Is distraction my new life?

Hi
I lost Ian, my husband of nearly 40 years, just over 16 months ago now. I have no idea where the first year went as to me, it could have been yesterday.

I’ve been told many times that distraction is the only way forward. Is this what my life will be from now on? I’ve just filled in two events on my calendar and my thought was not can’t wait to go BUT that’s two more time slots filled!!!

People look at me strangely now when I say I don’t look forward to anything but that’s how I generally feel. My days are just filled with distractions as the reality is that I wake up in and have to return to an empty, silent house now. It’s great if the ‘distraction’ means travelling a long way as that takes up more time!

I’m sure you all don’t feel as I do but I live far away from family and my young granddaughter and so without ‘distractions’ I don’t know what I’d do……

To those who do feel like me, keep finding those distractions!!!

Julie x

9 Likes

I fully understand what you mean by distractions! I’m ten months in to this new existence and every day I feel as if I’m just filling in the days.
I have family and friends who love and care about me but of course and rightly so they have their own lives to live.
It’s the same as with so many of us that people say, contact us etc but I can’t keep reaching out to others to ‘distract me’. I feel as if I’m having to consciously plan every minute of my life rather than just living, being in the moment. When Phil was alive of course we had plans but we just lived! If you understand what I mean
Feeling especially sad and lonely today as no distractions planned for today
Kind thoughts to all

5 Likes

Hi Janr

Sorry you are feeling especially sad and lonely today. The days without distractions are so hard aren’t they. On these days, I find myself driving off in Ian’s car to one of our favourite haunts sitting and reading there for hours. I just can’t stay in the house during the day as Ian and I were always off out somewhere, even if just for a cup of coffee.

Thinking of you today,

Julie x

1 Like

Hi Julie

Thank you
I find I oscillate between not wanting to go out and going out and not wanting to come back. I feel I just want to run away but of course wherever I run to it doesn’t change anything does it!

Take care
Jan x

3 Likes

No, sadly it doesn’t and believe me I’ve tried!! X

X Julie

1 Like

6 months have passed and I am very fortunate I live close to my daughters and grandchildren and am very eager to help look after them as it provides structure to my day and gives me a reason to shower and dress on the days I do school runs. But they also have their lives and I feel they can’t constantly be looking out for me .
I do try meet up with people and find ways of ‘passing time’ I do get so easily distracted and my mind can’t focus on one thing at a time reading knitting baking and crosswords have fallen by the wayside as I can’t concentrate long enough to enjoy .
If I get an invitation to far in advance I am filled with apprehension will I go won’t I go? When I do go out I’m mostly glad I did but it’s difficult coming home alone to an empty house just as difficult as being alone in the house and wanting to go out… I need to sort so much but haven’t the enthusiasm to sort it… weekends were our time and I am lost without the familiar comfortable routine we had … its just very hard to adjust and I just wonder whats the best way forward for me … I had taken early retirement 6 months before Frank died as we thought he was doing well and we’d planned to do so much in the time we thought we’d left together … its all so overwhelming and all so exhausting … sending everyone hugs 🫂

This is what I do everyday. I am planning a move to a house I own so drive 30 miles to it as much as I can. Everyday is filling in time and planning how not to think of the past. Have to admit have lovely family and friends but it still hurts and I hate Sundays

2 Likes

Hi Trixie
I really feel like you, especially about filling slots of time!
It’s just over 4 months since my lovely husband R suddenly passed and I think I’ll always feel like this. I don’t look forward to anything. I absolutely loved my old life and feel like a little lost soul (even though I’m in late 50’s) living in some parallel universe!
I am told and know I need distractions so I try to think of things to fill in time including driving. I visited a friend last Tues and Sis-in-law on Thurs, only for a couple hours even thought it’s 26 miles each way. They live not far from each other and I could have seen both on same day but again, filling in time.
I try to do things by myself too, as when I see friends/family more than I used to, I’m acutely aware that it’s only because I haven’t got R any more, which makes me feel bad at times (luckily I’ve got great family/friends) so, I had a facial on Friday and promised myself 1 a month as it was relaxing. (and I’m not one who does pampering much, last time had facial was 6yrs ago). Sending kind thoughts x

