Night terrors

Hi. I am writing this as I cannot sleep. I was lying awake with my heart feeling as though it was going to burst out of my chest and I feel as though I am shaking.

Since my partner died 9 weeks ago I am so afraid of the future as I have no family only friends and I miss him so much. The pain is worse now than it was during the first couple of weeks. I thought he had longer but he went so quickly. Everything is worse in the dark but daytime isn’t much better. I can’t escape from my thoughts. I’m so shattered and frightened. This is hell and I don’t know how I will get through this.

Dear Topsy, I’m really sorry that you find yourself feeling so shattered and frightened. You’re right that it can seem so much worse during the darkest hours of the night when all our senses are heightened and we are ‘on alert’. Sometimes getting up and making a hot drink can break the never ending thought cycle and listening to the radio or audio book can be a distraction. You only need to think of how to get through now; the next hour will follow and you will be ok and you will get through. There are many of us awake during the night…night owls…who have come to accept that we can’t switch off and this is how it is…for now.
Do you have something to do today that’s concerning you? Please know that you are not alone and I know just how you are feeling and hope you are feeling a little bit more relaxed since you posted. Keep warm, big hug from me to you, kind wishes, x

Dear Rainbow

Thank you for replying so quicky. It is very kind of you to try and help me and to0 suggest ways of coping. It is comforting to know I am not alone.
It is the fear of what is ahead which keeps me awake and the dread of another long lonely day/weekend. This is also the first time in my life when I have nobody. My friends are doing their best but they have their own lives. X

Dear Topsy, it’s right at the start of your grieving journey. Trying to make sense of what has happened is using up all of your thought processes…there’s little room for anything else. It really helps to keep just to the here and now. You will find ways of getting through your day, but you need time to adjust and to build up a day that has some meaning to you again. Your friends will become even more important to you. Tell them how they are helping you. Keep in touch even if it takes a huge effort.
When I read our daily posts, I marvel at the varying ways, time can be filled. We may be treading water or gliding like a swan, but we are all the same…wrapped up in grief and doing the best we can. Maybe you have something planned for today? I’m going to visit my husband’s parents and help with housework. It’s what he would have wanted me to do and that makes all the difference to me, x

Dear Rainbow

I know I should I shouldn’t worry about the future and to take a day at a time but it is difficult to rein in my thoughts. I think I am having a really bad spell at the moment. You sound very calm and reassuring and it is good you have a positive focus to your day. I am seeing two friends for coffee today but that can be hard. After the initial how are you the conversation is mainly about generalities and it’s so hard trying to appear normal. Also there are so many reminders as my partner and I went everywhere together. We had been together 41 years. X

Yes, our conversations are a little more intense and expressive! We were just one more year than you and your partner… exactly the same though…everywhere together. Not the best of days to be out and about but we’ll give it a go. Sometimes, it’s just about being yourself, even on your saddest days, take care, x

I can’t really add much to what Rainbow has said as she has covered things so well.
What I can see with the benefit of hindsight is that grief is a process that has to be gone through. My wife died in August last year and we had been an item for 49 years. I am in a different place to the one I was in seven months ago and I am becoming a different person. I don’t know where I am in the process or how far it has to run. I suspect I will grieve for the rest of my life. I read that we are constantly becoming, in that we don’t stand still, and that we build a different life, moulded onto and around our grief.
I would recommend having a look at a website called What’s Your Grief as it has many thought provoking and very pertinent articles.

Thank you very much YorkshireLad for your kind reply. X

HelloTopsy. My heart goes out to you. YorkshireLad and Rainbow have given some sound advice. Regarding your nights, yes it is hard. I put on the radio or the TV or read a book anything to stop me from lying there just thinking because that is when panic can set in, and all the ‘what if’s’ Be certain Topsy you are not alone there are so many of us out there with exactly the same feelings as you. Where do we go from here??? What will happen to us without that special person who was a big part of our life. We want something we can’t have the very epitome of grief. We want to feel them, hear them, yet we have to learn acceptance because without that we are only hurting ourselves. I, like so many struggle at times, my head can become a jumble but I want to be in control of my grief and that is when I feel I will be able to accept. I found that the answer was to keep busy. Walking is a big help, is there a local group you can join. Gardening has also been my saviour, but anything that stops you from dwelling too much and if it makes you tired then that will help you to sleep also. So a win, win situation. Perhaps counselling will be for you although it’s not for everybody.

Hello Pattidot

Thank you for your reply. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to see if he can give me something to help me sleep. I would rather not, but I can’t go on like this. I don’t know if it was the wind making a racket last night which sowed the seeds for no sleep but I don’t get more than 4 hours now anyway. In fact 4 hours represents a good night! I know counselling.isn’t for everyone but I have joined a bereavement group run by the Maggie’s Centre
I do enjoy walking and often walk along the seafront where I live and I might also join a walking group. I am trying to help myself but sometimes it can be exhausting and today has been awful.

