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Starting my life after my kids are grown

I’m a single mom of 2 wonderful sons. And recently became a grandmother. I suffer from clinical depression and anxiety. I recently sold my home and moved into a townhome. I am blessed with a loving family, a job and when I should be happy with moving I feel very alone. I’ve been divorced for 15 years and made my life my boys. Now that they are off on their own and I’m in a new place in my life, where I should feel good I feel very anxious. Am I alone in this? I don’t sleep and hate living alone. I have friends and family and spend alot of time away from the dwelling I call home now. I am seeing help and have for a long time but at the end of the day I’m all alone. I feel like I never thought of my life without my boys living with me but I know as a parent I have to let them go and grow. I just hate the thoughts of living alone. I still have alot of unpacking to do at my new home but don’t even want to do that. My job is very stressful but at this time can’t lose insurance that I have at my present job. I pray to God to take all of this anxiety and depression away. I just want to be at peace and content and can’t seem to find my way there.

Posted in family & relationships, other topics.

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4 Responses

  1. She Cat She Cat says

    Depression and anxiety can be debilitating. I have suffered with it off and on for 50 yrs. my first panic attack was at 10 yrs old, so I do empathize and know exactly what you are going through.

    That said,…… Anxiety is basically fear. What I and many others have found is that facing your fear, and dealing with it, is the easiest way to get through it. Unpleasant? Yes, but it won’t kill you.

    I suggest that you try staying home, instead of being away, and being busy. Decide and commit to even 1/2 day, to just be in the house, explore it, unpack, think about new decorating projects, or simply sit with a good book and read.

    When your anxiety spikes, reassure yourself that it’s ok, calm your breathing, and resume what you were doing.

    As far as the depression…. Make sure with your Dr that your Vitamin D levels are where they should be, seek out a good therapist, and as hard as it is, accept things as they are, and try to remember that change can be good.

