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So 19 months tomorrow and I am starting to come to the realization that I am not interested in the things I 'should' be doing but I am interested again.  I went through a relationship recently which was supposed to be friends and I tried to keep inside that line but my mind slipped well beyond that and when I let the emotion of that out, I scared off my friend and lost a really good friend.  It happens, the emotion of two people who lost someone very close to them colliding together clearly can make things hard.  Depending on the strength of your grief, it can be hard to have empathy for someone else's.  That said I did gain one very important thing from the relationship that makes the pain and the grief of losing it worth it.  I started to find interest in something else.  I find that I am truly interested in other people, in talking to them and increasing my interaction with people.  I also find that my interest in doing the job I am currently doing has decreased.  I am not ready to leave my job, I don't know yet how to start to apply my new interest to something that pays the bills, but it is clear that finding something that excites and keeps me interested is going to be important to my further growth.  Once, when in college, I had thought of studying psychology and maybe I will consider that, but I don't want to be the broken person who tries to help others, so I guess I should also make sure my mental house is in order.   

I don't know about others, but it is interesting how easy it was at first to just exist, to be the person others expected, to not move or change or adjust anything.  Keeping to the routine was painful, yes, because it highlighted what was missing, but it was easy.  I could easily accept that the pain was there and needed to be there.  But as time went on, the routine changed because it always must.  So now I start to look back at my time recently, sharing and talking to another person more directly, and I find I am truly ready to explore something different, to remove some of what has become unhealthy in the routine.  I need to find things that are me and mine, things that I do not we did.  It is somewhat funny that I have no habits that were mine, I have no activities that were exclusively mine, I have nothing that I like that she didn't like.  

Has anyone found new hobbies or activities that they started after they lost their person? New things they find to be exciting and interesting? 

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Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on June 18, 2019 at 6:47am

Grief was about finding myself - discovery & exploration, trial & error. Learning coping skills to control/overcome widowbrain, excitable/driving urges such as skin hunger, excessive retail therapy, etc. Differentiate conscious from conscience decision making - awareness of widowbrain ...

We all choose our steps in walking the path by making a recovery plan or going where grief leads or both. Time fillers/hobbies/busy work allows grief to process while doing other things. I tried many, they satisfied whatever need I had till it each was ineffective. I say this in response to your decreased interest in your employment; it is to be expected when consumed w/grief. Keep your job & fill your time ...

My grief ended at 8 years out, 4 years ago. I have moments when I "sigh" or become disgusted w/myself at old mistakes, things I could have done so much better as well as those I should have completely avoided. A crappola chapter of new things to resolve - not all can easily be excused or forgiven due to widowbrain. Try to make every thought or action intentionally good for a positive outcome ...

Peace ...

BTW, my interests & hobbies are from my 20s/college years - they were right where I left them to go on in getting married, starting a career & family. Took years to uncover them in not knowing they had always stayed w/me deep inside ...  ;-)

Comment by Lisa_says on June 17, 2019 at 9:44am

Tony, I am 6.5 months into the loss of my husband.  I'm still hanging in there day to day. What I am realizing is that I need to find my interests.  I'm still sort of numb.  I was my husbands caregiver for nine years and that consumed us both.

My interests where so intertwined with my husbands, that I honestly don't know what I would like to do as a hobby.

I pray I find myself again in time.

Comment by pricytapestry on June 12, 2019 at 11:58am

Tony, I am just past 8 months and not even thinking about any kind of relationships, however can relate to the rest of what you wrote, I also have found I am less interested in my job and am finding out how much of my interests weren’t really mine and instead were hers or ours. I’ll stay at my job for now, following the no big decisions for a year rule, probably much longer in my case, however, cannot see myself staying till retirement. Maybe in time the former fulfillment will return.
I never realized how much of my identity, really, was tied to us, to being husband and wife. I look around some days and am shocked how little of me as an individual there is. What a big surprise that was or is. You are so correct, following the routine was easy although painful and unhealthy. We likely need new hobbies and activities, new interests as part of a “new normal”, as part of establishing our new identity as individuals.
Sorry about the friendship not working out, congratulations on finding interest and thank you for sharing your thoughts on it.

Comment by Don on June 11, 2019 at 11:16am

Tony, I'm so sorry about what happened. For me, in the last two years, it has been music. I grew up in the "Classic Rock" era and became a Blues devotee 30 years ago, but not long after Arlene passed, a friend introduced me to Jazz, which I had never had an interest in. In addition to that, just by browsing comments on videos on Youtube, I found a bunch of great acts that unless you're a blues fan, you really have no knowledge of, and half of them are young, which I love. So I go to see as many of them as I possibly can. Here's the bad part though, because these new people I've found are not mainstream acts, when I mention them to people, nobody comes with me, which I despise. But I feel like if I don't do that, go to concerts, and the people I go see because they arent well known so the prices to see them are still reasonable, then I will just be sitting alone in the house, and that would not be a good thing. 

Comment by chef (John) on June 11, 2019 at 10:12am

There are at least two things going on here. Sorry for your relationship, Tony, but Congratulations on being able to assess things and to begin doing whatever you can to live again. Keep working at figuring out the things that interest you.

I now work out at the gym 5-7 times per week (up from 3), am improving my camera skills (previously non-existent) and traveling. I'm also attempting to learn Japanese.

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