Sadly Edinburgh is a very expensive train ride away or I would be happy to meet you at the top of the Waverley steps!

Ooeyisit Sun 16-Jun-19 17:33:04

The best thing in thing situations us to make sure you are among people at some point each day ,is there a pla e where dog walkers meet up for a cuppa ,. Or could you meet up with other dog walkers in the afternoon ,your dog will be fine left alone for a short while and you could look for a couple of hours light voluntary work .The local hospitals take on Volunteer to help people find their way to various wards or clinics . Being among other people is a great comforter and then you can invite people round for a cuppa .

Greyjoy1953 Sun 16-Jun-19 17:35:24

You lovely people should post on good morning. I like, some of you have been disappointed to read that everyone is so upbeat. Personally and health-wise I am good but I still get down and sometimes wish I could read that in the morning and know that others out there feel the same. It only needs one person to say having a rubbish day and I am sure others will respond, well let's hope so. Personally at the moment feeling pretty down, mum has just fallen and fractured her fibia and will need op in morning and she is 84. Waiting for her to go up to a ward. Anyway you are all doing an amazing job keeping it together but the best remedy is talk to your children and definitely talk on here. flowers

seacliff Sun 16-Jun-19 17:41:51

First, you are definitely not alone. I think it's really good to have someone who you can be honest with, and you are missing that. I too feel very desperate sometimes, and I don't tell anyone all of it. A friend knows I am struggling, and just a couple of hours out with her lifts my spirits.

I'm not sure if having a more in depth chat with your daughter would help you? As you say, you are still getting over ill health, and that shakes you, and your life is not the same now.

Why not try just a first step - a small social group, possibly book club at library etc? There is a national group called Meet Up, they go to cinema, local events together, and in my area quite a few are older. May be worth a look. I think mixing with others could help you. Best wishes, and please do not imagine everyone else's life is perfect, they are putting on a front often.

Joplin Sun 16-Jun-19 19:11:02

I wish I lived near some of you - I'm in a very similar situation to a lot of you & having multiple health problems makes life very difficult. I too, often go days without speaking o anyone. Except my little old rescue Poodle, who at least gets me moving as I walk her every day, whatever the weather. Only unfortunately I now dread the walks as I keep meeting a bully of a man who refuses to put his very large dog on the lead & instead gets enormous pleasure from seeing it rush, often some distance down the lane, to but into & frighten my dog, who is nearly blind. He had the cheek to tell me to walk elsewhere but I actually live at the end of this lane, whereas he has to drive up here. Today he gave me a V sign, just for being there! I have severe osteoporosis, as well as other problems, otherwise I'd try & pick my dog up, which isnt easy at the best of times. I've been walking from my house for 32 years & he's not going to stop me, but I heave a sigh of relief once I can close my gates behind me. I hate having to live like this - constant pain is enough to deal with at the best of times. 😭

Newatthis Sun 16-Jun-19 19:36:18

You say you have a terminal condition which can cause 'death at any time'- I think this must be dreadful to live with. However ..... surely, if 'death could happen at any time' then it could be while your at home watching television, walking the dog or lying on some mediterranean beach having fun (e.g.). Please live your life, you could (and probably will) live a long time but also could 'talk' yourself into an early grave by not living your life and not doing anything. Look for companies that specialise in 'singles' holidays or activities.

Eloethan Sun 16-Jun-19 20:19:09

RocknRoll I'm so sorry to hear how anxious and upset you are feeling at the moment. I think many people, as they get older, think about some of the things they have missed or are missing. Of course, there are always those who have fantastically full lives - with lots of friends, social events and holidays - but I think they are probably in the minority.

Don't imagine that everybody with partners and families and relatively good health are idyllically happy. It is very possible to, at times, feel regretful, sad, alone and unfulfilled, even when everything seems to be in place to ensure a happy life.

I think probably your health issue is exacerbating your anxiety and depression. It is quite understandable that your illness is making it much harder for you to appreciate the good things in your life - your own creative business which presumably you enjoy, the companionship of your dogs and seeing your daughter frequently. (As for grandchildren, as they get older it does seem that grandparents (and even parents) see less and less of them).

But there seem to be some things that you would like to do that you feel you can't do. But perhaps you can. Take holidays, for instance. I believe there are several organisations that run singles holidays and it might be worth doing some research as to whether any of these organisations might suit your needs and your pocket. There are also people who will look after your dogs for you in their own homes, if you are worried about leaving them in kennels.

