I am going through an extreme soul-searching exercise and would like to have some assistance from my fellow hubbers.
I have spent far too many years allowing others in my life to dictate how I spend my time. For instance, many years were filled with sports and school events for the kids, followed by a new set of friends where the wife was extremely picky and we all felt it was easier to let her decide where we go rather than argue. Then there was a period of time when I got a divorce and was grieving over the loss of my son and my focus shifted to just survival mode. Then I met my current husband who has brought on a new set of challenges.
My husband is sorting through his problems right now and it's time for me to sort through mine. I begin seeing a psychologist on Tuesday for professional help, but in the meantime, I want to ask (or be asked) some probing questions to help me remember what my own interests are. I have forgotten who I am. I've spent too much of my life doing what everyone else wanted to do.
I'm ready spread my wings and enjoy life a bit and re-aquaint myself with me! Help me do that by asking me questions that make me think or giving me some suggestions of things I might like.
Hi KCC-I think I really understand you. In fact I am watching my own life spinning out of control because I won't speak up. I think going to a therapist is a good idea, I've been seeing one and it's what keeps me sane.
I wish you well on your journey.
It has taken years, but it still snuck up on me how I lost who I am. As you continue your busy life, even though you need to stop an analyze we don't tend to take the time. I have to now or I will lose my mind. Being off work with my surgery and my husband hitting his all-time low point and finally getting the help he needs, all signs point to NOW being the most opportune time to begin the process of figuring it all out. When I go back to work in a few weeks, it'll be too easy to slip back into busy mode.
Hey KCC, you opened up a door that could lead to many different places, because of so many different choices/decisions that can be made.
However, I would suggest you get back to basics. Such, pin-pointing times in your past, which you actually enjoyed doing. This will require you to be honest about that particular time and whether or not you enjoyed it.
If you are seriously concerned about what has happened to you, then I also suggest you accept your past, for which, has happened and then begin a new trial and error stage.
Like, if you want to go the movies, and even what type of movies you like. If you enjoy the company of the people around you, and if not(this is where hard decisions/choices come) then I would suggest weeding out the negativity.
You do not seem like a negative person, from our interaction, and your inability to stand up for yourself(as you admitted), is really a bad thing. It destroys self-esteem and most likely ruins self-confidence. Which, leads to a bunch of other things happening, most of which, you probably do not like happening.
Many people find life fairly complex, however, self-improvement is the key to finding happiness. When you stick to your guns about improving yourself, then you can restore your self-esteem and self-confidence. The fact that you are now just becoming more interested in yourself(self-interest) is a positive path.
Self-growth is what comes from being self-interest. Your single interest is improving yourself and your life. Thus, you grow as a person, gain self-esteem, while nuturing self-confidence.
I am not recommending you become selfish, by any stretch of the imagination, but always look for new directions to improve, either in your habits, health, wealth or hobbies.
I am not sure I can do much more, even though a lot of what I have said is written in more than one of my hubs.
Good luck with your new direction/path. I have faith in you that you will find the answers you are looking for.
I don't know if this is what you had in mind - maybe not yet, but it may start the ball rolling....
I read once that a good way to figure out what you want to do in life is to remember who you were and what you loved at the age of eight. For some of us (like me) that's longer ago than for others , and that may make it harder to remember. But it might be one place to start.
Why don't you journal a little bit about everything you can remember about the year you were eight years old? See if anything you remember from that year causes some happy feelings to surface, and follow those feelings to see where they lead?
Hello KCC. That is a HUGE question. Since I do not know you "personally" it would be a great dis-service to advise you. But, you're seeking professional help in this matter is a wise choice.
I could throw out all kinds of suggestions, but I will not...since I do not know all of the facts. I would not want to say anything that could end up causing more problems in the end.
I will wish you the very best in your quest. The only thing any of us can do is search within ourselves for what makes us happy and seek help from people close to us and professionals when needed.
Sorry I have no answers, but (in my opinion and that is all it is) I think you have made a great step in acknowledging you want something more and you are taking steps to make that happen!!!
Bless you and I hope you find true happiness!
