Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Loneliness and anxiety

My biggest problem this morning/afternoon is where to start with this post.  I've been busy and more productive. Yesterday I was nonstop, cutting the lawn and preparing, again for this Saturday's craft show. I was shuffling things around on the porch in hopes of making a usable crafting area as opposed to a craft supplies stuffed corner. Plans are to have a yard sale over Veterans' Day weekend, so I am sorting through things I feel comfortable to let go. I know, I will likely regret it. I made a leftover-rich casserole and  spent the evening using up yarn, knitting a hat.

Well, that gets us off on the right foot. On paper, my life is full of energy-using activities. This is a list of things I did on Monday. I was busy this weekend, mostly doing much of the same things.

What I don't address much are my two worst enemies, loneliness and anxiety. For just about 31 years Kevin was always by my side and I never felt lonely.

I would miss the kids, especially when we moved away, but I had Kevin. Truth is I never spent much time in my life living alone.

I now often think of how sad Kevin was his last few weeks in the hospital. One evening when we kissed and I started to go home for the night he said, "I don't want to be alone." My heart sank. While I didn't look forward to spending another night without him home, I couldn't handle staying there around the clock. Emotionally, I needed down time. I tried to ease his sadness by explaining he wouldn't be alone and I would be back first thing in the morning to spend the whole day with him. He closed his eyes and I cried all the home.

One of the night shift nurses told me he was usually asleep with in minutes after I left each evening. I would call him to let him know I was home safe and sound, but he quit answering his phone, so I assumed he was sleeping. When I arrived between 7 and 8 every morning, he was awake, waiting for me and grumbling about all of the interruptions throughout the night. He did get a lot of sleep during the day, when I was there to hinder the interruptions.

I had my turn. He'd become so weak and no longer able to have a conversation. I held his hand and told him I never wanted to be alone. Didn't want to be without him.

Now, I realize our desperation was the same and it was out of our control.

We were best friends and there was never any reason to feel lonely when we had each other. Now things are different.The following link is for an article I found very interesting about loneliness.

Here is an article I want to share, "How to beat the loneliness epidemic:

Me and anxiety

Let's back up. to last Friday. I suddenly realized I hadn't paid the water bill last month. I was still in Boynton Beach so Anna paid the bill in late August. She left the receipt on the counter. When I came home, I saw it and filed the receipt. Then the next day when I went through the mail she'd collected for me, I think I saw the new bill, but ended up shredding it because I thought it was part of the same one Anna had paid. At least, I am very sure that is what happened.

This how my mind works.

No problem.  I would go pay it. However, county government was closed down on Friday because of the hurricane.

Little problem. According to their website I could pay online. But, I couldn't because I had to input the amount being paid and I had no idea of the amount billed. So I couldn't use that function.

More of a problem: Website said I could call and pay by phone. Same problem though, as I didn't know how much I owed and didn't want to either under or over pay.

Huge problem. I had to wait until Monday for their office to reopen. I spent the rest of the day and weekend worrying and conjuring up the most frightful scenarios. I worried that the bill was already overdue and I would have to pay some ridiculous late fee. Maybe they would turn the water off, before I had the chance to pay up.  Or worse. I felt like a loser. Kevin never missed a payment, that I know of.

I kept telling myself, if Kevin were here he would attempt to calm me down and keep reminding me to stop these groundless thoughts. It helped and he was  right about my worst fears never happening.

Finally Monday came and the water was still running. I arrived five minutes before customer service opened. I also brought papers to have Kevin's name taken off the account. Of course all was fine. I paid last month's bill, couldn't pay current one because bills weren't "out" yet. The clerk was nice and I finally felt relieved. BTW the bill was a whopping $28.13.

It's not just the water bill. It is a lot of things. I put off making decisions, making calls,

Anxiety isn't new to me. The stubborn part of me insists it is part of my character. As I wrote, Kevin kept me real.  

Facing loneliness and anxiety without Kevin leaves me thinking and acting in circles.

Regarding my forgetting to pay the water bill, Anna said it will be this way for me for a while. That my life is so changed. That I will probably do more ditzy things before I am finally settled. And that takes time. Her thoughts make me feel better.

I am probably miles from where I meant to be when I first started writing this post. One of the suggestions in the loneliness article is to become a part of a group, so I am going to a Hospice Adult Grief Support Group session this week. I think I will have much to gain.

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