Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bone Weary

I am exhausted. I wish I could stay in bed all day. I am drained to the bone and have no motivation or energy. The little bit of energy I can eek out goes toward making dinner and forcing myself to take a half hour nature walk. That restores me a little. But I feel as though I am giving up and that whatever I do or don't do from here on in doesn't matter anyway.

How did I reach this place? Is it an accumulation of all the grief and losses over the past few years combined with the stress of living and parenting on my own? I guess it has all just caught up with me and I am left holding the bag of weariness. I do think a large part of it has to do with the only parenting. I do not believe any one should have to assume and face parenting without any support as I have. If single parents lack family support there need to be better and more available programs in place to provide assistance. I know that despite my education and intelligence, that this job has been the most difficult of my life and that it has been costly to my emotional and physical health.

My Mom used to tell me about two of her aunts who had lost their husbands while they were still raising children and the entire family rallied around them to provide support. I know in today's day and age that is less likely to occur. But that doesn't mean it is right.

It is not just the solo parenting and constantly having to make the decisions and dole out the consequences and be the moral instructor. There is no one to bounce off ideas to, or to fill up my emotional tank while I am engaged in the task of caring for others.

Today I went to the doctor for more tests related to my high blood pressure. There had been a mix-up with the prescription so it couldn't be filled until today. I was told to go immediately to WalMart to pick it up and take a pill right then and there. Concern was expressed for my constant headaches and the possibility I'll pass out while driving. I went and did as instructed feeling as I went through the motions, so what? I have no one to share this with, no one who is worried about my health. If I pass out and crash the sedan still needing $600.00 in repairs the only ones with a loss at stake are my sons. That aspect of my life horrifies me. That my social circle has dwindled to the point of me having meaning to only my sons.

I write about this a lot - what I call the fatigue and drain of widowhood. Getting up everyday and going through the day alone, sometimes not talking to anyone but my sons. I know that living and feeling alone are awful for anyone, but I know from my own experience that it has been hard parenting at the same time. I would have made a much better and able widow at age 60 with the kids grown, than I did still having to raise them throughout most of their childhood on my own.

I am hopeful that the anti-depressant medication will kick in soon and provide some relief from my apathy and tiredness. I am also hopeful that once I obtain a job somewhat related to social services that I will feel as though I am making a greater contribution and better about myself. I hope that leads me to meeting people I can relate to socially so my circle will expand and I can feel less alone. I want to remain hopeful that this too will pass and someday I will be involved in an intimate relationship that brings me peace of mind, security, love and affection - keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

But in the meantime I still have to cross this bridge of hard terrain stretching out in front of me. Why is it that my moods are so volatile? Before widowhood I was never like this. Yes, there were days I was bitchy or cross, sometimes even a bit down. But never to the degree of what I have felt over the past years and never the amount of fatigue and wanting to give up. Those moods from my old life passed quickly and were forgotten. These days the highs and lows are frequent and my lows stay longer than the highs. In the past eight years there has been far more sadness than joy - more hardship than ease. I'm not even sure I care that much about happiness and joy anymore. Just some stability, enough to eat and a few people who care that I'm alive, who value my presence. Perhaps when all is said and done, that is what really matters.


  1. Do I relate! "Overwhelm" became my new 'normal' after the loss of my spouse. I hope you can feel my hug over the internet. YOU MATTER. I can assure you that the emotional yoyo's do even out with antidepressants. I'm glad you've opened this avenue of help. Give them and yourself time. Six weeks after commencing mine I felt calmer, and with my Doctor's guidance I increased dosage until I felt a foundation beneath me. Hooray! Try to remember that this abyss and extreme fatigue you feel is from an overtaxed body chemistry.

    Another invaluable tool I have used is saying "Yes, Life". Over and over, into this overwhelming situation. Yes, Life.
    I wish I could sit beside you and rest your head on my shoulder. You are special. You are awesome.

  2. You have expressed once again what I have been feeling. I am weary, being the sole parent for seven years, missing have someone to talk through things that understands our family dynamics and to share even just the little "unimportant" things of life as well as the biggies. Like you said, I think I might have faired better being a bit older and my kids grown when this awful thing called widowhood happened. But who knows. All I know is that I'm tired. I think I had more energy at the beginning than I do now! I do what I absolutely have to, but no motivation to do much else. Not a pretty site!!!

    Considering all you have been through, I think you are an amazing woman! I pray that good things will come your way soon.

  3. Beth - As always, thanks for commenting and saying that you totally get this! I had way more energy in the beginning too. Now I am just tuckered out - it has all caught up with me, too many years of this. I write about this because the people in my life don't seem to comprehend even a little bit how drained I am and how the days just keep going on ahead in an endless blur with me making a futile attempt to keep up. Sending my thoughts out to the Universe when no one else seems to understand or even care does help me release some of the angst I feel from having to navigate this life.

    This is the lowest point I have sunk to - the seven year anniversary. Eight if you count the last year of my husband's life when he wasn't home anyway. So, I'll be anxious to see what happens in the future - if life will lighten up or I'll just continue to go through the motions of life doing the bare minimum of what has to be done. Gosh I hope that doesn't continue!

    Sending support, hope and strength out to you!

  4. Flo - Such kind words and support. I love your mantra of "Yes, Life!" and I will try saying it too even in the face of overwhelming crap! I just hope I can make it through the abyss of six weeks if it takes that long for my system to regulate.

  5. I am sorry you are feeling so exhausted, but I hope the new meds will help. I hope you don't save the anti-anxiety medication for just when you need it. I have researched it a lot since I have been on it, and some don't work unless you take them regularly. I felt a change almost immediately when I began, but it takes some people a while to build up and sometimes the dosage has to be increased. (I sound like I'm preaching, but the medicine has made so much difference in my life that I do believe it's worthwhile). Meanwhile, I am thinking of you and your boys and hope for better times for you soon.

  6. I like the comment about having a foundation to stand on with the anti-depressants. For years, I have had them prescribed for me, and never took them on a regular basis. When I started to take them regularly, it did give me that foundation to stand on, and not feel like I am falling endlessly down a dark tunnel. I hope the anti-depressants will be helpful for you as well.
    I have been a widow for the past 10 months, and will never have the luxury (if that is what you called it) of an empty home. I have two children (they are young adults) with high-functioning autism, and they have been such a blessing for me at this time. Matt (age 27) has taken over figuring out what we are having for supper, and goes into the store to get it. I couldn't care less, and just cook whatever it bought. Christina (age 23) has been a tremendous help by cleaning up around the house, and doing the dishes (which I hate to do). Matt tells people that he has to stay with me because his mom has "lots of problems" since his dad passed away, and I do. I feel everything you feel, and there are days that I don't think I can go on another minute. Today is an "half-full" day where I am counting my blessings. So, hang in there. Will it get better? I don't know, and don't even want to try to see that far ahead. But for today, I am moving forward, and that is good enough for me.
    I will pray that you will have more of these days as well.

  7. Thelma - Thank you for your interest and advice. The anti-anxiety pills seem to be helping but I'll do some research on my own and talk to my doctor more about them too - I see him this week again.

    Anonymous - I extend my sympathy and well wishes to you at this time. I like how you describe some days as being "half-full" and as such, they are good. Hang in there too - that is all any of us in this situation can do. And your children sound wonderful! My guyfriend's son has high-functioning autism also.