I joined this a few months ago and I wanted to post this discussion to get some advice/support.
My husband passed away 5 months ago in March very suddenly. He just turned 31, I had just turned 30 (birthdays one day apart from each other). We were on vacation and I found him, already passed away in the morning. He died of cardiac arrest due to atherosclerosis (at age 31?!). Anyway, as you can imagine, it's been a terrible, traumatic experience. I am widowed at 30. Oh, and we didn't even make it to our one-year anniversary (although we were together for 10).
One thing I am finding with myself, in addition to my grief, crying, depression, debilitating anxiety, etc. is that I am chronically fatigued all the damn time. I have days where I have more energy than others, but most days all I want to do is lay on the couch, or in bed and watch TV. I force myself to stay active somewhat by walking a lot, gardening, doing things to soothe my soul, etc. but I am just so tired. Socializing is extremely difficult. Of course, at night, I don't sleep well at all. I wake every 2 hours, restless dreams, etc. so I am sure my body is just trying to heal from all the trauma its been through and catch up on sleep. My therapist also assures me its normal for me to feel so tired and fragile due to what I've been through. I guess I just never thought after 5 months I would still be so unbelievably tired all the time. I used to work full-time, but now I am a full-time grad student and took the summer off to heal. Oh, and my work also had to cut my position (and others) due to funding like 2 months after he died. I had been working there for 7 years. There went another major part of my life and identity.
Today is one of those tired days. I feel sleeping pill-level tired today. My friend described it perfectly when he said, "Yeah, when you are grieving its like you are hungover 24/7." On point.
Anyway, I just wanted to see if anyone else experienced crazy exhaustion most of the time in the months following the death of their loved one. I apologize, I am not trying to have a "pity party" on here but I figured I'd just unload a little on my quest for advice. I am probably going to go to the doctor/psychiatrist soon and see if I need to be on meds or something. I don't know. I just hate feeling this way. Any advice or whatever would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you everyone!
Dear Kaela ... When Ernie passed away I was in shock, but thought I was functioning fairly well. I was not. I couldn't concentrate, had aches/pains, sometimes felt nauseated, wanted to stay indoors a lot and other days had a burst of energy where I felt I had to get out into society or I'd go mad. At first I didn't feel like eating much at all and then suddenly as a few months had gone by I ate and ate (lucky to not be one to gain a lot of weight.) I've already had panic attacks when my father died and I burned the candle at both ends, working long hours and helping my mom look after my dad after his stroke. I thought my father's passing was hard to deal with, but not as difficult as losing a spouse. I went to grief group counseling which helped to a degree, but found Legacy helped me far more. However, at grief group the counselor said that we should all see our doctors and have a good physical. Grief sucks the very energy out of you and it doesn't mean you have some terrible disease, but it's a relief to get a check-up from your doctor and I did. Here are the symptoms of grief (not everyone gets all these symptoms, but many do):
Our bodies react to our feelings and it’s common for grief to produce physical symptoms. Even simple, everyday things like getting up in the morning, going to school, college or work, or talking to friends may be a huge effort.
Here are some of the ways you may be affected:
Not to worry because in time these symptoms will subside. You are not going crazy and you are exhausted from the sudden shock of your husband's passing. I believe you have Post Traumatic Stress and with counseling this will help. As one poster said, sleep as much as you can and drink plenty of water because during grief our bodies dehydrate quickly. Exercise is very important too. Even a simple walk in an area you enjoy helps; swimming, a sport if you have the energy. I found walking my dogs a big help and just enjoying nature walks. I still do that to try to keep myself balance in my life.
I hope this helps you and that you are coping the best you can and that there is an end to these symptoms.
Kaela, Please know that you are not alone in your reaction to the sudden death of your husband. I felt the same way and was exhausted for months. I began to realize that I needed this down time in order to begin to process my grief. On occasion, I still have days that I need to take off. I give myself permission to lower my expectations and do whatever I need to do to get through the day (or days) needed before I can function again. I applaud you for taking the positive step of seeing a physician and/or therapist. I hope they are able to offer constructive suggestions to you. Please take care of you for as long as necessary. Hugs. Debbie
How long ago did your husband pass if you don't mind me asking? About how many months did you feel exhausted consistently?