Question: Dear Luise: I find that I have learned to live with a sense of fatigue and anxiety. I didn’t know it until I drove a friend to her daughter’s and came back alone. It was a long drive, about six hours, so I stayed overnight and returned the next day. I had the most marvelous time on the trip back. When I got home I realized that I felt like a new person. Yet within a week the vague “whatevers” settled over me again. I’m healthy, have a good marriage, do volunteer work since I retired and enjoy my life. Do you have any thoughts on my situation? What’s wrong with me? Teresa
Answer: Dear Teresa: There are things you need to check out. You say you are healthy but if you haven’t had a thorough physical recently, that’s indicated. Depending on what your doctor finds or doesn’t find, he might refer you to a psychologist to be sure there’s no underlying depression going on. However, if anyone offers you anti-depressants, I have had people tell me that they wish they’d thought long and hard before they started down that road.
If all of the above has already been done and turned out negative, then I would like to share my cure with you. What makes me think it might work for you is the way you describe your reaction to your trip home. I found out, late in life, that I simply need “down time”. It’s no reflection on me or on my marriage it’s just something that recharges my batteries. I’m not talking about an afternoon off or a morning alone writing in my study. I’m talking about packing a bag and leaving home…every week!
This may not do a thing for you, but for me an overnight in my little vacation trailer in the woods does wonders. I am completely alone. I have no phone, except my cell for dire emergencies, (and as yet there’s never been one). I have no TV. It is totally quiet and I seldom even listen to music. I listen to the silence.
I’m incredibly lucky because there’s a “camping club” ten minutes down the road from me but if that weren’t true, I would drive to where I could to create the same type of atmosphere.
One night, that’s all it takes, to bring me back into balance. I leave after my husband and I have had a pleasant evening together and return late the next afternoon.
This may not be the perfect blueprint for you, but think about it. What can you do that would regularly restore your peace and joy? If your husband is anything like mine, he will help you pack! Blessings, Luise