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Just want to be on my own - Leanne


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Hello all,

My name is Leanne and I have recently joined the site and finding my feet.

I had a SAH on 14 Jan 2014. I woke up with the worse headache that I have ever experienced, the text book thunderclap one. I went to my local A & E and had a scan which confirmed that I had had a bleed on my brain. I was taken to my regional neuro centre where they did further scans and confirmed that I had had a Grade 1 SAH on the right side of my brain. I had my op (coiling) the following day and was in the HDU for 24 hours and then the neuro ward for a further 7 days before I was discharged.

Physically I'm fine, the headaches have subsided. I'm tired and don't do much during the day. I find it difficult to get to sleep at night, but when I do I sleep for about 12 hours. I have seen my GP twice and my everything is fine. I know I have been very lucky.

The thing is I really can't be bothered with contact. This started pretty much when I left hospital, but in the last couple of weeks has got worse to the point that I am no longer replying to calls/texts. I feel quite empty and have very little empathy for anything. I don't want to see my parents and have asked my partner to move out. I know its rotten but I really cant be bothered. I prefer just sitting on my own. I don't feel sad. It does stress me when they go on at me for wanting to be on my own.

Is this 'normal' given the circumstances. I know I didn't have a big one and physically I'm ok, but would like to know if anyone else has had this feeling of really not being bothered with contact and being happier just being on their own.

Your thoughts would be welcomed

Best wishes


Edited by Tina
Added name to title :)
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Hi Leanne

A very warm welcome to you, glad you found us :)

I can remember in the early stages not wanting to speak with people or text or have visitors too, but I was scared to be alone when my husband had to go back to work.

After an SAH your emotions are all over the place. Family mean well and are just worried about you because they care and it is a very scary time for them.

I went to my GP and said how I was feeling and was put on a waiting list for counselling.

It really helped to talk to someone outside of the family and friends.

Maybe go back to your GP and tell them how you are feeling.

Take care xx

Edited by Tina
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Welcome to btg leanne.

I had split with my boyfriend before I even left the hospital lol. We did get back together and and went on to marry we had two children then went on to split, maybe it was a sign of what was to come.

However you need time to come to terms with everything you have been through. Try not to let it get to you and tell your family you need some time alone, they will understand.

And hope everything works out for you. Jess.xxx

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Hi Leanne,

I would say it is normal to want to be on your own x x

its hard not not to shut yourself away BUT for you you need to get out and about even if only round the block then back home x x x fresh air was my miracle cure and still nearly 6 years down the line it helps me loads x x x

Like Tina I also had counseling x3 times and it helped me loads to talk to others who do not know you is a blessing x x I used to feel I was always putting on family x x x I lost all my so called friends and must admit I do still struggle with trust due to friends abandoning me when I needed them x x x

at BTG they are an amazing family and without them I would be lost x x we are all here to talk and help and understand each other x x x

Love and HUgs to you



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Hi, I can't say I wanted to be alone, but, I did not want phone calls or to talk to anyone for a lengthy amount if time. It was just too exhausting. I have to give you kudos for being confident enough to be on your own.

Please be careful not to shut people completely out of your life though. Your family and friends are trying to figure out how to help you and what to say. I am sure they are nervous and worried.

It's all such a shock and takes time to absorb.


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Good advice here already. Strongly suggest you speak to GP and ask for counselling, CBT if you can. I had counselling twice since mine and am waiting to have some more. Speaking to someone independently about how all this makes you feel is a good thing and it will help you reach some acceptance of the event.

All of us were shocked out of our comfortable existence in a scary and sudden way and nothing feels exactly the same afterwards, at least not for a while. This event tests our beliefs, our values and Wanting to be alone whilst you recover isn't unusual but do try and keep contact with those that care and love you and don't retreat completely.

Take some time each day to look at the wonderful things that surround us, the people, the sights, the sounds. Write down the good things in each day( could be as simple as a nice egg sandwich!) and small achievements you make as you recover in a little book that's just for you and maybe set yourself little goals to meet someone each week. Don't meet with anyone who is too demanding and set your time limit and what works for you.

Good luck.

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Hi Leanne

Warm welcome to the site, glad you found us.

That's different to most people they are frightened by the thought of being on their own after this, but sometimes their kindness can be over powering.

Good idea going to see your GP and ask about councelling it really does help.

And yes do be careful not to shut them out completely..

take care

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Hi Leanne

Warm welcome to the site, as others have said you are amongst friends here. I think the question you raise is a very interesting one.

I have to admit I lost all my confidence in the early sages following the SAH and whilst I did not want to have to deal with everyone else's emotions, I was frightened to be left on my own. I was always a coper in life, very independant and never really liked anyone to make a fuss of me.

Whenever I was faced with major life changing events and trauma I always preferred to sneak away quietly and lick my wounds in private until I was ready to face the world again. A trait that has driven my poor mother to distraction over the years, denying her all her natural mothering instincts!

I saw my role as chief protector for my adult children and elderly parents and really struggled to adjust to being dependant on others. I did withdraw following the SAH, but those close enough to me recognised my behaviour was not far removed from what they would expect of me. They kept a respectful distance and stayed in regular contact by 'phone.