That's a great idea. I've always been big on journaling and keep a journal now for a different reason. I already have plans to start another journal for this.
Mike, in my opinion, not knowing me makes it easier to come up with suggestions or questions. I thinking knowing me could cause bias in your responses. Feel free to throw out things.
OK...ask yourself.....is there anything in life you ever wanted that you never went for?
What is it in your life that you always wanted that you never had the chance to do because...of the kids (which I am sure you would never change that), or because of the others "wives" or the husband, work, or obligations?
Any regrets? Can you change or just go after any of these things? Not would it be just easy, but...is it even remotely possible for you to do something JUST FOR YOU that you have always wanted to do?
I am 48 years old. I have asked myself many questions this past year. I have a few regrets. Some I can fix/change and some I cannot . I have chosen to make some things happen ( lol, even at my age) that others will look at me funny for. But, who cares...it is MY Life, not theirs!!!
#1-----Don't let the thoughts of people around you hinder you from doing what you want to do. Live for you! If you are happy, then the kids, husband and friends will "benefit" from you!
KCC, I went through something similar several years ago. I'm not sure that I've totally found "me" yet, but I'm having a great time trying.
The only real advice I have for you is to stop thinking and start doing. Take classes, go off for a weekend to someplace you've always wanted to visit or start a new hobby--whatever you decide. But just do it. You'll figure out who you are along the way.
Great advice Michael and Irohner.
I have made some baby steps already and feel really good about it. I'm really excited about seeing this psychologist on Tuesday.
I used to have hobbies. I'll have to remember what they were. But, trying new things I've never tried before sounds even more exciting.
KCC my naturopath suggested I explore NLP- neurolinguistic programming and Tony Robbins’ Awaken the Giant Within (which seems to be out of print, but I found a copy through Amazon). He also suggested I make a list of 12 things (besides HubPages) that I enjoy. It's actually hard. I keep thinking of things that I don’t enjoy “the thing”, but I enjoy the result. I don’t think that counts. Too much “should” and not enough enjoy.
I bought an NLP for Dummies workbook (also from Amazon). My psychiatrist on base bought a copy and is working it with me. One of the many topics is living in “cause” vs living in “effect”.
I know a little (and I do mean, little) about NLP. I'll have to look into it some more. I love "Awaken the Giant Within" and used to own it until I loaned it to someone who never returned it. I did see it at one of the 3 bookstores I went to in the past week though.
I'm going to see if I can come up with 12. I'm guessing I won't make it to 6.
those soul searching questions.. they aren't always easy to answer, but I've read once that if we don't do our own soul searching, our soul comes looking for us. it is asking to be acknowledged, to reconnect. sometimes it takes a crisis, a sickness, a loss of any kind to bring us to this point to want to look within.
I too have heard the 'childhood' analysis. recently when I was writing a hub about finding happiness, I discovered that everything that gave me true happiness had begun in my childhood.
writing about it reinforced my own awareness of what I connect with.
I think it's all part of the journey of life. you could check out Elizabeth Lesser, she writes about it.
don't be too hard on yourself. reminds me of a beautiful quote;
'and the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.' anais nin
I giggle to think about my childhood holding the key. I was an only child....my activities involved only me, but I was content to play alone. I knew how to entertain myself because of my imagination. I played with Barbies, played on my swingset, and as I got a bit older, rode my bicycle. None of those excite me now. LMAO
Just for what it's worth in case someone else reads this and thinks, "yeah, I need to do this too". Two good books that have helped me this week are "Women Who Love Too Much" by Robin Norwood and "Choosing ME Before WE" by Christine Arylo. I highly recommend them and will probably be writing book reviews on both of them in the future.
that would be great. (for me from a selfish standpoint) BUT...so now you know two things you like, reading and writing. When I forget who I am, I like to listen to music. Stuff from the past that reminds me of me. And sometime I find Ive grown and changed and its time ot live life and see what new things catch my eye. I like to go to the mall then, look around at whats new and get a large soda and sit somewhere to people watch. Probably weird? but I think its fun and it helps me to sort out my own issues.
oops, sory, I got so busy typing I forgot the original statment. hmmmm...a question to help you discover yourself.
