How to speak socially again

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Hi, I've been struggling since I lost my partner of 23 years. She was only 43 and was my sole mate. She struggled for the last 10 years with her illness but always made sure she was there for everyone. I'm still trying to process the whole thing and just feel so isolated at moment as we were with each other day and night so without me even really knowing I've stopped seeing people, even though got daughter and family around me it's hard to communicate as the only person I want to speak to, I cant :(

morning I am so sorry for your loss x
I made a promise to my husband that I would accept every invitation that came my way, I hated it but out of love, respect and a sealed promise I did as he asked. Like you guys we were together 24years worked together with each other 24/7 the gap he has left in my life far extends outside our home. It is very easy to slip into isolation without knowing it I think, the invitations have become fewer without me realising it and my family are returning back to their normal lives ( this pleased me) I have taken the step of trying to communicate more with people, joined a few things on line etc and slowly I am moving forward, your wife sounds a lovely person and as you said she was there for everyone , she is still there for you but in a different way than normal, honour her memory , you can still talk to her (not in the supermarket everyone thinks you are either insane or have a headphone on) talk to people on here, you are not as alone as you think nor are your thoughts feeling etc new, you will find we all understand. Take care. X

Hi,

Thank you for your reply, and sorry to you for your loss too. I've only joined today and have had 2 lovely messages that mean more to me than anything anyone has said over the last few months.Ive felt so alone even though people around, but as you say they all start to get on with normal life, and although that's good, now I'm getting the invites to go out and do things as though everything is ok?. I know they thinking of me and feel it's part of the process of grief, but after 23 years with partner and last 10 of that supporting her through ill health, I havent even processed the fact my best friend in life is no longer there, let alone want to start going out and socialising. It's great that you made a promise to husband that would accept every invite, sounds like it gives you the drive to do it and I'm sure he would be so proud of you. I promised partner in last moments that I would get up each morning to help our daughter get through it and that's what I've done, so keeping the promise, but feel losing myself in groundhog day. Get up, do what I need to for daughter, then just want to sleep. Work just pays the bills, have no interest in it. Doesnt seem like anything will ever be same again, I try to speak to people about it, just so hard as I feel that no one knows the bond that we had and how special it was. We were each others rock. Life can be so cruel at times x stay strong and keep saying yes to those invites :) x

Hi Grahame oh I know the bond people actually said to us how do you guys do it spend all your time together, same as you simple best friend lover confidente rock anything you can think of we were it to each other, it takes a special marriage to be able to be together, some might say it was unhealthy, we didn't care. That's why this site will help because we do understand, the invites were a complete ball ache (sorry I'm very straight forward) I hated every minute, hated seeing people together I was jealous I was mad I was a pot of mixed emotions BUT you do have a responsibility to your wife and daughter as you wife gave and entrusted you to care for your child, to help her deal with her own grief which is completely different to yours, I won't lie groundhog feeling stays for while but one day things will be easier not better but easier, a couple of months back I would have called anyone who said that to me a liar. Nothing will be the same again certain aspects will be familiar but not the same it can't be your beautiful lady has gone but what you can do is find a focus. I have made so many sheds lol unbelievable my garden could double up as a bloody Christmas market! I changed part of my garden into a rememberence part with the help of my family, we sit there to remember my hubby, if I close my eyes he is sat at my side, if you close your eyes she is always with you and would be nagging you to accept the invites, people are a little wary at first but I spoke about my hubby because I wanted to not about missing him just simple comments like oh he would have loved this, once people know you are open to memories they will share theirs of your partner I learnt so much about my hubby, it made me love him more. Take care always on the end of an email x

Thank you for being so open about your wonderful husband and your open offer of an email. One thing I'm promising her is to get out and enjoy the open again as I know she was aware I loved It, but because she was so ill I never left her side. Went to Cumbria a couple of sundays ago and it was horrendous weather, but loved it. First time felt could communicate with her whilst out in the open walking with no one around. People thought was crazy for going on such a bad day but loved it. Going to peak district this weekend, think getting out and randomly meeting people easier. All I ever get is come the pub or restaurant at moment and as you said...dont want to sit there just looking at happy couples, only lost her in April just too early yet.

