Hi all. I see posts from time to time that indicate that many have difficult times in the evening and at bedtime. I am sure that is so awful if it is interfering with your rest, so I truly feel for you.
For me, I am realizing that the worst time of day is in the morning. It feels as though the expanse of the entire day is ahead of me as I wake up with that empty feeling. Another day alone without a partner to share my joys and sadness.
In the evening, I can look forward to some mindless television viewing, which I never apologize for. It is what saves me. It is my guilty pleasure that clears my head of everything that took place during the day and helps me tire before bed. It is harder to watch any show that I watched with my husband. It seems so strange to me, feeling that so much time has passed since he died (almost 21 months), and still I see episodes of shows we watched together. Discordant timelines that I can't seem to reconcile in my head.
Anyway, that is my situation. I hope to hear from some of you.
the morning does stretch ahead. It's when I walk downstairs, I think, now what? i do have work to do and a dog and cat to look after, but after having looked after my husband during his three-year illness, I'm at loose ends. knowing I won't hear his voice for the rest of the day and forever after gives me a punch in the stomach. Bedtime is not so bad. I am too ashamed to admit to non-widowed friends this one thing that comforts me, but I hope you fellow widow(er)s out there understand - I sleep with the box of his ashes under the quilt with me ( I am only 3 months out). I comforts me even though I know it's not him. It's still a part of the body that I loved and I find it soothing.
Remember, Tess, you're not alone.
I don't think that's weird at all. I sometimes lie down on the grave when I visit---kind of the same thing. Very comforting to lie near "him", even knowing, as you say, it's not him.
I don't think anyone who is not a widow could understand this! But we do! :)
The only times of day when I still feel sad (4-1/2 years later) are when I wake up in the morning and at bedtime. My experience in the morning is, I think, based on dreams that I think I have (though I rarely remember them) where my husband is still alive and we are living our day-to-day life. Sometimes they are where he dies and comes back and I am running around getting him clothes, new phone, etc. But when I wake up with a vague sense of disappointment, I know that I dreamt he was still alive.
Bedtime is when the I AM ALONE kicks in. The lights are off, the security system is on, and the house is quiet. I've grown accustomed to sleeping alone, and I had to sleep alone while my husband was ill because he didn't sleep well and wanted to be able to watch TV in the middle of the night. But that's when I feel very alone.
It's funny that you mention watching mindless TV. When my husband died, I started watching "Say Yes to the Dress" on TLC because I wanted to get used to seeing couples and weddings and happy things without feeling lousy or envious. I'd started hearing other widows saying "I hate couples" and I knew I didn't want to be like that. It's toxic, it just makes us feel worse, and accomplishes nothing. So I had to train myself to learn how to be happy for the joy of others. But I do watch more mindless TV than I used to. Some of it is that my husband was a TV snob and liked to watch science shows about black holes and geology that bored me to death...and "Mythbusters." He also watched stuff like "Family Guy", but that was clever, so it was OK. I never would have watched dumb TLC shows when he was alive. But now I do. And I don't quite know why. Oh, I watch educational things too, but with my brain not being what it used to be (widow brain), it's something that doesn't require a lot of investment. I may work on the NY Times crossword puzzle while I watch, but I watch.
I wonder how many of us watch things we never would have before.
The mornings have always been my worst time. It's that waking up as you say and looking at another day to get through and I also do TV at night. A glass of wine helps too, in the evening to sleep.
I also got use to being alone in the evenings when my husband was in and out of hospitals and rehabs, as I'd stay with him in the day, but go home at night.
im at 5 years, however and my life has changed totally. I've moved, have new friends, new home and new activities and a freedom to do exactly as I please. This is not to say I don't still miss my husband and feel empty inside and knowing that I won't have that long term relationship again. But that's the way I want it, as I'm not looking for a new man.
So, I keep busy to ward off the blues and try to have a life, but the truth is I wake up every day with some anxiety. I look for this to be permanent, but hopefully lessen over time.
Try to find something in the daytime to occupy your time...something you enjoy, maybe with other people.
As for TV...thank goodness for PBS, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Acorn TV....not mindless, but many really good series. Depends on what you like I guess and I like a good drama and suspense show.
I love Netflix! I got it when Ron was getting weaker and I knew he'd be housebound most of the time. He enjoyed the WW 2 documentaries (I did, too, since I'm interested in History). After he died, I dropped the cable programming since I no longer needed/wanted network news and team sports- saved money and now I watch Netflix only. Ron had a hearing problem and, near the end, couldn't follow complicated plots. Now I find myself thinking how often I would have had to pause, "translate" the words spoken quickly with British accents, and see if he was still following the plot.
