Sunday 13 September 2020

It's not for me

I've been struggling for a while now, I don't sleep well and I have panic attacks.

I found life difficult even when I had 3 hours respite once a fortnight.

There is no respite now and I lost my volunteering spot cooking for stroke club when it closed down.

The jumble sales have been cancelled so I don't help with those either.

I made an appointment to see a counsellor but it wasn't successful. We sat at opposite ends of a large room and I struggled to hear what she was saying.

She suggested I made 12 appointments to visit her so I could grieve for the life I have lost.

I shall not be doing this, I need help with my hearing aids so I can make phone calls and I need some form of regular social interaction. Neither of these are currently available but I don't think spending £50 a week to grieve will help me.

The counsellor did send me a link to some group walks that I might like to attend. Unfortunately like everything else they have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry, this isolation is so hard. I miss my children, grandchildren and friends. I try to stay busy, with reading, sewing and working in the yard. It has been so hot this summer the yard work has declined. I often envy your ability to walk the way that you do. I would be exhausted by that.

I think your husband's cognitive decline is also mind numbing for you. I am in a similar situation. My husband's father lived with us the last three years of his life, so when I see my husband mirroring his father's descent, I know where this is headed.

I am sending good thoughts to you today as you deal with this, your own aging and the state of the world. I am probably at the best I will ever be because at age 74 it is probably all downhill from now on. Brenda in Texas

cumbrian said...

Yes Hester, being of the same 1951 vintage I can relate to everything you say, the hearing aid is neither use nor ornament so I avoid the phone. My wife has been a wheelchair user for 10 years, and I haven't had a day off, so I understand you have a full-time job 24/7 and how exhausting it can be. And there's no practical help at all, they talk up a great job but that's all they do.

Used to escape for an hour or so every evening to go yellow sticker shopping, just to talk to people, and an occasional hours visit to the pub for a single pint and the craic. But that's all been missing for 6 months lock-down as a member of several vulnerable groups, and no end in sight.

I neither see nor talk to anybody except my son, who drops such things as milk etc in a couple of times a week, and he never has much time. He's the only one of 3 who still talks to me, the other 2 I haven't seen or talked to for 10 years, following a very acrimonious unwanted divorce.

So my only interaction with anybody is via this screen, and failing eyesight isn't helping that much either.

But chin up, don't let the bastards get you down.

justjill said...

I have followed your blog for some years now. Your humour has often lifted me so I thank you for being you. Something will come up and help. Nothing stays the same. There is always something. Just over the horizon. I so wish I was nearer to you. I would walk and talk with you.

Anonymous said...

Whenever you're feeling sorry for yourself just stop a moment and think of this :-

Try to think there are always so many in much far worse situations than yourself.

You can get out of bed each morning - many can't.
you can wash and dress yourself - many can't.
You can cook a meal and feed yourself - many can't.
You can choose what you'd like to eat - many can't.
You can walk and go outdoors - many can't.
You can breathe in the fresh air and appreciate the changing seasons - many can't.
You can feed, cuddle and walk your dog - many can't.

The list could go on and on but I'll stop here. Whenever you're feeling sorry for your situation just stop a moment and think of someone confined to bed, totally dependent on others, unable to feed themselves, wash themselves, change their incontinence pads, turn themselves over in bed, speak, cuddle, see or hear.

Can you now count your blessings and appreciate just what you DO have?

Margaret said...

I sympathise with you. Last Christmas I retired (before planned date) to bring my elderly mother to live in a town closer to my non-supportive siblings. At least she gets to see them twice a year now! But I am struggling to make friends and find a niche in this new city. Care for Mother is quite all consuming and Covid lockdowns have meant all activities I joined have ceased. I feel as if I am constantly pushing the reset button. And we are not as bad as the UK. I hope things will settle for you and that you will be able to ge some help with the hearing aids

Sarah Dee said...

I can’t do anything to help you but just wanted to let you know I think of you often. I have hearing problems and live alone, it is very isolating, thank heavens for my kindle and the ability to knit and sew. So glad you have those lovely dogs you can walk each day, take care of yourself. Sarah.

rosemarie said...

The anonymous comment on "counting your blessings" I feel is totally out of context! We all know that we are better off than people worse off. I live in Italy so cannot be much help, but I understand your underlying loneliness and the problems with hearing. I do hope that the positive comments and the "love" and understanding you get from the majority of commentors will help you through this patch. This year has been a total write~off with governments all over making, breaking and remaking rules. The whole situation is so difficult. Chin up (not a lot of help), but you will make it through. Sending hugs to you. Ro xx

Sue in Suffolk said...

Just sending some virtual ((HUGS)) wish I could do more.

Anonymous said...

im a carer so fully understand the pressure xx could you lean on your kids a bit more ? could one of them come to the boat and sit with Steve while you go out for an hour ? hope you can start to feel better x

Carol Caldwell said...

Anonymous, pointing out there are worse off, is not at all helpful. There are always worse off but it doesn't change the fact that a person is struggling with their own issues and sometimes people just need to say how they feel. It doesn't mean they can't see how some people may have worse issues. My husband has just found out that he has a major problem with his eyes and was terrified of going blind. I tried to make positive comments and my son pointed out that it doesn't always help. Now I have tried to talk to him with empathy but not to point out that some people have it worse as I see that doesn't make a body feel better. I often say that all we can say is that we are still here. I am sending a hug which isn't of much help, but it is all I can do.

Ellen D. said...

Thinking of you and hoping you find what helps. Your blog helps me know that you feel as I do. Thank you. Take care.

Karren said...

I love reading your blog each day, and the tasks you have to work your way through. It seems so be such an adventure, but it also seems to be isolating. Is it possible that you'd both be better off finding a home somewhere on land in a community where there would be people to spend time with and find support? Would it be an option to move to an apartment near your daughter?
It seems as though your narrowboat life makes your life so much more difficult, and keeps you from having any kind of ongoing social base.
My heart goes with you and hope that you can find some solution for your difficulties, or at least make them easier to deal with.

flis said...

I asked for talking therapy through my doctor but the woman just got me to tell her my worries and then rate it and give it a number between 1 and 10.She asked me the following fortnight to rate it again and I thought I had to lower the number to keep her happy and never returned.I had another very nice young man and a lady in an extravagant cape show me how to tap my arms and head but I didn't get on with that either.I like walking alone with my dogs best as long as I can escape stressful situations x

Unknown said...

What sanctimonious twaddle from anonymous. Sounds like a typical holier than thou God botherer.

Just keep reminding yourself what a great job you are doing.

Take good care of yourself.

Wendy Hallet said...

I have read your blog for years but have never commented. I lived on a narrow boat for 10 years. I've had to get a mortgage and move into a small cottage. I could no longer take the lifestyle. People don't understand how isolating it is and how noisy it is of a weekend. We lived on the cut in the middle of nowhere which to the off griders is fabulous, not after 10 years of carrying water changing your toilet twice a week, all your shopping. Your boat is beautiful and I'm so sorry to hear about your unhappiness and your panic attacks. You do an amazing job as a carer and mother and grandmother you really should a lovely person I just wanted you to know that. I have no suggestions except try to take each day as it comes and enjoy the small pleasures😘... I don't miss the hire boats nor sanctimonious boaters. Everyone on the friendly narrow boaters forum says how wonderful they are...Try living next to druggies , horrible vegans who tried to dictate what we ate🙄 and a person with a Walter Mitty complex.. Cyclist's who would sooner run you down than stop. Walkers who think you've a public toilet on board and are there to provide them with water . Like living in a goldfish bowl with less privacy 😂. Look after yourself


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