Becky's Story

I know I should try to get out more

Seventy percent of older people admitted that their only company is the TV

“My partner and I were always out for dinner with people. Talking, laughing. He died two years ago. I hadn’t thought about being lonely until I realised I hadn’t spoken to anyone for nearly a month. And the only voice I’d heard was on the television. I know I should try to get out more.”

My husband was given 51 weeks to live after a cancer diagnosis. Because he was very ill for almost a year before he died I sort of switched to automatic and did everything I should do on a practical level. In retrospect I did some of my grieving at that point as well.

After he died there was a whole load of paperwork and admin to get through which kept me busy. About three months after he died it suddenly hit me that he was gone and I became very depressed for a while. I miss him so much; we had a lifetime together and he was mine. I’m getting there but some days I still find it hard.

I’ve been depressed in my life before and knew I didn’t want to sink to those depths again. I’ve contemplated suicide in the past and it frightened me. I knew I didn’t want to do that to my family.

My GP referred me to Cruise,  which was very nice, but I didn’t find it particularly helpful. After several visits to my GP I found out about a group called ‘Practice Heath Champions’ who wanted new members. So I enrolled and gradually became involved with groups and events that run at the surgery. In the process I made new friends and now I volunteer my time when needed.

I also volunteer at groups at Feel Good Factor and do lots of craft work to fundraise for events at the surgery and for ‘Craft for Health.’ I’m planning a car-boot-sale on Sunday mornings at the surgery so people can come out, look at the stalls and meet people.

I feel you should take each day as it comes. Some days I don’t want to do anything, some days I’m happy in my own company, and some days I want to get out and do something. Try to be positive. It’s hard but it’s all you have got.

When I get up in a morning I think, ‘Right, ok, what am I going to do today?’ I try structure my day because 24 hours is a really long time if you’ve nothing to do. Plan something no matter how small because it will then give you a reason for the day.

Listen to the radio. Sometimes a human voice keeps you sane. Especially at 3am when you feel as if you’re the only person in the world awake.


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