What is your favourite colour, and why?
Love the name "DoorMattNoMore".
For years I told people my favorite color was green, but oddly enough I don't know why. I'm not overly fond of green. I really don't have a favorite color.
If I had choose a family of colors it would be earthtones. I love warm golden colors, rust, tans, etc.
thanks. I guess fav colour isnt a big deal, but its one thing to start from, one little thing of what you like. i love green, because its the first live colour in spring.
I went through this too, after I lost my daughter, and then the divorce.
I like the advice about remembering your 8-year-old self, but I finally got back on my feet when I began to remember my 16, 17 year old self.
In those days, way back before everything went to hell lol, I loved writing, music, and screwing around on my giant desk filled with all sorts of pencils, pens, paper clips, drafting tools.... when I had extra cash I went to the office store, not the mall.
So now guess what - I have a new giant desk filled with office supplies. I even have TWO three hole punchers. hee hee All of this happened, hmmm, let me see, oh yeah. Right when I joined HubPages.
Nothing says nerd more than a hard core office supply habit.
So here is your question: what thing did you do as a young person that made you feel like a total nerd? What did you abandon when you "grew up", even though you loved it?
but if you take it a little further, you can ask yourself what you liked about playing alone? did it allow you more creativity, independence, quiet time?
why did you like to swing? riding your bicycle? probably because it was fun, it felt good, etc... a feeling of freedom, being outside...
those kind of questions.. then you can apply it to your life now.
do I have that in my life now? how can I adapt it to my life situation?
Geocaching is something that interests me as a new hobby to pick up. I have written a couple of hubs about it. It's basically a high tech game of hide and go seek using a handheld GPS. I've found about half a dozen using just my car GPS and knowing the general area. I am going to try to locate a local Geocaching club I can join.
KCC I've read that in order to rediscover one's self; one has to figure out at what point did you lose who you are?
As women we are nurturers that put ourselves on the back burner and forget that the stove is still on. So when we've totally burned ourselves up, we are at a lost of who or what we've become.
1) At what point did you notice yourself changing?
2) In other words, when did you put yourself to the side to take care of others instead of yourself?
3) What is it that you as an individual like?
Of course, I'm sure these will be questions that you and your therapist will explore. The only other suggestion I would offer... Is that you should not put a time limit on finding such answers and to try to enjoy the journey as you reconnect to your 'true self'...
More good advice. I have really been analyzing this lately and it's difficult to pinpoint exactly when I lost myself.
There was a period of discovery between 1999 and 2002, but 2002 is when we met our best friends at the time and this is the couple with the picky wife. She was extremely difficult to get along with and the rest of us just found it easier to let her have her way and we'd just go along with whatever she wanted to do. Luckily, that only lasted about until my divorce in 2003.
2003-2004 was a period of grieving and adjusting to being single for the first time since I was 14. (I was 14 when I met my first husband, even though we didn't marry until I was 18).
2004-6 was when I was trying to understand men and dating. I hadn't dated in almost 25 years.
These are some things I know I enjoy:
Amusement parks (will have to wait until I heal more from my recent surgery to resume this)
Garage sales/flea markets if the weather isn't too hot or cold. I find it to be a chore if the weather isn't perfect.
Arts and crafts-my cousin and I actually used to create crafts to sell at a consignment arts & crafts mall. We made some money at it, but crafts can be mass produced now and it's not a lucrative.
Cirque du Soleil shows-I'll be going to Vegas in September on a company-paid trip I earned and we will be seeing a show then.
My husband has taken up photography and it really interests me as well. He won't share the camera so if I take it up I'll have to invest in a second camera.
sounds like a pretty good start to me!!!! I adore photography and would highly reccomend you get yourself a camera. besides, all the events you enjoy, you go to, you can take pics and write hubs. I find the deeper stuff reveals itself in due time while enjoying other things. Ive "lost" myself here and there and do understand what your saying,. I hope you get some good answers and questions, and have some fun exploring it all.
