Grief, no matter the cause, can strangle a person. You are not alone if you are fighting loneliness and purposelessness day after day. Living alone may feel hopeless, and believe me, the time it takes to adjust and heal can seem like it is insurmountable, but you are not alone in this. This is the time to reach out, talk to someone, even me. You are not alone.
Sometimes, finding a new purpose in order for a person to move forward, means that person needs to look to the past. I had to look back and when I did, I realized I had been a care-taker for over forty years. That is a hell of a pattern to overcome. Now, I have no one to take care of, and I realized that was part of my feeling down day after day, despite having plenty of work to do. I need a new purpose. Even recognizing that helped a little bit.
For many people, especially for the men of my generation, their work is their purpose and that is why so many struggle with depression after retirement. For me, work does not fill that need inside of me. I want to be taking care of someone else in order to feel good about myself. Many life-altering events can cause this crisis, including the loss of a loved one. Find a friend and talk. You are not alone.
One of my new goals is to become my own care-taker. Now that sounds like an obvious thing for a person to do – doesn’t it? Well, no, it isn’t, not for me. I have always taken care of others and not worried about me. That was the way I was raised. So, here is a huge admission. HUGE. I am afraid to go in for a physical because if there is something wrong, I will have to face it by myself. I am afraid. I admit it. I am afraid. The fact is, though, I live alone and there is no one else to do this for me. I have children and grandchildren to be around for and I have seen first-hand their grief from losing someone prematurely. My choices affect them too.
New challenges bring new purpose; however, clichés will not fix a broken heart. Feeling useful and good about the future is easier said than done when tragedy hits your life. The key is to begin. Reflect about your past and set new goals. It is a way to begin climbing out of that dark hole that can suck a person down in grief. Look around. There are others in that hole too, but there is a way up. You are not alone.