Support Groups

Today I went to a support group. When I phoned about it, the lady said it was very early days for me but to go along as there were people of all ages and at different stages of their journey. Today is 5 weeks since my husband died. I’m 53. All the members at the group today were retirement age. I felt I got myself in a really difficult situation as I hadn’t been there long and felt I needed to go home. The members were chatting to me but I just felt I wanted to be at home thinking about what was happening 5 weeks ago but I couldn’t bring myself to say I needed to leave. I haven’t met up with any friends since Steve died. Partly because I just haven’t felt up to it and also because some of the friends I would only have seen with Steve and the thought of seeing them on my own seems so wrong. I thought the support group would be helpful and also that I could cope with it as it was new and not associated with Steve. I don’t know why the thought of meeting people is now almost suffocating and I can’t cope with being away from home for long.
Since I got home, I have just been clock watching and every hour recalling what was happening on the day he died and wondering whether he knew what was happening.

Just getting there must have been a massive challenge for you. I suppose it all depends whether you felt it could be a supportive environment.
I felt very similar to you when I went along to groups and didn’t know anybody but it’s got easier. They weren’t support groups as such. I’m glad they spoke to you. That’s a good sign and they probably understood how you felt.

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I’m sure they understood how I felt going to the group and also following my loss as they’ve all been there whether it was a year ago or 9 years ago. Some people have been going there for years and it’s like a social group now as they have trips out and quite a few of them go to another group together. I will go back again as I told the leader I would try it at least twice. I’m glad to find it group useful.

I can relate to you when you say you don’t feel up to it. I see friends from time to time but certainly couldn’t cope with making polite conversation to people I don’t know, or even people I do for that matter. I am asked to their houses but so far have steered clear until I feel better with myself I can chat happily when I’m out with the dogs, shopping and at my allotment. At Christmas I was with family that I love yet didn’t want to stay for long. I have been to a group meeting and felt for the people that were suffering, but somehow didn’t relate to them. I felt so sorry for them that I did forget what I was there for. I’m just not used to being the person I am now. I’m usually more in control. I always seem to put on a strong ‘face’ and don’t give the impression I’m struggling. You probably wanted to be back home because you was not in your comfort zone and didn’t feel safe. It’s early days, so don’t push yourself, do what you feel comfortable with. However I would give this group a chance, like I’m going back to mine.

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I will go back in 2 weeks and see how it goes. I’m meeting a friend for a copy in the morning. She’s understanding though and has said to call her if I don’t feel up to it. I do like my own company at the moment as it lets me think about Steve without being distracted. I feel I need to keep recalling things we did together so I don’t forget.

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