I wake up most days and wish I could sleep forever. I wouldn’t say I’m suicidal - just very low. It’s more a feeling of not wanting to carry on anymore. I find life so hard. I was born a worrier. Anxiety is my middle name. Added to that is a gnawing loneliness that lies deep inside and a crippling fear of a bleak future of more of the same. Each worry, anxiety or fear is simply replaced by another…

It’s almost a year since my husband died. I’ve just marked the first wedding anniversary without him. It would have been 23 years. I feel tearful, sad and so very alone. Just when I was starting to make some tentative connections with people again – the coronavirus pandemic struck and lockdown was imposed on us all. Now I feel truly isolated and all options seem firmly closed.

I’m ashamed to say I feel jealous every time I listen to the news. All the talk about ‘families’ and ‘households’. The vulnerable and over seventies must take extra care. I can’t help wondering where I fit in. I’m a 60 year old grieving widow, living alone and have Bipolar Disorder. The latter is well controlled with medication. Some days when I am so weepy or depressed with no energy, I tell myself it is back and I’m so scared.

I feel forgotten and I’m angry that this pandemic has steam-rolled my grief aside. Sometimes I want to yell out that I lost someone too!

Actually, I feel like I’m drowning in a tsunami of grief. I lost my mum in March 2017, my brother-in-law in December 2017, my brother in July 2018 and then my husband in June 2019. Oh yes and my cat was run over and killed 6 days after my mum died. Throughout all these deaths I was caring for my husband. He had a rare neurological disorder affecting speech, balance, breathing, swallowing etc. It was 24 hour care 7 days a week. As a carer I was invisible and as a widow I still feel invisible.

There wasn’t time to grieve any of these people because I was busy caring for my husband and I’m so angry that I missed that time. Now it feels too late. I don’t blame my husband. I was happy to care for him just as he’d cared for me throughout years of rapid cycling mania and depression.

The problem is this. I realise I don’t know how to take care of myself. This is the first time I’ve lived alone. I find it so hard to keep myself motivated. To keep going - day in day out. I can’t stick to anything and I don’t know what I want in my life. I have no role. It’s easy to get paranoid when there’s no-one to bounce off against. I can’t imagine living like this for the rest of my life and feel guilty for feeling this way when so many people are worse off.

A Moodscope member.

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