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No motivation and sleeping too much

(21 Posts)
Angie1702 Thu 07-Jul-22 15:44:17

On 5th April, I lost my husband. Although he had suffered from several conditions for some years, and in the last three had come to need more care, we both used to joke that we were going to live till we were ninety and be a burden to our children! A new set of problems resulted in him being hospitalized and after tests for what was thought to be gallstones, he was given a diagnosis or Stage Four Lung Cancer. He died just 20 days after that diagnosis and before that, we had no idea of it! Over time, we had rung the doctor with various new problems, but as he already suffered from various things, the new symptoms were usually categorized under one of the existing conditions.

Most of those 20 days between diagnosis and passing were spent at home with Macmillian nurse visits to help, but with me hardly sleeping and eating hardly at all. The cancer had spread to his liver, his brain and other places too, so he was progressively more confused and didn’t always know us.

During those 20 days I didn’t have time to think or prepare at all and then suddenly, he was gone.

We had a cremation only with a family ‘celebration of his life’ planned for when his son could get back from Vietnam, which was on 11th June.

For the time between 5th April and 11th June, everything was planning and arrangements, with the get together to arrange and the awful task of contacting all the service suppliers, banks, insurance and pension companies etc.

Now that is all done, except from two companies that are being so slow, I am sitting and staring into space when I should be working, and falling asleep in my chair at my desk several times a day. The silence is definingly loud and I have just started crying at the drop of a hat. I am cross with myself as this simply isn’t me!

I run a business from home even though I am retired, as my brain is too active to stop work yet, well, normally. Now I simply don’t want to do it. I start a day with good intentions and then fall asleep at my desk, or put something on it to deal with and sit and stare at it all day.

Today for example, it is 3:35pm already as I write this - I haven't had a drink or anything to eat yet today. I did shower, get dressed and tidy the pots into the dishwasher, change my little dog's water and wash her bowl from last night, then sat down at my desk to decide what I need to do and here I still am. Nothing done, no breakfast or lunch eaten, nothing drunk apart from the sips of water to take medication, and simply no motivation. I have fallen asleep on and off all morning even though I slept last night. I keep saying in my head, 'right, come on girl, get out of this chair and make a drink', but then I stare at nothing again and still don't move.

Please someone, tell me this will pass????

rite Thu 07-Jul-22 16:02:35

Dear Angie
It will pass but it will take time. I lost my husband in 2005. The main thing here is that you need to stay healthy for your family and yourself and to do this you must eat and drink even though you do not feel like it. You are bound to feel tired and listless for a while as you haven't slept or eaten properly for the last three weeks and you need to catch up. I am so sorry for your loss and hope you feel better soon but please do speak to your doctor or the Macmillan nurse if you feel you need more help. I wish I could help you more but I am sure lots of Grans will be along shortly with words of comfort and wisdom.

ElaineI Thu 07-Jul-22 16:12:05

It will pass but not go away completely. It is quite normal especially as you have had less sleep over the period than usual and been faced with a huge and awful diagnosis and quick death of your DH. Please allow yourself to grieve but please do drink more fluids - maybe fill a water cooler bottle and sip away at that. It's ok to just have toast or a sandwich or biscuit if you don't feel able to cook meals. Reach out to your family - you don't say if you have other children or siblings but at your own pace. So sorry this has happened to you flowers

Whiff Thu 07-Jul-22 16:33:35

Angie first off and this will seem harsh but you need to eat 3 meals and and snacks if you want. Plenty of drinks. Make sure the meals are healthy not just something that's quick and rubbish..

I am not being mean but you have to look after yourself. Don't bother about work you need to concentrate on yourself your body and mind.

I was widowed at 45 18 years ago . I didn't want to wash ,dress or brush my teeth but I made myself because if I didn't I would be letting my husband down.. I have been ill all my life but the last 34 years have been bad . I always thought I would died first . Never thinking my healthy fit husband would die first. He had malignant melanoma grade 4 and we knew when he was first diagnosed he wouldn't live 5 years , he lived 3 . Our children where 20 and 16.

My husband was a very wise man and knew what I needed to live without him he made me promise a lot of things. The main one was live the best life you can. And I do. We had been together since I was 16 and he was 18 . Together 29 years married 22.