I was just going through my email box and ran across this fitting quote. I get these daily inspirational quotes.
"It's never too late to be who you might have been."
– George Eliot
About George Eliot:
George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, the Victorian author known for her psychologically astute novels set in small English towns. She was born on a farm in England in 1819 and wrote several acclaimed novels, including Middlemarch, The Mill on the Floss, and Silas Marner. She lived with George Henry Lewes for several years, which was considered highly scandalous at the time. She died in 1880.
Quick side note about crafts - I read about someone who made a small business finishing craft (needlework) projects that others had begun but not completed. I don't know how much money there could be in that, but I always thought that sounded like a fun way to enjoy the hobby without investing so much in the kits and supplies.
Hi KCC, One of my friends went through a divorce last year after over 20 years of marriage and was out of touch with her likes and dislikes. She said this book helped her find some of the answers about herself. The title is Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser if the link below doesn't work.
On Amazon you can read excepts from the book... I've never read it. However, I definitely saw a change for the better within my friend after she read it.
http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Open-Diffi … amp;sr=8-1
Ok.....earlier in this post rebekaElle posted a quote that touched me. Guess what? That same quote is in the book that Money Glitch just recommended. Hmmmmmmm Are you guys/gals conspiring here? LOL By the way, tears are running down my face as I'm reading excerpts from that book. Looks like I may have to purchase it. LOL
Hhhmmm, I didn't see rebekaElle's posting from earlier. However, you know they say great minds think alike. But, there was no intentional conspiracy.
KCC you are having the same response that my friend did when she begin reading the book. Maybe I'm going to have to see if she will let me borrow her book. There maybe a nugget or two in there for me as well. Take care!
My husband has gone out of town to address his issues and there is a relief in knowing he's doing what he has to do and I now have the time to concentrate on me.
I have bawled a lot today as I begin to peel back the layers of my own issues. I should be in a good ol' tizzy by the time I see the psychologist on Tuesday. LOL
I hope your friend lets you borrow it, as I'm sure there is something in there EVERYONE can relate to. It appears to be a great book.
that is the book I was talking about by Elizabeth Lesser!!
Broken Open. She is one of the founders of The Omega Institute.
I am currently rereading it because it's so good. I bought it a couple of years ago because I liked the title. When I started reading it, her candid honesty about her life amazed me.
you're receiving some great advice in your thread! good for you for posting it! goodnight.
KCC - I think I know what is being referred to about your childhood. It's actually around the age of 8 that I decided I wanted to be a writer - and now I'm doing it. I've never felt happier about what I'm doing in this world.
Soon after joining HP I asked a question: What jobs have you wanted to pursue but were too chicken to try? I think this would make a good journal question to help find yourself.
You said you keep a journal - do you have daily topics? Here are some suggestions that I've used:
Habits - good & bad
My inner voice says:
All about me or Me, Myself, and I - Past, present, and future (on my birth date of each month I'm discussing me in one way or another - in depth, fluff, analysis, or what new experiences I had on that day)
Do I have an image? or What's my image?
Parenting or How was I a good parent today?
I got this idea from a self-help book on journaling.
oooooooo...more good stuff! Thanks! One of the exercises in one of the two books I mentioned earlier (the Women Who Love Too Much one, I think) has a few of the similar type of prompts. It was accomplishments, failures, proud moments, etc.
There have been several times in my past, and around 8 yrs old is one of them, where I really wanted to be in front of a group teaching. But, it's always been specialized, more like instructional or motivational, not just teaching a subject in classroom.
In my junior and senior years of high school I was very interested in graphics design. I wanted to create logos for companies. Funny enough, my daughter has the same type of interest but she is more interested in designing album covers and concert materials and advertising for rock bands.
Oh goodness girl, have I found my soul sister?
I've been slowly doing what you are doing now. Similar to wyanjen, I looked back at what made me happy & I found too, that I saw my teen years.
I think during our years as mothers we loose so much of ourselves and wonder will we ever get it back. I spent so many of those years baking and cooking what everyone else wanted, that I forgot that I loved to bake things for me. I let the theatre go, I let music go, I let writing go, let photography go, I let me go. I let everyone else consume me.