If you feel a holiday would be too much to undertake at the moment, I would imagine there are local activities that might be of interest to you - choirs, art classes, WEA courses, U3A groups, book groups, the WI, Townswomen's Guilds, etc, etc. I too can feel quite down at times and I think it is important at such times to force myself to keep active, to do something that interests and occupies me, and to mix with people even when I'm feeling low.

I do hope some of the advice given on this thread is of help to you and that you soon feel better.

Tillybelle Sun 16-Jun-19 20:25:17

Esmerelda. Bless you! Thank you! 🌺

Harrogate1 Sun 16-Jun-19 20:33:19

Thankyou for your post and to everyone who has responded. You have all helped me with my own feelings of emptyness.

Marydoll Sun 16-Jun-19 20:52:15

I totally agree with MawBroonsback's comment about the Good Morning thread.
A number of posters (myself included) suffer from chronic ill health and this thread along with Soop's Kitchen is safe, gentle, non threatening and supportive.
Oh how I wish I could find the energy to be able to visit Tesco, let alone visit stately homes!
I am on the thread most days and I have yet to read of anyone flaunting their good fortune, quite the opposite.
Posters have been nothing but supportive, during my recent bout of illness. I love to hear about what everyone is doing, whether mundane or exciting.
A very unfair judgement indeed on Mick's thread. I'm sure he would be very upset to read the comment.

Tillybelle Sun 16-Jun-19 20:56:48

Dear Joplin Oh how awful! also incredible too. When I was able to walk a bit more, I used to take the two little dogs I had then "along the top" as we call it here, where there is a pleasant view and Nature Spot. Then I had several terrible encounters with a big man with a German Shepherd type of dog that he had off its lead that he found hilarious to set upon my poodles! I think people think we "old dears" with poodles are stupid or something. Actually poodles are very intelligent, very athletic and were working dogs in marshland. Many standard poodles are kept as guard dogs. I had to stop going there because of my disability. Luckily I have a very good garden with different areas and I have made several "Dog challenges" round it so my little dogs are very happy here.

I would like to encourage you to tell the Police about this man. Maybe you could film him? He is actually committing more than one offence and you should never have to endure this kind of thing. I have to say, with great sadness, that I had to report some bad things to the Police about a year ago and when the Sergeant can to my house he did say that there has been an increase in "hate" crime and in my case it was abuse because not only am I old but I am disabled. He said we must always report anything hostile against us and they will do what they can.. For example, they do send a PCSO round our dog walk on a regular basis now I am told.
Yes, I've just read your message again, and I really do want you to report this man to the Police. Please. His dog is not being kept under control and he is being offensive with his finger sign as well as harassing you saying you should go elsewhere. In the UK harassment has to be more than one event so you are already able to claim this. But his dog is not under control and regularly allowed to touch yours in a violent way so that is an offence too. If you can, try and write a diary of this, how often it has happened, when it began, what he has said to you, finger signs, (another offence) and every time he has deliberately let his big dog assault your smaller and older dog. He cannot to any of those things by law. Please tell the Police and please photograph him you can.
How I wish I could help you, you are so brave and so sweet. Sending lots of love and lots of love to your dog. Please tell me how you get on, private message if you like. Thank you. 💐🐩

annsixty Sun 16-Jun-19 21:26:20

How much I empathize with most posters on this thread.
My DH died 8 weeks ago from cancer but he had suffered Alzheimer's for at least 7 years, probably more and had a severe stroke a year ago.
I looked after him until November last year to the detrimen of my own health.
I will be 82 in less than a month and have osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
I am financially fine but no incentive, no energy and no means to get out and about far.
I am very young at heart, wanting to do things but lack the motivation and means.
I feel for you all.
I know just how it is.
Very best wishes to you all.
We must make the most of the rest of our time.

humptydumpty Mon 17-Jun-19 09:50:27

Isn't it so sad that when so many of us are finally in a life position where we could travel, meet people, join clubs, do adult ed classes etc, we no longer have the health/money to do them, just when wqe most need to...

MawBroonsback Mon 17-Jun-19 10:10:41

I agree HumptyDumpty , having one’s health to do things now is a great blessing as we never know what the future holds (rarely an improvement!)
I do not begrudge those who choose to travel or go on cruises if they can. I , unlike some, don’t see it as “flaunting” - good luck to them!
But not everything needs to involve a lot of money- keeping in touch with friends, meeting for a cuppa, the occasional visit to a cinema or local beauty spot. I try not to fret over what I am no longer able to do/can’t afford to do/or no longer have the opportunity to - or frankly no longer wish to! That wastes energy and risks leading to bitterness and perhaps jealousy.
So I do try not to let invitations or opportunities pass me by - by this time next year I may no longer be able to take them up. I also try to take the initiative - if I am feeling lonely, I try to be the one who makes the first move rather than wait for others to extend invitations to me. Of course you risk refusal, but that is not a personal rejection, just a diary clash.
We can’t change the hand we are dealt, just how we play the cards.