The moment my husband took his last breath my present and future is died. Making a new present and future is bloody hard. But you have to. You have to take each day at a time.. What shocked me was the rage and anger I felt after he died . It felt like I was going mad. But I realised it's all part of grief .

Whatever you feel is normal . Took me years to realise that. I talk out loud to my husband everyday I have swore at him,blamed him for leaving me, if you want to scream,shout ,cry or hit a pillow do it. I promise it will make you feel better.

I can't say the grief goes away because for me it hasn't but you learn to cope.. Even know I can be fine and find tears running down my face. I don't fight it and just have a good cry and it makes me feel able to get on with my life.

I promise life is worth living . It's not the life you want but it's life. And life is precious.

I am lonely not because I live on my own but because I am lonely for one person my husband.

April I finally found out what my neurological condition is and I was born with it. I am 64 . And I wanted to tell my husband. So I shouted it out loud to him. As he knew went we started courting I had problems with my limbs . And when I got worse when I was 29 he say right we alter our way of life to suit what you can do. Our daughter was 4 and son 6 months old.

Because of his love if I didn't live my life I would be betraying him .

What would your husband say to you? Would he give you hell for not looking after yourself.

Love never dies . My husband was my rock my one and only. I don't believe in any god in any shape or form. I don't believe I will see him again. But what gives me comfort is our children and 5 grandson's have part of his DNA. He always wanted to be a granddad but he lives on in them.

I hope at least one thing I have said helps . Read the other bereavement threads you are not alone. There are ones there newly widowed and long term widowed like me . But we a feel the same and are members of a club none of us wanted to join. ?

Whiff Thu 07-Jul-22 16:34:37

The 2 posts where posted while I was writing mine.

AGAA4 Thu 07-Jul-22 16:35:57

This all very normal Angie and it will pass. Grief is exhausting but will be worse if you don't eat. Just eat little and often if you can't face a meal and have regular drinks.
Many of us have gone through this difficult part and have come out the other side. ?

silverlining48 Thu 07-Jul-22 16:41:17

It must have been a dreadful shock Angie, its early days so if you dont do anything, don't worry. I havnt done anything today either and I have no excuse.
Look after yourself. flowers

Angie1702 Thu 07-Jul-22 16:44:55

I don't have any siblings ElaineI, I have two sons of my own, was is very ill himself and not able to visit at the moment. I can no longer drive due to disabilities, so can't go to him. The other lives miles away and rings once a week/fortnight. One stepson is back in Vietnam, another is at the opposite end of the country and the third is sectioned in a mental health hospital some miles away. My step-daughter is my rock, the one who fetches prescriptions, takes things to the post etc, but she has lost her dad too, so I don't like to keep bringing things up with her. I do speak daily to the son who is very unwell, but he has his own problems so I don't like to give him worries about me.

I have rung the local hospice who said they offered counselling for me, but I have rung twice and no one has got back to me yet, so feeling quite isolated. This is why I searches for something like this page - somewhere I could share my feelings without fear of upsetting family further.

silverlining48 Thu 07-Jul-22 16:50:32

You can post on here anytime Angie, someone will answer. Hope you hear from the hospice soon and can get support there. Otherwise try MacMillan. Think they have a helpline. Or your GP. Best wishes.

Mine Thu 07-Jul-22 16:52:36

I feel sleep is nature's way of helping the healing process...When your awake you constantly go over the same things in your mind regarding your loved one who has died...Sleeping gives the brain a chance to be calm for a while....Slowly things will change and grief becomes easier....Take Care Angie 1702...You've been through one of life's hardest journeys

Whiff Thu 07-Jul-22 19:06:11

Angie try the Roy Castle lung cancer association. They offer support ,friendship and advice. Plus they could put you in touch with people in your area. That way you won't feel isolated.

I keep a lot of how I was feeling from my children because they where grieving for their dad. Did go to a bereavement group as my children thought it would help me. But they where all at least 20 years older than me and didn't understand what being a young widow was.

Wish I had researched and found a group nearer my age.

Keep posting about how you feel you will always be answered . But you must take good care of yourselves especially as you are dealing with your own health problems. ?

Luckygirl3 Thu 07-Jul-22 19:54:59

My husband died on 1st February 2020. Surfacing from this, and the things that went before, is very hard and you need to look after yourself so that you have the strength to begin this journey through this difficult time.

Please eat; and especially drink in this hot weather.