I've now loaded my ipod with all the music I loved then, love now & allow myself time to crank it up and dance or cry.
Sit down in a chair in a quiet room, close your eyes and let your imagination fly. What comes to your mind? Write it down.
Grab all of your magazines and a blank art book. As often as possible, go through your magazines and cut out ANYTHING that strikes you, inspires you, makes you take a second look and begin a collage...you'll be amazed at what you see.
I'm reading "Eat, Pray, Love" right now - have you read it?
During that period when it was just my daughter and I living alone (2004-2007) I did exactly what you're talking about. I bought a few magazines that looked interesting, then subscribed to a few new ones and bought several packages of quarter-sheet poster board. I have filled the fronts and backs of probably 20 sheets with cut out pictures and phrases of things that interest me. I have often joked that if anyone was interested in understanding what makes me tick, they should look at these boards. Maybe I should take myself up on that and pull them out. Maybe it's time to start doing it again.
I don't even own an Ipod. I have the cheapy department phone. I stopped buying myself anything years ago. I always felt too guilty when I did. This past year when I bought my husband the $2000 camera he wanted, I bought myself the $300 purse I wanted (got it on eBay for less than $200). That was the most expensive thing I had bought myself in a long time. I'm learning to think about me more.
....yes....think about you; it's all about you baby! (my mantra....LOL)
You've felt guilty for buying yourself things that you want, in the past.
But now it's all about YOU. So, start feeling guilty when you don't buy yourself something you want.
Don't let yourself feel selfish about it either. You've earned yourself some happiness throughout the years, caring for others, and now it's your own turn.
I really need professional help with this one.
You'll get there. Here's how I know:
You can see that there is something wrong. You're not happy, but you have a very good idea why, and you are reaching out.
It's all downhill from here! Just don't get in your own way, and you'll be fine.
I agree with you. I've been aware for a long time that something isn't right, but have felt helpless to do anything about it because my problems weren't as "bad" as hubby's. But, now that I have him sorted out, I can no longer put mine off. I had already been taking what steps I could on mine, but I couldn't go "all out" until these other steps were taken.
I know I'm approaching it with the right attitude. I know that reaching out is essential. Like you said, now all I have to do is stay out my own way.
I think putting ourselves in the back seat is part of the mommy syndrome. We feel guilty giving to ourselves.
How about a manicure or pedicure to start the giving to me process?
I'm getting my gray colored tomorrow - an expense, yes, but does it make me feel good - YES and that in itself is worth every penny (which I've just discovered).
I have a group of four women that I supervise at work and they gave me a gift certificate for a pedicure and a manicure as a Christmas gift. Here it is July and I haven't done it yet. The business changed names so I'm almost afraid to ask if the gift certificate is even still good. *sigh*
I've never had a pedicure, manicure, or massage. I've colored my hair once and have thought about doing it again. Right now, money is an issue. Hubby's therapy has cost me more than I had anticipated.
I just wrote that whole big post earlier, but your remark here struck me. Here's a question: Are you letting the rest of the world define what you ought to be and like and/or are you confident in just being different from what the world thinks people ought to like?
Nobody had better ever waste their money giving me something like a gift card for a massage because I'm someone who hates that whole "pampering thing". I don't want strangers touching me. I don't strange men touching me, and I don't want strange women touching me. Besides, I hate the whole pampering thing because it seems so self indulgent and "body-centered" to me. Maybe you do a nice job of your own nails and don't see any real need. (I, personally, wouldn't mind a pedicure, but I do my own half-baked version and am reasonably OK with that.) The point is, we all don't like the same things. One person may think "a day of pampering" is a great thing. Someone else (my sister's another one) would hate it.
So, there's another question: Are you confident enough in your own preferences/interests to just do the "I am what I am" thing and not let the rest of world make you feel like there's something wrong with you for not liking what it thinks you ought to like?
