You know you are getting older, when you survive your FIRST test - EMPTY NEST SYNDROME.
ENS is a feeling like grief - sadness and you're lonely. One feels as if they have lost their sense of purpose. You raise up your children with the hopes and dreams, they will grow up and leave and when they do, it knocks you down, BIG TIME. And while it is not a "clinical" depression, it is a form of grief.
You have to get through it - to get to the other side which is GOOD!
It wasn't easy for me. My oldest son died unexpectedly at age 25 so I was grieving his loss which threw me into full blown menopause at 48. My youngest son was on his first deployment to the Persian Gulf and the other one had just moved out - living his life. This all happened within 6 months.
There were some good things I enjoyed - I mean, we could walk around the house, NAKED and there was a freedom but deep down, when I was alone, I felt I had lost "my job" as "Mom." I was RETIRED and where was my gold watch?
Then I lost both my parents - and we did a BIG MOVE from the area I grew up and raised my children to 250 miles north. It was like moving to another state! No friends, no family. I was lonely.
During this time, I have to admit, I was a fish out of water. I was just trying to survive each day. I'd get up, with the hope of really trying to accomplish something and then just get tired and my emotions would take over and rule the rest my day. I was a mess! I was concerned about my son, in the Persian Gulf, and of course, he never communicated to me as much as I wanted. I missed him terribly. I feel I let myself down and I'm not proud of how I handled the whole situation. I would whine and say,
"God dealt me a lousy hand"
and in a way He did, but I didn't have to react the way I did. It was just the "timing" of everything.
So a word to those who are younger and on the brink of empty nest - prepare as much as you can. Of course you can never "plan" for unexpectedly tragic deaths. Just know it is hard at first until you get into the full swing of it.
Plan your life, for yourself and your partner. Get involved - Get out with friends - Try new things -
and look for support from other moms, who are going through it. Who knows, you might find your new best friend.
Labels: EMPTY NEST