    2 like

  2. Generic Image slhick says

    My marriage ended when my 5th child was a senior in high school.  The divorce was final on the day he (my 5th child and only son) left for Marine Boot Camp.  I was 51.  I used to say the nest was emptier than I anticipated but to tell the truth I had no idea what empty nest meant until I lived it.  I woke up several mornings lying on my side with my eyes closed thinking my youngest children were in their bed and my husband had left to play basketball.  Then I would remember they were gone and I was alone.  What to do with this person whose life was all about the others in my life seemed impossible and terrifying.
    I bought a bike and rode it twice.  I shopped and I traveled to see family and watch my youngest daughter’s college volleyball team play all over California.  I would think about where I wanted to go and where I wanted to live and realized I didn’t care.  It was really hard getting excited about where I wanted to live when I really didn’t want to be anywhere.
    My son was in Kuwait waiting to go into Iraq.  My youngest daughter was traveling with her college class, my oldest daughter had a boat load of problems and three children with whom I was very involved.  There was no dad involved.   My other two daughters were in Colorado and Maryland.  I was still mom but in a different way.
    I took classes to keep me purposed on something.  After being a stay at home mom for 25 years I stumbled upon a job that met my passion.  Children and their families.  It was at a start up non profit.  I worked and was noticed for my work.  I worked all hours and as much as I wanted.  It was wonderful being able to go to work and commit to anything I wanted as much as I wanted without worrying about what it was taking form someone else.  I was allowed to excel.
    I had a plan to leave the state where I lived because I just didn’t want to be there any longer.  Phoenix heat was not something I wanted to experience any more.   I moved and found a job I absolutely loved.  Then the sky fell and my daughter with the children needed help and I got the children so she could get her life back together.  This included a hospitalization for her.  I had planned an Eat, Drink and Love trip that was cancelled.  I got a different job because the one I had required me to travel.  I got a bigger house instead of my neat little apartment that I chose to live in…and had children for 3 years.  When the children had all returned to their home I was in financial trouble, without a job and ended up back in Arizona.
    I could go on but the bottom line is I am now learning that I need to take care of me first and that is a foreign concept to me.  I have had critics who know what I should do and how I should do it.  Especially getting involved with a man.  I’ve not been involved with a man since my divorce and that is because when I did go out it with the men I met it made me feel lonely.
    After the kids returned to their mother and I was once again on my own I am smarter and ready to make a life for myself.  The past 3 years I’ve struggled with finding work and making ends meet.  I don’t want to be rich, I had all the trimmings of a very prosperous life and enjoy being unencumbered by “things.”  If I can travel to see family, and once a year travel to a new destination, go to the show, out to dinner with friends, and the other activities I enjoy I’m good.
    In the midst of this I’ve learned a lot and the things I know about me ‘alone’ are……..
    I am strong and resilient
    I do not want to answer to anyone else for anything I do
    I like being responsible for me
    I need to let my children go and put myself first (still learning this one and biggest drain on my finances)
    I am 62 and feel much younger except for when I’m with my children too much
    I look at life as an adventure now and have plans for me that I am responsible to make happen and I like that
    Most important…..let yourself grieve the losses.  The loss is big and you are alone to work through it…give yourself a break you are in a new realm.  I spent 5 years after the divorce and my children moving out and on working but also grieving.  Through the grief you grow.
    Keep yourself anchored in something.
    Mine was work and school.
    Show up for life….even if its just going to the mall where there are people and walking around.  This is outside of work.
    Go to dinner with friends.
    I have found I enjoy going to a movie alone.  Never thought of this concept before.
    Join a MeetUp Group online.  MeetUp.com
    Volunteer where you are helping others.   That is the best way to get your mind off of yourself while you figure out who you are without the boys.
    Do not include your sons in your grief, it will damage the relationship.  By that I mean you will have the relationship but their biggest emotion for you will be pity or guilt and that is not what you want.  You are strong you raised them alone and successfully.  Let them enjoy watching you create the next chapter.
    Enjoy those grandchildren they are the best fun!
    And after you grieve I hope you have a life rebuilt while the grieving was going on and you know where this new path will take you.
    And embrace the fact that you are now at a place where you can do anything you want which can also include blowing it sometimes without having to worry about anyone else.
    At our age the sky is the limit!

    4 like

    • Generic Image arden says

      Wow! Your response blew me away. What a strong person you are and how wise with all the lessons you have learned. My hat is off to you as a survivor – you never gave up through all life’s adversities and are surely an shining example for the rest of us of a live being lived well.

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  3. Alicia Alicia says

    I agree with everything you said.  I used my life story of overcoming (and thriving) to win a scholarship and am a Sophomore at 66!  I grew up in a 120-year old tenement house (cockroaches and rats, but they didn’t visit us too often…fear of my mother, LOL), abusive mother and no father around, molested, poverty (snow came in thru a crack in the wall), no phone, car, refrigerator, tub or shower, had my hand held over an open fire by a drunken neighbor (woman, ick)…..joined the army right out of high school; married an abuser, got a divorce, then the church voted me out of membership, with my name up on a big screen followed by the words: “Conduct Unbecoming a Child of God.”  Called to a meeting of 15 “men”–not allowed to have a woman with me and asked:”Are you still having sex with your ex/!”    They did this to me on my birthday 10 years ago…September 29th……..I have made it my life’s work as moderator of an abused survivors’ group….to make a difference, and my goal is National television to speak about my passion of making the public aware of the effects of verbal abuse.  1 in 3 women will be physically assaulted in their lifetime and it all begins with the verbal.  I was invited to present my paper, Society’s Hidden pandemic, Verbal Abuse, Precursor to Physical Violence and a Form of Biochemical Assault at my State’s Counseling Associatioin…..no degree (yet), but a lifetime of verbal/physical abuse has made me an “expert.”   I have written my memoir, Ghost Child to Triumph (not published yet) and my (published) book, Sanctuary of the Soul (poems of anguish, healing, hope, comfort and celebratiion.

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