To me, you've said you lost your child and your husband is in therapy. Apparently, money "is an object" now too. It seems to me you have bigger fish to fry than to worry about a perfect manicure or pedicure. That's normal; and even if the people who gave you the gift meant well, they didn't understand that, for you, being bothered with that kind of thing under the circumstances may not be what you feel like doing.
Another question: Do you feel like you're obligated to get the manicure and stuff because you do appreciate the thought behind the gift? It's possible to appreciate the thought or even worth of a gift without really wanting the gift. Are you someone can separate appreciating a gift while also letting yourself be inwardly honest about the fact that you really don't want the gift (at least at this time)?
I've always seen manicures, pedicures and massages as unnecessary pampering for rich folks. I keep my fingernails and toenails neat and trimmed. I have no interest in fake nails at all. I am uncomfortable with my body and would not be interested in a massage at all.
I think they got it for me because they felt I needed some pampering. It really wouldn't bother me if I didn't use the gift certificate.
You've touched on something that baffles me a bit about myself. I consider myself an extremely centered and well-rounded person. I have lots of confidence and self-esteem. However, from analyzing myself it would appear that I have a self-esteem issue because of the things I seemingly put up with in my relationships.
I don't feel pressure to be something I'm not. The pressure I usually feel is self-imposed. I expect a lot out of myself, perhaps unreasonably so sometimes.
Having spent 10 years as a massage therapist I met many people who did not like the idea of a massage. The body holds on to all sorts of things that you may not be consciously aware of and massage can help release those things.
If you genuinely want to get in touch with your self - try getting a few massages and see what they bring up. You might be surprised what you are hanging on to. You need a therapist you are comfortable with though.
And - although I do not know you "personally" either - and please do not take this the wrong way because I mean it in a constructive way - there is a big contradiction when you say:
"I am uncomfortable with my body"
"I consider myself an extremely centered and well-rounded person."
I don't think you can be both uncomfortable with your body and centered and well rounded at the same time.
You are your body. It is where you live.
You may be on to something there, Mark regarding the massage.
I think it's possible to be well-rounded and centered and still not be a 100% comfortable in my body. I'm maybe a bit TOO rounded, if you know what I mean. LOL I understand what you're saying. I guess because of my uncomfortableness with my body I have actually ignored it when speaking about myself. To me, I'm not my body. I am working on that issue as well. I've lost 30 lbs since the first of April.
Good for you. Put on a few pounds myself recently when I quit smoking.
I want to go to the Omega Center!
I think more than one person has been helped here tonight! Sleep well KCC.
3x Questions.... Do you feel that:
1) The probing questions you mentioned need to asked to Find:
(a) Something you already Know or
(b) Something you Don't or wish to know?
2) Does the sense of loss of direction leave you feeling:
(a) That you need a map to find out where you are or
(b) That you need a map to find out where else you can go?
3) Do others actually respect what makes YOU Happy and Encourage you to be that way
or do you feel they don't consider this at all, for their own reasons?
You Don't Have to answer this in a Public forum.... But ask these things of yourself and consider the answers that you would give as a basis to identifying part of the problem. (Not trying to solve the Whole Problem at once; but rather a segmen at a time) Good Luck.
KCC, might it be that you haven't really lost the "real" you, but that stress/exhaustion/some form of burnout may have moved in and separated you from the "real" you? Just as when we're in grief(but it's not as extreme) a lot of stress, general dissatisfaction in life, can cause a stress response. The stress respond essentially makes us feel "farther away" (I'm assuming that's because it involves a a response that includes making thinking clearly difficult. It's hard to be interested in the stuff we may otherwise be interested in, because all we're interested in having whatever is wrong in our life fixed (so we can feel better). It can be a chicken/egg thing.
We think we've lost who we are because we don't have interest in a lot of things, but we're really still the same person we've always been - only so preoccupied with dealing with one or more "issues" that are going on, it would be unreasonable to expect ourselves to be thinking about other interests. Abraham Maslow's heirarchy of needs come to mind. Essentially, unless our other needs are met, we're not interesting in "higher forms of thinking" and "fulfillment". I'm assuming that the stress response that comes when we're not happy with our situation causes changes that numb/gray up our thinking a little; and until whatever "general lack of dissatisfaction" we have is resolved, we're not likely to have our interests in other things.