I'm a little over-scheduled these days. There's a local corporate athletic competition and I compete as a retiree, racking up lots of points for the team because there's so little competition in my age bracket. Running the mile tonight, 100 meter tomorrow, 400 meter yesterday. Two swim meets the week after next. Volunteer time would take up my life if I let it; there's always some place that can use your skills! Oh, yeah- and there are weeds in the garden.
During the 4 years of my husband's illness, our life grew more and more hectic by the day. And the last year brought a crisis almost every single day. It is now 6 weeks since he died. We watched TV together, but I can't even remember what that was. And now, when he's gone, I want to see my series again. But I grew so impatient . Nothing can keep me captured now. Things I liked before and had no chance to watch in this horrible time, they suddenly bore me .
I liked to read. After one page now, I put my book aside even when I want to know what is in it.
And sometimes I feel nothing at all. I just see a grey colorless world.
The only thing I want to do is watch and rearrange old photos now. But often that brings no peace. I do hope this will change because I do need some rest sometimes.
But indeed, mornings are even more difficult as nights.
It will change. I know it's impossible to speed time up to the point at which it hurts less - that's the hard fact. But it will come. Hang in there.
Athena 53, you are truly a beast!! Good for you staying fit and participating in competitions. I gave up running years ago because my lungs and joints couldn't take it anymore : (
Thank you all for reminding me that I am not alone. I too have Netflix and love to watch the series on there. And yes, I still view some of those as mindless many times as they are merely soap operas, but that's okay. And I too have problems with the lack of articulation in the British dialogues : - 0
It's not that I have little to do during the day, I have plenty and I do fill my time very well with activities. It's just that they are time fillers. I have no reward waiting for me at home - no companion.
It seems too that people forget that you enjoy going out to a pub now and then. I do reinforce that with them, but don't want to force it.
Onward and upward...
I know what you mean about filling time. Sometimes the distractions work, sometimes they don't, and I think, "what's the point?". Sometimes I feel like I'm just marking time. But I do think that exercise - any kind of movement helps lift my mood a bit. I am thankful to my dog Molly for getting me out every day, even when I really don't don't feel like it. I am not athletic in the least but I just signed up for an introductory kickboxing lesson. I think I have a lot of anger about my husband's illness. I think I would like think that the punchbag is MSA (multiple system atrophy - a rare neurological disease that took my husband) and smash it to bits.
Thanks, Tess, but I'll reserve the "beast" title for a friend in her late 30s who just finished a 100-mile bicycle ride at Lake Tahoe last weekend! Running is my least favorite exercise but I do it because the points are there. Exercise has helped keep me sane my entire adult life and I'm not going to stop now. I'd gotten to the gym nearly every day, even in Ron's last days. I'd make sure he was comfortable, had had whatever meds he needed, had books or the TV, had been to the bathroom, etc. and then would go out. His last full day, I sensed he was much worse and went downstairs and used the treadmill he'd stopped using a year ago, running back up and checking on him every 15 minutes. He died the next morning. After calling family and then posting on FaceBook, I went- you guessed it- to the gym.
Bergen, I always binge-watched "Say Yes to the Dress" and HGTV while donating platelets (a 2-hour process, so you get your own TV and headphones). Both mindless but fun. I'm benched from the blood bank for 12 months due to travel to India and I miss those shows!
Days are the worst.. too much time to fill and not always enough things to do. I went to my counselor today and I told her that I told my son. I come here for 1/2 getting better and 1/2 something to do and someone to talk to. I really miss having someone to talk to. Tell about your day to. It has been suggested to me to volunteer or join the senior center or some club, but can't yet, even though it's been 5 years and I may never be ready. It's not relay my bag. joining things. I'm more of a loner, which doesn't always help matters. I also watch TV to pass the time especially at night. My daughter does not like that idea as she is a fitness nut (extreme) and thinks I should be too. But getting involved with a good program helps me to almost forget for an hour or two. I find it's not too bad going to bed,as my bedroom is like my sanctuary and has been since my husband died. I have his ashes on a bureau in there and a little shrine to him. I decorate for the holidays etc. May not be everyone's taste, but it comforts me and for now will stay that way. I also talk to his picture then watching TV. Maybe I'm nuts...who knows. I also have a dog and she is a great comfort to me and a reason to get up and going and out ever day. But, she is 15, so not a long life expectancy there I am afraid.