It worked for me and my family, but I agree with all the other comments you have received, take care not to become too isolated. Counselling can and does help, talking to your GP can be a good source of support. Above all else remember that your family love you and that they are hurting too. Help them to help you, don't shut them out completely. Find a solution that works for all of you.

Take care,


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Hi Leanne,

I found getting out for a coffee broke my day up and cheered me up, guess it could be the cake !!

Seriously, I know it's hard to smile and be your old self when on a low or want to be quiet .

I reckon you and Mum should go for lunch together and tell her how you feel. She is a Mum she'll know what to do.

Take care and sing (my answer to all )

No Stress just happy thoughts xx

WinB143 xx

Edited by Winb143
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Hi Leanne,

Welcome to BTG. I would say don't shut people out completely. It is entirely natural to want to be on your own. I would ask people to give you time and space and in the meantime -email them, text them, facebook them - but when you want to do it. Your message will let them know you are ok, that you still care but still need space - don't say things that require an answer - just say something small about yourself and let them know you'll be in touch again soon - that way they'll understand you will contact them - then go back to being on your own again until you are ready again.

Do things at your own pace - it's not easy and it can be a long road but please don't sit and do nothing - try and find an interest even if it's a solitary one.

Let us know, when you are ready of course, how you get on - we won't intrude but if you are feeling alone or down, we are here with what we hope is impartial and positive advice - bespoke tailoring, just for you!

Good luck


Edited by Macca
grammatical error
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I too went through what I now call my ‘Greta Garbo phase,’ i.e. “I vant to be alone!” (Imagine me dramatically collapsing on a chaise longue while saying it.)

I became very insular after my SAH and it was in stark contrast to the social butterfly that I once was. I was simply happier being left to my own devices and did not feel that I needed company in the same way as before.

After a period of around 12 months, my mood was not great and I stumbled across a local Headway group on the internet and learnt that they met up twice a month at a local hall. I was intrigued to meet people who had experienced something similar to me. It’s a bit like BTG, but in person! I was mindful that limiting contact and denying myself friendships was possibly amplify feelings of depression. It was something that needed to be addressed.

I ended up going along to one of their meetings and have been a faithful member since 2010. The right type of contact, with the right type of people has had a positive effect on my mood and recovery.

I find it easier to socialise at Headway because our experiences are shared. No one questions my fatigue, simply accepting what I can or can’t do. Also, people understand why I don’t always maintain contact, because they too have times when they need to retreat. There is a lot of mutual respect about another’s needs. I’ve never come from a Headway meeting feeling worse, only better.

I have group therapy at Headway which has been invaluable. I recall one discussion about how insular some of us had become after the SAH and the psychologist present was correct to point out that repeated distancing ourselves from people was not good for our well- being. This does not mean that we have to force ourselves to be sociable when we do not want to; but contact with others can be meaningful for us if we choose the correct people to be around when we feel up to it.

In an attempt to leave you with a silver lining – the money I saved on texts and phone calls in my first year was phenomenal! Although on a serious note, we humans are social creatures. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable with how you used to socialise and with whom, but it does not mean that there isn’t a new way to do it and perhaps with new people.

My relationship with my parents is now better than what it was before my SAH, although we did go through a difficult patch after the SAH. I felt they wanted to molly coddle me too much whereas I wanted to reinstate my independence. I’m a Mother myself now and can see things from their perspective. I can’t imagine going through what they went through when I was first ill, and if it was my little boy, I would be wrapping him up in the proverbial cotton wool.

Explain to your parents that you’re struggling with company and that this is a common symptom of a brain injury. There are many books on the internet about brain injury recovery which you and your parents may find helpful. When my parents and I started educating ourselves about brain injury, things started to make a lot more sense and we re-built our relationship in a way that we could all cope with.

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Hi Leanne and welcome...:-D

I've sat and pondered your thread.

I'm not sure whether withdrawal from all of those around you is particularly a good or healthy thing or whether you perhaps need to go and seek some help from your GP and tell him/her exactly what you have told us. However, I do not know your personal circumstances, as in your relationship with your family.

Your family are bound to be worried about you and not to see your parents or have contact will make them worry about you. I have a 24 and 27 year old son and daughter and would be going out of my mind if they had the same happen to them and didn't make contact or respond.

I would strongly advise that you go and see your GP and discuss the issues that you're having. Having family and good friends around to aid/support your recovery at this point is the best thing for you....keep them close to you.

Wishing you all the very best. xx

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Welcome Leanne,

You already have some great advice offered here but I want to add for me I could easily of cut off the world and lived in my little place too. I had BTG but really had to push hard to not let the darkness and my need to be alone take over. I often do not like talking to people. I do not know why. I also do not cry and I think it has been maybe 5 or more years since I had more than a lump in my throat feeling. I am in therapy and it has been a God send although I do not think I am depressed ( she says I am depressed due to a medical condition but it would be more weird if I weren't) but therapy has really helped me just now be able to move forward with a different path now.

I do not talk to my husband much it is weird. I just find it wears me out. We have our separate rooms for TV watching and since I am sound sensitive it works out great. I love him, he is great and all but I just cannot do all that chatter. I wish I could offer you some words of wisdom but do not shut the world out. You cannot push yourself either but you have to have fresh air and a life. I also have to mention the PTSD which can happen after such an event.

Good Luck Maryb

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