I guess my questions for you would be:
Is there something in your overall life (and obviously, having lost a child there is, but other things)that you feel has to be resolved/fixed in order for you to feel like things are the way they're supposed to be?
Also, are there any "mindless" activities you could entertain yourself with at first? Just something that didn't require real interest but that's a pleasant way to get give your mind a rest? Sometimes mindless activities can lead to interest, and one interest can lead to another. A few years back I was in a major slump (still am, actually), and I would actually kill time making those online dolls. It was a good way to be engaged in something that I didn't have to think much to do. (I suppose that's why basket-weaving is something recommended for people as a way of getting them engaged without expecting/demanding to much of them.
Depression and/or tiredness/stress can make people uninterested in anything, so I guess I'm thinking if you can't muster up interest, aim for something mindless that doesn't require interest and only keeps you busy for a while. Mindless things can be surprisingly fun to do, and doing something pleasant/fun can change your brain chemicals. Maybe that could be the start of further changing how you feel.
Maybe something else to ask if whether there is a friend or two who, when you're with them, make you really feel more like "the real you" (and then ask why). Not long ago I listened to the music I used to listen to when I was fourteen. That was a big reminder that I'm the same me I've always been.
This sounds like psycho-babble, but I think you should ask if you need to give yourself permission to just be "the real you" again (at least sometimes). Might you feel like allowing yourself to get your mind off sadness/blues would, in some way, make you feel as if you're abandoning the "the you" you've become since you've had such an awful loss?
I'm going through a big lack-of-interest thing myself these days (and I'm not comparing my situation and yours at all). For me, though, it's not so much that I feel like I lost the real me. It's more that the real me was transported to some "foreign life", so I pretty much feel alien to the life I'm living. In my situation, I know the "whole real me" isn't ever going to come back; but I know that a big part of the real me is still there and would resurface if some things about my life
(over which I have little control right now) would change.
I guess I think you need to ask if it's the real you you can't find or the happy you can't find. There's a difference between "the real you" and the "happy you", and sometimes when we can't find the "happy us" we feel like we've lost the "real us", when we really haven't.
I do know that when we're not happy we feel "removed" from ourselves (probably because of the brain-chemical thing).
Finally, I think you should ask yourself (or the counselor) if you're expecting yourself to feel "regular" sooner, maybe, than you or anyone else might expect (after your awful loss). Then again, what you're going through may be as simple as being tired and feeling taken for granted by too many people for too long. That's not nurturing for "the soul", and, particularly someone who has had your loss needs soul-nurturing. I don't know if any of this is at all of any use or value. I just know what a challenge it can be not to really feel interested in too much, so I thought I'd give trying to offer something here a shot. There's one thing I do know, and that is if the people around us aren't seeing "the real us" that can make us feel as we've lost that "real us". So, maybe that's something to ask too: Are you around people who don't/can't see the "real you"? When that happens we feel like we're "shrinking down to so small" we get farther and away.
Either way, I think the lack of interest thing is a side-effect of something else, and trying to muster up genuine interest in the things isn't going work without addressing what's causing the lack of interest and feeling that you've lost the real you. (Of course, I'm the first to say I know nothing, don't know you, and am not a psychologist - so all of this that I've just written in an attempt to offer something may just be pure garbage. )
KCC, I personally feel if you go back through your posts here on HP, from the beginning and take a look at how you respond to others, that will give you a great deal of insight into who you are! How we interact with others, how we treat others, gives us a good measure of who we are.
My perception of you, is that you are a good hearted person that cares very much. Intelligent and thoughtful, with a bit of self doubt. One needs humility, but quiet strength as well. Introspection is a great tool to help us make choices. We all need some guidance, some mentor, some role model to be a beacon in our lives. Who we choose to fill those roles will tell us a great deal about ourselves.
Good luck on your journey and I truly hope it is an enlightening one!
Thanks Logic.....I plan to go back over all of the posts here and make some notes. I bought a notebook tonight since my last entry especially for that purpose.
