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Its been 18 months since I lost my husband and I have no children or family. A half brother 12 years older. No friends. Only work friends. I don't get out of pjs on most weekends. We did everything together. Tried counseling. Crazy but it seems to bring me down more. Support groups in my area are all during the day when I am working and everyone in them is older than I am. Please help

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Tjmac..I am so sorry for your loss and for the intense loneliness that you feel.  I am about nine months farther along than you.  I had a couple of acquaintances, really couldn't say close friends, get me involved in stuff right after my husband died.  One lady from church asked me to join a book club, one of my husband's co-workers asked me to join a walking a group.  Were they really interested in my scintillating company? Nah.  They were just really smart knowing that keeping busy at first and finding my new niche was my best bet.  My only point is think of what you want the future to hold for you...what difference you can make either in your life as far as enjoyment, or in others lives by maybe finding an outlet for volunteering at something you are passionate about.  I am still forming ideas of what I want  my future to mean. Sometimes I don't want to do anything but be alone with my thoughts and memories...sometimes I want to throw myself into volunteering, or work, or renew friendships that suffered along the way.  In the end...I know that taking one day at a time, and finding gradually things that make me happy are healing. I agree about Facebook....at first I had a seriously hard time looking at everybody's couple pictures, and hearing about either their joys or complaints.  okay, just re read the part where you are young so some of this may not appeal to you...but the underlying thought of finding what interests you and pursuing that pertains to any age.

Tjmac, I am so sorry. I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes, I realize I didn't even use my voice on a given day. One thing I tried was energy healing. A friend kept encouraging me to go. She promised it would bring me peace, at least for a little while and it does. If found a healer who does a Japanese "touch points" therapy (acupuncture points but with touch instead of needles. It does bring me peace. I try to go once a month and find myself looking forward to it.

I have the same problem, I do have friends that make sure I'm busy, especially for the first year, but I work from home so it's easy just to sit at the computer and work, reply to emails (does that count as talking to people?) and before I know it, it's dark.

Luckily I have 2 dogs, so I started walking them.  I live next to a lake with a campground at the top of the hill. Doing that, I've met even more people, the rangers and the people that work at the campground, people who take their dogs up there and people that just walk up there because it's good for them.  Even some of my neighbors that I've never met.

I know it's hard to just get out of bed, but if you get out and do something, even just walk to a park or a yogurt shop or a good local diner every day or two, you will eventually meet people.  Maybe they won't be best friends, but it makes a difference that someone is smiling at you and happy to see you every day, and that's what will happen, they will start by saying hi, eventually will ask your name, you'll have brief conversations, and before you know it, a few will become your friend.  It will be two years in August for me, and there are a whole circle of people that I know just from walking my dogs up a hill every day.

I am so sorry for your loss.  I hope you feel better soon. PM me if you want.

Hi tmjac -  I am at 15 months out.   I too am struggling, but this is my 2nd time being widowed.  My brother is living with me, so that helps a lot.  I have tried a grief group (I continue to go, but it doesn't seem to help), counseling (didn't help).  Most days I watch things on Netflix while playing solitaire and surfing the web.

A few years after I was widowed the first time (I was 33 when widowed), I joined the "Big Brothers and Sister" program. I would spend a few

hours each Sat. with a 15 year old girl, who came from a disadvantaged family.  Helping her discover the world outside her neighborhood was fun.

I don't have children, and have never been "thrilled" with kids, but a few hours a week I can handle.   I admit seeing things through a child's eye is fun.

As I am older this time around (am 58), I am looking at volunteering at Ronald McDonalds House.   Still waiting to hear back, but their website says they just need a volunteer in the family room when it is open, and also someone to cook/bake (which I enjoy).  We shall see.  I suppose I could do the big sister thing, but waiting to see about other volunteer opportunities.   Am thinking about the VA, but as Gary went there often, it might be too difficult for me.

((Hugs)) to you

I spent most of my weekends in pjs for quite a long awhile, tjmac.  It's what I had to do in order to act 'normal' during the work week. I let the house go, and spent time on my computer. Didn't sleep much and didn't eat well.  It wasn't healthy but I survived it. 

I didn't do counseling and I wasn't able to find a local in-person support group that worked for me (same issue you noted, they met during the work day and everyone was older). Finding Widowed Village made a huge difference for me. I made some good friends here and they created a lifeline for me. Spent even more time online, however, but it was healing time. Went to my first Camp Widow when I was 11 months out.  I also found Brave Girls Club and took some of their online classes (life and art lessons) and that opened up a creative door that was very helpful. Brave Girls Club

I'm now 4+ years out and must admit I still occasionally spend a weekend in my pjs. I posted a poem in the Positive Forum yesterday about living our lives to honor theirs and that's my focus now. I've retired, I'm traveling, I'm volunteering for Soaring Spirits. I still have some things to address, but it finally feels like I'm ready to do that.  Discover who you are, tjmac ... what things did you do when you were young that you might want to do now?  What things did you use to dream about being able to do again one day?  Do those things now.

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