Understand totally about distractions. Spend our time thinking how to keep busy and be distracted. I’ve been going to a walking group which is good as it gets me out meeting new people and I have family and friends but it doesn’t change the fact that I still feel alone in life. The darker nights certainly don’t help either.
Keep plodding on and being distracted xx

1 Like

Yes. Absolutely.
I can relate to all of this and everything you’ve all said.
I discovered early on in this process that, for me, keeping busy, doing stuff helps to stop me thinking.

And I don’t want to think too much - it just makes me sad.

Loss of focus and concentration is also a prominent feature for me too @MaryAE.
I read 4 pages of a book then have to read them again as I’ve not “read” them at all - I’ve just looked at the words - which is not the same thing.
I start a job, clearing a cupboard for example, then something distracts me and I wander off to deal with that and walk into a room 4 hours later and wonder "who left all this mess here and emptied that cupboard? "

I live alone now so it can only have been me!

Not looking forward to events, I can also relate to @Trixie1.
Like you, my thoughts are along the lines of “well, that will break that week up a bit”, rather than “how exciting. I’m going somewhere I’ve never been to before”.

And yes @Barbara61. The thought of the cold, dark nights approaching doesn’t help one’s equilibrium.

Still, whatever works for us, say I.

Better that we’re pootling around looking for things to do to fill in the hours and days as opposed to weeping in a corner all day (though, I can be found in that corner sometimes, but I try not to stay there too long).

One foot in front of the other folks - though I’m not entirely sure where we’re heading!

6 Likes

Totally understand - my problem is I don’t want those distractions I want my husband :broken_heart: and when I do have distractions I don’t always enjoy them and end up in tears at some point, even if it’s in bed on my own afterwards. I can’t seem to function at the moment - although in all fairness Steve’s first anniversary is this Friday coming and it makes me feel sick thinking about it :cry::broken_heart::heart:‍:adhesive_bandage: I’m
dreading waking up and the realisation of it. My heart is shattered and most of my friends do not understand but think they know how I feel! :woman_shrugging:t2:
Grief is different for everyone I get that but on Friday I want to spend the day with my boys and their wives/ partners and other family & friends but I’m dreading it already and want to just hide under the duvet too until the day is done - hope that makes sense?!
Take care of you and if the distractions help you keep penning them in. Sending many hugs and much love xx

1 Like

I don’t think any of us “want” the distractions @LouLou65.

Given a choice, wouldn’t we all chose to have our nearest and dearest returned to us?

But, sadly the reality is, that isn’t going to happen for any of us.

The distractions are a coping strategy.

We do it to help us get through the next hour/day/week/month and I think, the fact that many of us speak about not particularly “enjoying” what we’re doing or getting sidetracked mentally in the midst of things is evidence that we aren’t really fully engaged in the here and now.

What we’re doing and how we’re feeling are 2 very different things.

I’m sure we all have those days when we feel too fragile emotionally, that no distraction or activity is going to cut the mustard.

I hope Friday is as peaceful a day for you as it can be, given the circumstances.
Surrounding yourself with those who care about you sounds like a sensible distraction to me.
Take care.
Xx

1 Like

Apologies.
I don’t know what button I pressed there but I was replying to LouLou65 not Trixie1.

I claim distraction!

I think we all look for distractions in the early days, but for me it wasn’t a solution in the long term. i came to terms with what had happened, and I’m happy being quiet and relaxed with my own company and thoughts. Some might call being on your own, “loneliness” which is something to be endured. I learnt to call it “Aloneness” which is a state we choose to be in content with things around us as they are. Mindfulness is a technique which helps you come to terms with it.
For me distraction alone wasn’t something for me long term, I’d no wish to keep busy busy busy for the rest of my life. It avoids the issues caused by bereavement and extends the grief.

Shappi Koorsandi inspired me with this walk on her own. Nice walk as well, just up the road from me. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001111j

2 Likes