"A bit of self-doubt" huh? If I have doubts it's from not yet knowing how to detach and become less motherly without becoming (or seeming) uncaring.
This thread has been most helpful and very much appreciate all of the comments. I have a lot to chew on.
We all have some self doubt, whether it is about our physical selves, our intellectual selves, or our emotional selves. The key is to acknowledge it is there and manage it accordingly.
I'm sure you will deal with the issue in a caring and intelligent fashion!
Hey KCC! Been a while, but I'm glad to see you.
I don't know what will work for you, but when I began mine, I followed a few simple steps to set myself up:
1. quiet time alone without any distractions
2. journal about memories that were the happiest times for you. Write what led up to it and what happened after
3. write about people in your life who "saved" you and how they impacted you in your life
4. write about people in your life who are not healthy in your life (negativism, controlling, dominating, disrespectful, etc.)
5. write about your dreams -- ones you have accomplished, ones you want to accomplis and the ones you did not accomplish though you tried. For the latter, write down why you didn't.
Bear with me, it's a lot of writing and soul searching, but without the foundation, it's hard to spread your wings in the right direction.
6. write about what types of events you dislike or would not associate yourself with
7. write about where you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years
8. re-read what you have written. Find common threads of happiness, sadness, anger and elation.
9. These commonality threads will point you in the right direction of relearning about yourself.
Each day, take only one hour to yourself and become peaceful. Stop the noise in your head and feel. Don't think. Just feel. Everything about yourself will rise to the surface and you will rediscover yourself. Meditation is the best form of creating a bubble to find yourself. It's amazing how things will surface.
Good luck, and all the suggestions that hubber-friends have given are great.
wow KCC, some great advice here by so many wonderful hubbers.
in regard to the pampering, I think every now and then, it really does a world of good, to sit back and have someone take care of you, plus it feels good. they usually massage your hands and feet first, even your calves with certain pedicures. I'm sure they would honor your gift certificate even though it has changed names.
the first time I had a 'real' full body massage, I thought I had entered another realm. I could not believe how a body is supposed to feel! a professional masseuse will make sure you are comfortable and won't go beyond your 'comfort' level.
I think sometimes we simply look at ourselves and think we're that person in the mirror. we're not. we are much more than a reflection. you are a beautiful person that no one else can be!
we play different roles in our lives, mother, sister, daughter, wife, husband, job title, but they're roles, you are you, the same you that came into the world to be you.
sometimes we get lost in our roles and let them define who we are. I think it happens to many people. this will be a special time for you.
rebekahElle, you have a great point. I think we do get lost in our roles. We let them take over ourselves if we are not paying attention. I love my kids & my hubby, but I've been a mom & wife for so long, I tend to forget about me. Its a huge struggle. I have countless scrapbooks, knitting projects and photo editing to do - but there is always something else that the kids or hubby need me to do (or the house) and my stuff gets left behind.
Thanks, RebekahElle. I agree that we sometimes get lost in the roles we play. With all the help here, and the professional help I start on Tuesday, I'm very optimistic that I can reach some new areas of discovery about myself.
I don't have a question for you but rather a suggestion, if someone has already said this I apologize.
Learn how to say no!
If it inconveniences you then you need to make a choice, saying no is certainly one of your choices.
There are many, many, many areas of my life where I have absolutely no problem saying no. I say no to people when they are being unreasonable at work, bosses included. Of course, it's always done with respect. I say no when I sense someone is trying to use me.
However, I am not consistent with that with SOME people. I don't fear they won't love me. It's more that I fear letting them down and they would be disappointed or wouldn't know what to do. This is certainly an issue I need help on.
As always, thanks Cagsil, you're a very good friend to everyone here on HP.
Wow, KCC you've really got some good information here. I stumbled across this questionaire that I enjoyed exploring some months back. It might offer a little surprise and or insight for you.
It's titled - Who Am I Meant to Be? http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Who-Am-I-Meant-to-Be
Thanks Money Glitch. I took the test and it was pretty accurate regarding my personality. Now I have to figure out how to utilize this info.
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