Crisis, Grief, and Healing => Spouse, Partner Loss => Topic started by: Pookiesguy on March 23, 2012, 11:29:43 PM

Title: 2:00 am again
Post by: Pookiesguy on March 23, 2012, 11:29:43 PM
Any idea how long it takes to learn how to sleep again. It seems like everytime I go to sleep anymore it's 4 hours a night and I'm up again. I'm exhausted. I was up till 5:00 am yesterday, woke up at 9:00 am. Scared to do drugs, don't want to get addicted, don't drink since 1995.

Took all the old photos of my wife and family I could find, and made a nice slideshow DVD with some of her favorite Clapton songs as the soundtrack, took me all night yesterday and from 9:00am this morning till 5:00 tonight to make them. Just felt driven to do it. Should be worn out. I don't get it. 
Title: Re: 2:00 am again
Post by: Terry on March 24, 2012, 12:58:36 AM

Spent a lot of time on those pictures and you must have a lot of feelings tonight. I would imagine you are having a difficult time trying to sleep. Maybe break-up those projects into smaller time periods. An hour or two a day and then skip a day and rest your mind. Rest your heart. It's been badly bruised.

It really does take a long time and we're all different as to how well we can sleep and for how long.

Try to take care of yourself and there's no rush to do anything. One hour at a time and then we can take it a day at a time, as we get stronger. You've suffered a great loss. Allow yourself to take those baby steps before trying to walk again.

Know I understand and care,
Title: Re: 2:00 am again
Post by: rayinsc on March 24, 2012, 08:08:53 AM
You are less then two weeks into this journey, and when I was where you are I was in a fog, no, in shock.  There were days I do not remember.  Sleep was difficult.  I found that maintaining a set sleep cycle helped some.

Before all this started I would go to sleep between 9-10, then awaken around 3:30 then sleep until 5:30 or 6.  After my wife's death, all that changed.  I would stay awake until 12 or 1, then awaken at 3:30 upon which I would lay awake for awhile then drift off until 6:30 or so.

As I near week four of the ordeal, I find my sleep habits are that I stay awake longer, and awaken at 3:30 than later at what was my normal time.  This last week was one where my sleep has been more interrupted, but I force myself to stay in bed until at least 5:30 in the morning.  I usually try and stay in bed until the sun comes up.

During the last couple of days, sleeping has been difficult, last night I awoke with tears flowing.  That has never happened.  I thought about getting up, but decided to do what I have learned is best for me, and that is to stay in bed until sleep comes one again, which it did.

Give it some time and your sleep will once again return to a new normal, probably 6-7 hours with an interruption or two.  You will eventually get more sleep. 

Until then, try and maintain a sleep cycle.  Go to bed a little later, read a book or watch TV until sleep comes.  When you awake before it is time to get up, try to stay in bed and try to relax and sleep should come.  Otherwise, do what you have to do and not worry about it.  Time will eventually fix this.

Title: Re: 2:00 am again
Post by: Pookiesguy on March 24, 2012, 09:49:06 AM
Thanks, it helps to know it's not just me. I'll try the schedule thing starting tonight. I have to go back to work Monday morning and am pretty apprehensive considering that I will have to interact with a lot of people. The car dealership I work for has been really supportive, cards, flowers, and several of the managers even came to the funeral. But talking to the other mechanics I work with is something I dread. I honestly hope they leave me alone at least at first. The lady at our local gas station asked me why she hasn't seen my wife lately yesterday, and I got so choked up that all I could say was "she passed away" and walked out quickly. At work you can't just do that. Never felt so lost and scared in my entire life.
Title: Re: 2:00 am again
Post by: rayinsc on March 24, 2012, 10:36:10 AM
I think you will be fine at work.  Yes there will be some people who will express their sorrow to you.  Just nod or thank them then move one.  Do not feel you are compelled to go beyond a thank you.  If asked how you feel, the same holds true.   You are not obligated to tell them how you feel.   It will not take long for them to stop.

If you need some time to compose yourself, take it, then return to work, they will understand.

Just remember your colleagues are not there to cause you pain.  They just do not know how to deal with what has happened to you.   Dig into your work with as much concentration as you can, and you will get through the work days.

As a retired person, I say this not as one who has to go to work, but as a manager who experienced the pain of no less then four employees who lost a child, a husband, a boy friend, and a parent.  I and the others gave them the room they needed, and after a few hours they were able to function even though their eyes were dead with sorrow.

Give yourself some time and after a couple of days work will become a welcomed distraction.  Also, if a special day for you and your wife is nearing, and you think it will be hard for you, let your manager know you need the day off.  If he is worth his salt, he will understand and give it to you.  What ever you do, keep your manager in the loop on your feelings.