I was helped by CRUSE: www. They provided me with a counsellor, who rang me every week (it was at the beginning of covid) and talked to me and above all listened.

I also joined a website called WayUp, which is a forum for widows and widowers where people can say whatever they need to and there are others there who will understand.

I also rang the Samaritans a few times when I was in despair in the middle of the night: 116123

All these organisations were kind and helpful and were there to hold my hand ..... there is help out there

Thinking of you ...

fiorentina51 Thu 07-Jul-22 20:45:55

My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly on March 31st.
My initial emotion was disbelief and shock. There were no symptoms. He was his usual self in the morning and dead in the afternoon.
I can't say what would work for you but for me I remembered a conversation I had with my husband shortly before his death.
He told me that if he died first, he wanted me to carry on and live my life as best I can.
That is precisely what I intend to do. I try to eat sensibly, see friends and socialise, carry on with my voluntary activities and take time out for relaxing.

It doesn't mean I'm not sad and tearful. I cry most days, sometimes I howl my head off. I miss him so much and hate my new life at times, I didn't sign up for this!
Night time is the worst isn't it?
Very slowly, I'm getting used my new normal but it's hard work.

Be kind to yourself. You have been through a tough time.
Wishing you well. ?

Angie1702 Thu 07-Jul-22 21:39:06

Thank you all, I will certainly try some of those associations and websites you mention. I guess one of my problems is that my disabilities keep me housebound. I have used online grocery shopping for years, and my step-daughter picks up other things for me. I used an Amazon junkie too, although have no interest in that at the moment. I usually see my cleaner on a Wednesday and my step-daughter once a week, other than that I don't see anyone other than the grocery delivery driver. Speaking to someone might really help, so I will give these a go.

Thistlelass Fri 08-Jul-22 03:43:31

Can you try and take some nutrition each day? Believe me I know it is hard, as I experience deep depression. Things I like to take when I cannot face a meal - bowls of cereal, yoghurt- Greek with chopped banana is lovely. Fruit. Lots of fruit. Sometimes toast. I buy ready meals to keep in freezer. I hope you feel a little lighter soon. X

Whiff Fri 08-Jul-22 05:53:30

Angie I hope you managed to sleep all night. This may help you food wise. It's the way I do things because I have health problems and don't know how I am going to be everyday. It's not for everyone but it always means I have lunch and dinner in the fridge. Also means I don't have to stand cooking everyday. I love cooking but had to adapt to a new way that works for me. Part of my problem I couldn't cut up a chop or steak or slice a roast dinner. My hands shake and haven't the strength to cut with a dinner knife. Perfect example my daughter and grandsons went out for my birthday . My son in law had Covid luckily he could self isolate because they have a shower room off their bedroom. I ordered a pizza came with a knife and fork and pizza wheel . I couldn't use them. While my daughter was looking after her 18 month old my 4 year old grandson used the pizza wheel and cut up my meal. Over running my tale.

This is what I do breakfast is porridge cooked in the microwave.

Lunch I use my largest saucepan and make a batch of lentil and whatever soup. It's 150g red lentils ,5 veg oxo and what ever veg I have either frozen or fresh. Cook 90 mins and using stick blender whizz it and out into a large plastic box. Lunch for 6-7 days .

Dinner using largest saucepan I use either 3 skinless chicken thighs,300g if Quorn mince or chicken pieces or 8 Quorn sausages lightly browned and cut each on into 8. Usually 150g of pearl barley but if I use pasta 100g put in for the last 20 mins of cooking time. Loads of veg either fresh or frozen. Cook 90mins. And portion into 6 oven proof dishes. That way only needs to go into the oven to reheat when I need it. Every day have yogurt and fruit I have stewed. I use an Easily yogurt maker which makes 1 kg of yogurt Greek style low fat non sweetened. I stew a kg of frozen berries . That way I have a pud everyday.

I know it's not for everyone but it makes sure I have healthy meals everyday.

You must take care of yourself and try and keep your mind active. I know how hard it is as grief is all consuming but you have to do it not just for your sake but for your husband and those who love and care for you. Especially as you say your family have their own health problems plus grief.

Hope this helps . It's hard but you still have years ahead of you. Look after yourself.

NotSpaghetti Fri 08-Jul-22 06:08:37

I don't know where you are based but cold you (when you have the energy to do this) call Macmillan Support Line - it is open 7 days a week between 8am-8pm 0808 808 00 00.
Tell them what you have told us here. Ask for help and advice about "in-person" support as well as online.

