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It's taking time to wind down -Carers UK Forum

It's taking time to wind down

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
After being full-time carer for my mum for over seven years, I find that now she's no longer with us after passing away just before Christmas, I can start to get my own life back. But I say 'start' because it's taking an awful lot of time to unwind from the stress that I experienced as a carer. I was physically and mentally exhausted, and am finding that building up my strength again is happening only bit by bit. It has surprised me how slow the recovery is. I don't want anyone making demands on me. I don't want responsibility. I just want to do my own thing in my own time and in my own way. So I'm not sitting on any committees and joining in with local organisations except as casual member. I'm trying to simplify my life, to declutter it and I hate filling in forms. The mental things are the worst. I'm happier doing physical things like gardening where my mind can be free. If only the sun would come out and the cold wind go away, I could get on with it. It seems to me that it's a double whammy when someone you've cared for dies. On the one hand you have to cope with the loss, and on the other you have to cope with unwinding from the stress and exhaustion that built up over the years as carer. Has anyone else experienced the same?
Loads of us have done that (and welcome by the way, not seen you here before) and are still doing so.
Lost my hubby in November, after nearly 20 years of being wheelchair bound with spinal injury, unable to do much (just putting you in the picture). I am finding that I can't concentrate or do one job at a time, am forever flitting from one thing to the next, can't sit still on sofa and 'relax' always need to be jumping up to do something.
I don't know how long this will go on for, but I can't keep cleaning and tidying every day, there's only me here, so there's not much mess for me to tidy or clean up after. I think I'm actually BORED. I visit friends, go to line dancing once a week, WI once a month, WI committee meetings once a month, but I'm bored. Can't go back to work cos a lot to sort out moving house-wise and probate etc, but even though I have a lot to do, it's boring.
Lack of someone around to talk to and have a laugh with is the main reason.
We need to learn how to sit still and 'do nothing', don't we?
Hello Avril

you're not alone Image

It's just over a year since my Mum passed away and I still haven't got my life back - I don't know that I ever will Image

Every day seems to be the same, like NanaNana I'm bored but like you I don't want to commit to volunteering (still don't feel ready for that). I've only one sister and two grown up nieces but they are all too busy with their own families and lives to worry about me - I'm single, 60 something, no children and few friends - the ones I do have all live so very far away that even meeting up for a day is a monumental task to arrange.

In this last year all that I've managed is to go to the monthly meetings of ex Carers at our local Carers Support centre - other than that the only time I go out is to do the food shopping or for a walk up the High Street. Having nowhere to go and no-one to go with is not conducive to rebuilding a life.

I don't want to sound sorry for my self as I know that others have it far worse than I do - at least I have a roof over my head and enough money in the bank that I don't have worry about the future - but I am just so lonely that sometimes it actually hurts.
hi Avril,
I feel just the same. My dad died last October, and I can't believe how difficult I'm still finding it. I looked after him for a long time and 24/7 for the last 3 years. I think it's like becoming 'institutionalised'. It's ironic that when the caring role is so intense we
long for a break, for a little time to relax and potter about or follow our old interests.
Now we have all the time in the world and something stops us from being able to relax and enjoy any activity. For so many people caring for someone means being cut off from old friends and activities and when it ends everyone's moved on and you don't fit into their lives any more. I moved here to look after my parents and although I've made some friends, my closest old friends are a long way away. It's hard to find the energy to do anything when you are recovering, physically and emotionally.
I'd say it's very early days for you, so don't expect too much for now. At least if we get some better weather soon that will help, I'm hoping the garden will spark my interest too. You're dealing with losing your mum, and coming from a low point because you were caring for her. It's hard enough to deal with such a major bereavement when you are fit and well. I wish I had more constructive help to offer, but I'd just say be very kind to yourself and remember how hard you've worked. You deserve to please yourself for the moment and don't worry about what you may think you 'ought' to be doing.
best wishes, Lesley xx
Hi Avril

I cant add much to what has been said already except that I agree with everything.

Oh yeah.
I make myself busy even when I've got a day in the diary which isn't earmarked for something. The boogaloo is spick and span, loads of 'rubbish' chucked away, place looks like a HOTEL. I've even cleaned both fishtanks today, before I met the 'girls' for a U3A talk (about Faberge) and coffee. Hoovered and dusted all round yesterday. Just can't sit still, except for dinnertime in front of tely, then by 9, I'm bored and racing round the place again, till bedtime. Got ants in my pants all the time, gotta be doing something.
Hi all,

Hope you don't mind me high-jacking the thread, cos I'm still caring, firstly may I offer you all my sincerest sympathy in the loss of your loved ones, it is a double whammy that's for sure. Here's hoping you all find peace and contentment soon.

Like you susieq I feel at a loose end, even though I am working, still have my 18 year old son at home...My life time friends are all in the North, I'm now in the south west and it means I'm also away from family, but as you say they are all busy with their lives, not too close!! I suppose my husband having the problems he has makes it a bit difficult to welcome people into my sparsely populated family , it would be nice to have a regular half hour 'costa coffee' moment with another person Image . Am I being a bit of a wimp? sorry for that folks.

You all take care, you have all done a brilliant job and it can't be that easy to adapt.

(((hugs))) Treez x
Hi Treez
You're not being a 'wimp'. People who aren't carers take time to have a break, don't they? So why shouldn't us lot on here? Nothing wrong with that.
In this section we have too much time to have a break now and don't know what to do with it.
Hi Nana,

You're so right, when you either stop being a carer for whatever the circumstance, or your role as a carer isn't as intense,(for the moment I belong to the latter), you do find yourself having to validate your existence....and how do you fill your quieter moments? Most people would expect the answer to be 'by enjoying the quiet', but I find it leaves you too much time to think, and in those moments we ponder about money issues, who you could 'do something with?' what the next hurdle might be, and on and on it goes.

I have to leave my tenancy on 26 July, which is another upheaval, and I may have to move back to the marital home, and having been set fire to twice I'll have to bring forward the 'gutting' stage and the skip will have to be hired. I suppose it's the nudge needed to get things moving forward again....there is always a reason for the way things happen. And my 'feeling lost mode' is being forcibly pushed into the back-round and my fight mode is getting into gear again. ......There, I wont have to worry about 'what to do with my spare time'. My prayer was answered- it's one way of looking at it.

Going to go with the flow Image

Much love

Treez xx