Just remember this process is one step at a time.  Monday will be just one of those steps.
Title: Re: 2:00 am again
Post by: stampingwidow on March 24, 2012, 03:39:07 PM
You are not alone.  It has been 3 month for me.  I find going to bed late beneficial.  If I cannot stay asleep, I either read or just rest.  In a grief support meeting, the leader explained that we should rest, even if we cannot sleep.  Our bodies need the rest.  I sleep better if it is totally dark but although that helps the quality of my initial sleep it does not prevent me from waking up.  It is said that if one is having sleep problems to read or do calming things prior to going to  bed.  For me just looking at my husbands picture causes me to cry.  I am certainly not strong enough yet to start a project like you have undertaken.  Exercise helps me sleep but I am physically not able to do much walking or exercise.  If you are able, try taking a long walk in the evening.  It might help.  One of the thoughts was share with me was to realize that disruption of the sleep pattern is normal to those suffering from grief.  Learning to accept that and learning ways to cope with it will help us deal with it.  Worrying about it will not help us.  Now to take my own advice.
Title: Re: 2:00 am again
Post by: jasonkl on March 24, 2012, 06:07:51 PM

Sleep was a hard thing to get back. I took 2 weeks off from work and I don't think I slept for more than an hour at a time. Most days that was all I could get. I have found going back to work helped. I started to sleep more about 4 or 5 hours at first, started trying to make it to the gym 3 days a week. When I did make it I could sleep a full 7 hours. It has also been 7 months for me and I have got use to sleeping alone. Still not use to going to bed alone but I can sleep most nights now.

When I went back to work at the shop I work in most of the guys did not ask how I was doing, they just said hi and when on with work. Like you I was scared to death to go back to, though I was going to face a million questions. Believe me when I tell you most of them will be able to tell by the look on your face. And honestly don't be to hard on the ones who don't say anything to you. I have found that at least A quarter of the guys I work with were just as scared of me coming back to work as I was of going back to work. I don't know if your shop is flat rate or not, mine is. If it is do not beat your self up if you don't start making your hours right away. What you have gone through takes a toll on the mind. The first few days I was back, I talked to my boss asked that they gave me no waiters, And to start me back simple. He did not understand fully at first but when he saw it took me 2 hours to do an oil change he understood. The others guys picked up my slack, I am sure your fellow mechanics will do the same.Try not to be to hard on yourself.

Title: Re: 2:00 am again
Post by: gaberax on March 24, 2012, 09:48:09 PM
I would like to know why it is 3:30am?  I wake up at that time, too.  Regardless of the time I go to bed. I've heard a lot of others mention 3:30am.  Weird.
Title: Re: 2:00 am again
Post by: Pookiesguy on March 24, 2012, 10:28:35 PM
I think for me anyway, three am was when she passed. May have something to do with it even though that doesn't cross my mind that I'm aware of. I just think about everything.

 About going back to work, thankfully we are flat rate so there won't be much problem with pressure there. I've been doing this for 25+ years now and before we got married, I was a always working late. Usually till they had to lock up. After I met Jeanne I became 8:00 to 5:00. I think it's back to workaholic land now. I've been off for close to 6 months now except for a few weeks around Christmas time when we thought she was in remission. Thank God for those few days even though now they are still a blur.
 I am going to try the no waiter idea, that sounds like a good plan, and I do (did) most of our body shops mechanical work (engines, frames, suspension work) along with work from the service drive, so I hope I get a lot of that, the body shop doesn't press for time much. I've been there for 12 years now, so I don't think I'll have too much of a problem.

 It's the one on one conversations. Well, I see I'm beginning to ramble on again. Sorry.

                           Thanks once again, And God Bless All,
Title: Re: 2:00 am again
Post by: rayinsc on March 25, 2012, 08:54:19 AM
I would like to know why it is 3:30am?  I wake up at that time, too.  Regardless of the time I go to bed. I've heard a lot of others mention 3:30am.  Weird.
Three thirty in the morning has usually been a bladder call for me as it was last night.  While there is a bathroom off the bedroom, for the 20+ years it has been hers.  I used the one down the hall as I did last night.

When returning to bed, I found myself closing the door quietly so as to not awaken my wife.  I stood there looking at the empty bed and realized she was not there.  Unlike a few days ago, I did not break down, just a little pain then back to bed.

The last couple of days I have found myself moving on.  Yesterday I actually changed the linen that was put on before her passing.   I kept it on because I could still smell her presence.

I do not delude myself that all my grief is beginning to be behind me, because I know it is not and it will again overwhelm me at times.  But for now I have found some peace with little guilt in doing so, and I plan to take advantage of it while it lasts, as I know that is what she would want for me.
Title: Re: 2:00 am again
Post by: jasonkl on March 26, 2012, 04:15:52 AM

Hope today go's well for you. Be easier on yourself.