Monday, July 27, 2009

Scary Widow Health Alert!

I have just finished reading of a health study due out in September that finds that divorced and widowed individuals have far more medical problems than those in relatively stable/happy marriages. Surprise, surprise! I could have come up with this result just based on my own experience. The day-to-day stress I have endured over the past seven years as a widow, care- giver to sick and aging parents, only parent and most recently as a divorcee has been overwhelming.

I have always known and believed that there is a huge benefit to being happily married - physically, financially, emotionally, and socially.

The study emphasizes that people who are widowed and divorced need to take extra care of themselves because we don't do so, especially during the first year of loss. We sleep and eat poorly, may not exercise and can be extremely anxious and depressed. I am guilty of eating poorly, having trouble sleeping and not exercising enough. I also do not take the time to nurture my interests or laugh enough. I seldom have any fun personal downtime. And I've had my share of depression and anxiety.

I have decided to take this study to heart (I've had some high blood pressure concerns). I need to start focusing on myself more (personally and physically). And I need to have some faith in love again - that it will visit my door one more time. I'm thinking of the stress and strain that occurs when dating - as if widows need anymore in their life! But if the ultimate reward results in a more happy and healthful future life, it will be worth it!


  1. hello again. it always seems to be just you and me at times. and i'm always first because i'm in a small apartment and the first thing i do is check emails, here, and cross my fingers for more memory quilt requests.

    i know this report and i get worried about it. i have no health insurance so no checkups, but i am getting a tooth capped on Aug. 4th. my last doctor's visit was in Feb. 2008 and i had a battery of blood tests and a pelvic ultrasound come back with no concerns. i just try to meditate everyday and if i need to cry, i let it come.

    as for the stress and strain of dating, i don't know. i hope you don't find it stressful. i know you'll see how valuable you are and not let anyone play those stupid games. when i started dating after the divorce from my first husband i told myself that i am who i am. my mother wanted a different daughter, as did my stepmother. my first husband wanted a silent slave. i wanted to be a human being so during the handful of dates i went on, i was completely and totally myself and damn them all if they wanted something different.

    i know you will respect who you are and ask the tough questions when it's time. don't setttle, young lady. you deserve the best life has to offer. =o) and then all the stress will melt away. dating should be fun. if they have a problem with you, it's their problem. play it safe though. meet them in your own car. now that i've played the mommy card like a crazy person to someone that i think is very close to my own age, go out there and have fun.

  2. It is nice to have someone be a "mother hen."

    I am paying $330.00 per month out-of-pocket for very basic health insurance for the three of us - there are no prescription benefits and my boys need acne medication. But I realize that I have to have this. The cost cuts into our food budget but I've said before that eating beans is worth the peace of mind knowing that I could have hospital care for the boys if they need it.

    I certainly have faced a very emotionally stressful life since my husband's death. This study shocked me into seeing how physically damaging life as a stressed widow can be. The point of the study was to emphasize how we need to really make the effort to take care of ourselves. So I am going to try and do that, hard as it is. More knitting (my form of mediation) and more fun.

    I see your point about dating needing to be fun - I should look at it that way instead of a chore!