Lost hubby 19th March so know what you mean, hubby was ill for a year back and forth to various hospitals so have a small taste of what your life was like. Getting out of the house is a big step, walking I find is good because your out but you can walk and think and not have to communicate apart from the odd polite hello! Do what you feel comfortable, invites I say I'm not ready for a group thing yet but happy to meet for coffee etc it works for me. Take care early days yet, one thing is that people say it takes time i for one have learnt how precious time is. Someone said to me the other day you never know which moments will become precious so value them all. X

Hello there Graham. For me I find the isolation comes from within. We all cope in the best way for us and for me it isn't the need to join clubs or groups with people that I don't know or have anything in common with just for the sake of being with people. I would still feel alone and I don't want people feeling sorry for me. I am concentrating on accepting my own company. When I'm ready I know it will happen. Just as it will for you.
I am not isolated though. We have allotments and the people there have been very good and I have a 'natter' with other members when working there three/four times a week. However I can't as yet mix in groups, I don't feel comfortable and very aware that I am one and not two anymore and on open/Social days I struggle. So far I have had to leave within a short time. I know all these people and used to be an active member/on the committee/fund raising. Now I stand quietly in the background although they do try to include me and are kind. So it is me, I am not ready to socialise. I do however find it easy to chat to anyone so it's unlike me.
Probably the thing that has helped me the most is my dogs. I love taking them out for their walks and through this I meet other people and walk and chat. Have you a dog, if not think about it. They really do help there are people on this forum who can confirm this to be true.
But you can speak to your partner, I do all the time. I even tell him off, why change the habit of a lifetime, he might think I've gone soft!!!!! I found I struggled with the supermarket and going into town. I have had anxiety attacks and stopped and asked Brian to help me and walk with me. Of course I have spoken quietly and not made an exhibition of myself. I have felt as if I've been punched in the stomach and leaned on the shelving in the supermarket for support and called out (silently) to Brian to come and get me. So don't be afraid to talk to her, she will be there for you. I tell Brian all my news and write to him every day. It helps me anyway. Some days I'm upbeat and haven't had a too bad a day but other days I'm down in the dumps and feeling awful, I write about all this to Brian. He's still an important part of my life just as your loved one is.
Keep in touch this forum really does help, we all understand.
Good luck
Pat xxx

Socialising is an awful hurdle isn't it? I used to be very active in my local Spinning & Weaving Guild and Clive & I had lots of friends and we were always out and about doing various things.

Now I find that trying to be with those friends is very hard work. They're always tiptoeing around me, trying not to upset me and I feel a lot of pressure to be the person I was before - I was one of those awful people who are always laughing and being the life and soul. Well, why not? I was happy and I didn't care who knew it.

But I'm just not that person any more and I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable around me or, even worse, trying to jolly me out of my "mood", so I've pretty much backed off from all the people I used to know before and have joined a scuba diving club where nobody knows the "Before" me and just accept the "Now" me. For me, personally, it's just easier not to have to pretend to be the person I used to be. The people at the new club only know me as I am now and that takes a weight off my shoulders. Plus, I've got back into diving, which I used to love but pretty much gave up as Clive never took to it - it gives me something to occupy myself without bringing up any memories of "Us", it's just "Me".

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that finding a new thing to do that isn't all tied up with your past together, a separate thing that doesn't have any baggage with it, has helped me a bit - maybe it could help you?

In reply to Skywise

You know that's probably a good idea. I just haven't got the interest at the moment. I enjoy our allotments as I feel as if I'm working for him, doing his plot trying to make him happy, if that makes sense. I enjoy walking and a member of the Ramblers but so was Brian he was a walks leader and I find this a bit of a struggle so I walk alone with my dogs. It seems such an effort to have to start all over again but I can see where your coming from. My past interest would be hard to go back to now. I owned competative horses and a bit too long in the tooth to resume doing that. I'm not interested in anything to do with handicrafts, I'm useless. I go to the gym but that's not a social thing. My husband was a local Country and Western singer with his group but I couldn't listen to another band it would bring back too many memories of when he was belting out his numbers. But I am going to take on board what you have said it does make sense to be accepted as the person you are now and not as you was.
Thanks
Pat xx

In reply to Skywise

You know that's probably a good idea. I just haven't got the interest at the moment. I enjoy our allotments as I feel as if I'm working for him, doing his plot trying to make him happy, if that makes sense. I enjoy walking and a member of the Ramblers but so was Brian he was a walks leader and I find this a bit of a struggle so I walk alone with my dogs. It seems such an effort to have to start all over again but I can see where your coming from. My past interest would be hard to go back to now. I owned competative horses and a bit too long in the tooth to resume doing that. I'm not interested in anything to do with handicrafts, I'm useless. I go to the gym but that's not a social thing. My husband was a local Country and Western singer with his group but I couldn't listen to another band it would bring back too many memories of when he was belting out his numbers. But I am going to take on board what you have said it does make sense to be accepted as the person you are now and not as you was.
Thanks
Pat xx

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