Good, the bereavement group is a start. I go to one run by the local Hospice. Not sure it’s doing me any good though. But meet up with nice people for a chat and a piece of cake. Personally I would keep well away from Doctors and tablets. Can make you a bit like a zombie, then as you become used to them you could become reliant on medication and more and more to get any sleep at all… Your sleep will become better in time. At first I relied on the television. I watched all sorts of rubbish during the night, then I started to read until I was tired and now I can get through the night, so my system has adapted naturally. If I do wake up early I just read for a while and then drop off. Try Nytol or Calms they can help but just give yourself time to adjust.
Best of luck.

Hello Pattidot

Thanks for your reply. I know what you mean about tablets. I just feel as though the pain is getting worse and I want it to stop and this lack of sleep is unbearable. Got 4 hours last night whoopydoo! (with nytol)

I tried the antidepressant mirtazapine one night 2 weeks ago. I slept but felt drugged for 2 days and ended up with a migraine which I thought I had grown out of. I explained this to the doctor and to cut a long story short he prescibed 5 days of zopiclone. He explained it is highly addictive and of which more is needed to have the same effect. Coming off can cause problems including insomnia! He also gave me a betablocker to slow my heart when it is pounding. I don’t think it’s the answer but I don’t know what to do. Another awful weekend is coming up and I’m feeling desperate.

I went to a bereavement group 4 years ago when my mother died and met someone who has become a close friend. I am so pleased I went for that reason. I thought I didn’t know pain like it then but this is worse as my partner was there all the time for me and now I am alone.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have read your posts and see you have had an awful time. Xx

Thanks Topsy. We are all on a terrible journey that I’m sure non of us expected. All struggling, all grieving. Such harrowing stories.
Do be careful with the medication. Personally I can’t imagine there to be a quick fix to take away this sort of pain. Good Luck

Thanks Pattidot. You are right that there is no quick fix for the pain. If only. I very much doubt I will take the medication as I am frightened I might end up with more problems. Thank you so much for your advice. It makes a lot of sense. Take care xxx

Hello Topsy, thinking of you today as there was an article in The Mail about anti-depressants written by a doctor. True they have helped but there is a possibility of becoming dependant on them. You don’t want more problems playing with your head. I just let my crying do it’s work. I cried my eyes out this morning while walking the dogs but felt much better for it afterwards though. Heartbroken one minute but much calmer afterwards. Good luck

Ah Pattidot thank you so much for thinking of me. In my heart and head I feel exactly the same as you. I just felt so awful and had to do something by going to the doctor. In a way, just having the tablets there if I want them helps.

Having said that they are all unopened on the table and I’m going to try my best to ride this out. If I can get through this I can get through anything.

I am sorry to hear you were so upset this morning when you were out with your dogs. You say you felt calmer afterwards which just goes to show you can do it.

What we are going through really is the pits.

Take care Pattidot xx

Hello Topsy
I know exactly how you feel
Now it’s a month since my husband died and it seems to have sunk in and I can’t escape the pain
And the nights are the worst
I spend every day trying to keep busy
Like you we didn’t have children and friends are trying to be kind but they just can’t understand
I don’t think anyone can unless they are going through it
Sunday today and that was always our favourite day together
But I have got a few plans to keep busy and just home for the evening and then maybe I can get some sleep
So relieved it’s 6am now and morning
Good luck
Hope you start sleeping better

To pay I am also 9 weeks in. I feel exactly the same. Mornings and the dark are awful. Always the same in the mornings. So scared about everything. Things do improve as the day passes. Have shaking and anxiety when I wake up. Sleep is not great. Manage to go to sleep but always wake up about 4. I am hoping things will improve .

Dear Christina

Thank you for your reply. I truly sympathise with everything you are going through. It is very hard or should I say impossible to sleep through without waking up in the early hours. Anxiety and fear when waking is horrible. I too would love to improve but I think in my case it is going to be a long job made worse by the spring and summer which were my partner’s favourite seasons.

Wishing the best for you. Xx


I’m sitting up in bed with my stomach churning and I feel I am shaking. It is nearly 1am and I am still wide awake. I’ve had a really bad day made worse by the decent weather. I wish it helped but it adds to the pain. The loneliness has been more acute and friends are getting on with their lives. In fact one friend has been hurtful by saying that I should try and help myself more and smile. I’m also not the same person she once knew!!!

I went to a bereavement group this afternoon hoping it would help but it didn’t. I’m so desperately tired.
I am so frightened of the future and of enduring this loneliness. The feeling of dread when facing another day is awful. It’s 10 weeks now since my partner died and it’s getting worse. Oh to be able to sleep.

Thinking if everyone going through the same xxx

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