Also, you could call your local library as they may have bereavement groups meeting there - and if not may well have info about them. These neet-ups have been a godsend for my dear friend who (she says) cannot keep weeping on her family.
I know you say you have disability issues but there may be a volunteer who would take you, visit you or will help you get out.
You may also find there is a local CVS that could be helpful. - our local branch has a lot of small charities and voluntary groups that provide services for local people.

I'm aware that just trying to find help can be exhausting... so don't expect instant results and don't be hard on yourself.

Maybe you can try to make a call in the morning (say) and if it yields nothing it's still an achievement. Well done you!
Frankly, just showering/dressing is an achievement I think!

If you don't want to eat/drink for yourself, can you do it (for now) as an act of love for your husband and family. It is important to them that you survive this terrible time - even if it seems a bit pointless to you right now.

Try to find three positive things in a day. Be grateful for them. These could be tiny things - the light falling on a flower outside, a picture on the wall, a friendly postman. They may be big things - having had someone so very special to love and love you, this is something that brings pain now but was certainly a blessing to be grateful for. Maybe one day you have less pain, maybe your lovely stepdaughter visits.
If we can find small wins in life it does make us gradually notice more reasons to feel a bit better.
Even a smooth piece of furniture we inadvertently notice is something to like and be grateful for, a soft nightdress on a weary body, the fact that my boiler makes my shower water warm, the rain after a hot day. Managing to eat an egg, a slice of toast, an apple...
These are little things that you can be grateful for and can, in time, start to bring a bit more light into darkness.

Each day you have survived another day.
Try to care for yourself but be gentle too and don't expect to be the same person you knew a few weeks ago.
Each day is a new day.
Little by little I believe you can get through.
You are stronger than you think.
Thinking of you.

knspol Fri 08-Jul-22 12:15:14

My heart goes out to you Angie. I'm in a similar situation my DH passed away 6 weeks ago and I find myself crying at the drop of a hat. If anyone says something caring to me or seems to be particularly solicitous then the tears flow. I'm in a muddle with all the decisions that have to be made especially the financial ones. I try to ring institutions and have waited more than an hour just to get to speak to someone and then be passed on elsewhere. If I've had to contact the same organisation again I get told something completely different, don't know who or what to believe. It just all gets so damn difficult and at a time when I can't think straight. Hopefully things might get better for us both in due course.

Angie1702 Fri 08-Jul-22 13:14:42

Thank you all once again - I will try the things you all mention.

Knspol, sounds as if we are both in the same boat. I have been phoning my husband's private pension providers since it happened. They are supposed to pay me a Widow's Pension, but three months on and I have had nothing. They have lost important documents like my birth and marriage certificates, which I had to order again and pay for, and they promised me an answer by two weeks ago today, but still nothing from them. I need to ring again as I am using insurance money just to pay the bills, which was not the purpose of it, but finding the energy to go through it all again is so hard. I feel for you, sounds as if you are in a similar situation

Luckygirl3 Fri 08-Jul-22 14:57:11

I do understand this pension problem. I was due an NHS pension based on my OH's work contributions and when I contacted them initially they would not even tell me whether I was the named person to receive the widow's pension! So I had a few months of anxiety as to how I was going to live. Eventually it came through and was a lot more than I had expected - but I could have done without that worry immediately after his death.

MawtheMerrier Sat 09-Jul-22 12:25:40

My heart goes out to you all.
Nothing prepares you for losing your life’s partner, whether suddenly or after months or years of illness. The well-meaning friends who talk of “merciful release “ or “time being a great healer” don’t really get it.
However you will eventually find that while the grief is the same, you are better able to deal with it- trust me.
As for the hassle of bureaucracy, you do not need this now and strong words to the bereavement section are called for. I only ever sent copies of any certificates (and got extra copies of DH’s death certificate at the outset ) which helped. Other than that, a few good friends with sympathetic shoulders and a competent solicitor are essential. Perhaps I was “lucky” in that latterly I was in charge of all the domestic stuff and felt confident dealing with different offices, but it is so very hard to know the buck stops with you and I am sending you my very sincere condolences.
Katherine Whitehorn (I think) said widowhood was like being an “unwilling refugee in a foreign country” - so true. We none of us want to be here and it is all very strange. flowers