Rocknroll5me Mon 17-Jun-19 10:43:44

Thank you all so much. A lot of very interesting stories and it does help to share our pluck in hardship I think. After offloading I think I felt better and pulled my socks up yesterday. I’m sorry I sounded a bit like a drama queen yesterday over potentially terminal condition. Isn’t life?(?) it’s true but as one of you said it could happen anywhere and I am doing my best not to let it happen. I was in far more shock when diagnosed two years ago - you really can get used to anything! It’s an aneurysm near my heart but loads of us might have them and just not know it as there are no symptoms, mine got discovered through an echocardiogram because I had tachycardia (no more - that was caused by emotional distress all to do with my birthday and grandchildren- beware) and now I have MRI’s every six months and it hasn’t grown anymore. So sorry about the violins I was just trying to explain why I have become such a wimp about travelling far alone. It’s not rational.
It’s weird isn’t it when you feel scared everything seems impossible but luckily it does not last but you don’t know that at the time. And as for the dog stories... first I take them on two different woodland walks a day (very lucky with parks in north Leeds) and nearly always have a chat with someone because dog people are so lovely. So really sad about the two stories of aggressive men with their dogs. It seems a lot of men like to show off their control etc with dogs something females don’t seem to have the need to do. They are such great companions. Mine are both poodle crosses. Bess and Ivy. 8 and three. And today I meet daughter and she hands over her old jack Russell for a week or so while they are off to Italy.
I also realised my dumps was due to a task ( updating my website) that was daunting and needed a redesign ... but I am onto it. Slow but sure it’s like knitting a massive arran jumper and if you drop a stitch you have bloody well unpick it.
Anyway thank you again for your support and stories and advice. It really is great to be heard.

MawBroonsback Mon 17-Jun-19 10:53:15


Gonegirl Mon 17-Jun-19 13:17:02

Can I just say, I hope no one was too offended at my mention of the Good Morning threads. I think they are great threads (and Michael sounds lovely). I meant only that they might not be the best place to go if you are already feeling a bit down.

Very glad the OP is feeling bit better today.

Joplin Mon 17-Jun-19 13:20:34

Dear Tillybelle, just seen your lovely reply - thank you so much. Yes, I would like to message you privately, thank you.

Fairydoll2030 Mon 17-Jun-19 21:03:29


I too have a terminal condition. ‘Discovered’ blood problem over 30 years ago but it fully developed last year. It’s treatable but not curable unfortunately. My biggest fear is infection as my immunity is compromised.
Learning to cope has been difficult but I think I am getting there. I am now at home but under the care of a local hospice, and I get regular visits from their nurses. The word ‘hospice’strikes fear into my friends and one of them is convinced I shall die before she sees me again. However, I am so glad my gp discussed it with me and explained how it all works before referring me. You should be able to access plenty of info on your local hospice from the Internet.
I agree it’s difficult to travel, particularly if you have limited mobility. Going abroad can be tricky too as travel insurance isn’t easy to obtain if you have a terminal condition, although it may be possible.
Do you have a friend who perhaps would like to have a day out somewhere with you and stay overnight in a shared hotel/motel (e.g Premier Inn) room? A change of scenery can be a real tonic.
My son has a saying....’It is what it is..’ which has got him through some traumatic moments in recent years and now I have adopted that as MY mantra. Amazing what our kids can teach us!
Wishing you all the very best. So many nice, helpful posters here on Gransnet will be rooting for you. Go see your GP!!

Glammy57 Mon 17-Jun-19 21:12:12

Overthehills. This thread has brought a lot of memories back for me, along with tears. There have been times when I have felt so lost and lonely, not wanting to venture outside. My “issues” were of the psychological kind but I cannot help but think of the days of my youth, wasted - only leaving the house under cover of darkness as I felt safer then. My recollections of moving to some far flung country with my husband’s job, not knowing a soul, sitting on the floor of an empty house, in tears, with one suitcase! We are fortunate that my husband could take early retirement and can now spend lots of time together. I empathise with all you brave ladies who put on a brave face and continue to survive! 💐💐