I'm at 17m and for the last few weeks/months I'm tired all the time (I swear I could lie down and take a nap almost any time) -- especially during the day -- and I have almost no motivation to do anything but sit around all day. I am able to get up and get groceries, or whatever I need to do for my kids, but things like cleaning the house, getting through my to-do list, etc seems to take an enormous amount of energy to get started. Once I do get started, I'm very easily distracted by facebook, tv, a book, whatever. Is this "normal" or is this something that maybe needs help/attention? I'm not sure if I think it's a depression-type thing, but maybe? I honestly don't know. I still like to go out with friends, laugh, have fun. I just can't seem to motivate for anything. How do I get out of this funk?
I don't know if it's "normal" but I had this same issue. I had a demanding job and was able to stay on top of that and work long hours, but I had zero motivation to do anything at home. I let my home get pretty messy (no young kids). I didn't open mail - just stacked it up on the counter. I didn't feel depressed, just that it wasn't worth the effort to keep the house clean just for me. I have no family here (except for our single adult son) and our friends all seemed to think I was doing great because I was working and doing some traveling. I figured since I was living my life on the outside I could give myself the grace on the inside to just lean into this and let it play itself out. It did ... without me going to a counselor or taking any meds.
In hindsight, I think perhaps this was just my way of dealing with my grief. I kept it all under wraps on the job and whenever I was out with people socially, so I guess I needed someplace that was safe to be able to express my sadness and it took on this form.
That sounds pretty normal to me.
I had trouble finding motivation to do anything for a long time, I dealt with it by taking on projects that I could just pick up when I had the energy and put down again when I didn't. Anything that involved any sort of deadline was a non-starter. One of the projects was teaching myself to play ukulele, there was no pressure for me to work on it at any particular time, but I still got a sense of movement in my life as I learnt new songs; another was doing the London to Brighton bike ride, preparing for that just involved getting out on my bike but I still had the sense of achievement when I actually did it. Over time my ability to care about stuff slowly came back and I used it to find things to do that I actually cared about.
As far as getting out of this goes, is there any interest or hobby that you could take up and have sitting there alongside facebook, tv etc? Don't beat yourself up if you don't do it, but if and when your in the mood you can do a bit of something that feels leaves you feeling like you've achieved.
Thanks Dianne and Patrick -- it seems my lack of motivation is mostly centered around chores around the house. Then I get angry at myself bc the house is a mess, and yet I just can't get anything done. The girls (10 & 12) help when I ask them too, but I'm sure they notice that while I make them unpack a suitcase or clean their rooms, they notice my room needs cleaning and I haven't unpacked. I know that's unfair. My house isn't a sty, but it gets cluttered easily. Piles of mail, paperwork, clean and folded laundry sitting in the basket, dishes in the sink, etc. My husband used to get on me about my piles, and he was great at just picking up clutter and getting rid of it. For some reason, I just can't do it. I might get started on things, but don't finish them. It makes me feel really lazy, which doesn't help my mood. I didn't used to be like this.
My house got very messy after Sharon died, but seeing as the flat I lived in before I met her was also a mess I can't really pin that one on the grief, it was more a case of a slobby bloke living alone.
Go easy on yourself, finding motivation to do the things you think you should can be a massive struggle, and added to that if it means taking on a role that your husband used to fill then that type of change can leave you feeling like you've taken another step away from your old life and with that your late spouse.
I’m 4 years into widowed life. And everything you describe still affects my daily routine. The advent of the UberEATS style food delivery services have really helped. Waking up from a “nap” at 7pm with a hungry teenager in the house. There’s lots of takeout. I basically go to work. Do as much as I can muster around the house. I take trips or go to music festivals as often as I can afford to. No one can put a set timeline on what you call “funk” but I call... my life now.
As others have said your feelings are normal. When we loose our spouse, especially if it was sudden, our worlds implode, our minds are stunned, denial sets in, and pain bordering on agony occurs. Susan and I worked as a team managing a 781 storage units on 6 acres of land for a national company. When we were hired she opted to become the property manager, and I the assistant. As the assistant, my job was the cleanliness and maintenance of the spaces and the property. She ran the office. That meant the she worked 9-5 and I worked 9-3. Because of that I did the laundry, and I cooked the meals. After dinner while watching TV she would fold the clothes and put them away. You know, no matter how long I leave the clean, dried clothes, on the couch, she still has not helped fold them!
After 5 years, I've yet to figure out how to fold a fitted sheet!
Because of our love and "togetherness" when we loose our spouse we kind of loose track of our purpose, aims and goals as they were all wrapped around our spouse. We are "adrift" on a raft of loneliness in a sea of pain.
I've two cats, one sheds constantly... fine black hair while the other's is very fine and nearly white. When the fur starts to form "dust kittens" on the white floors then I vacuum. When the laundry basket fills with dirty clothes, then I do the laundry.
We are all various shades of the same. After 5 years, I can tell you that "It" gets softer, but I doubt "It" will ever go away. At some time, and you will know when it is time, you will "turn a corner" and decide you cannot live that way and grab your bootstraps and dig in (so to speak). Having children at home can be a blessing and with that comes the parental responsibility of helping them deal with the loss, and guiding them through growing up without a father. That means that sometimes you will have to put your grieving on the back burner to be there for them. Talk with them, don't dump on them, but let them know a little of you grieving too.
Just wondering, do you think there could be something wrong physically, such as anemia? Are you sleeping OK at night? It's more than likely related to your grief, but it isn't impossible to be a little low on iron or have sleep issues too. I would believe that most people that are grieving feel depressed a lot of the time. Since you still enjoy doing fun things, that's a positive sign. I am pretty sure that in time, your motivation will return. Seventeen months is not so long a time when it comes to grieving. We don't all just snap back to our old selves after a short period of time--we change and sometimes, so do our priorities, even if only for a while. I remember sleeping a lot later than normal for several years. Another thought-- we may view things differently after a loss. We may have been regimented at one time and now see these tasks as less important. Cut yourself a break -- take care of necessities and ride through the grief.