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After this last couple weeks of recovering from hitting the end of one set of goals and really have no more set right in front of me, it started to really dawn on me that I am not myself.  But what really does that mean?  For years I would make muffins every couple weeks and we would freeze them up to warm for breakfast to go with our oatmeal.  They were about 60 calories each the way we made them, little mini breakfast muffins, but they filled out breakfast well and kept me going until my morning snack :D.   All this was done as part of managing my diet and helping me lose a lot of weight several years ago.  Since my wife's passing one of my activities, baking, has gone away.  I haven't baked anything in the last 11 months that wasn't premade.  I have resorted to buying packaged mini-muffins that are about 110 calories each thus adding 50 calories to my morning, I have also resorted to many other prepackaged items to throw into my day.  In 11 months I have managed to add 12 lbs to my weight and now have to go back into weight reduction mode again. 

This is just one of so many things that are not me.  Some of what I noticed that I have done is to compensate for missing my wife by trying to cover both of our roles in activities.  But in other areas I have simply become demotivated.  I used to enjoy jumping on my treadmill and watching a TV show while I cruised along for a couple hours, now 50 minutes and I need to get off because I have lost my desire to be there.  I used to go for walks around the block which really was an almost 3 mile trek but that is the worst because I am bound to run into the old man who used to walk with his wife who I have noticed now walks alone.  

After considering this for a bit, I have really come to the conclusion that I don't know who I am.  I don't know that I have had enough of an identity for the last 20 years to really think about what it means to be me.  I have sort of moved away from the wrong pronoun but what does it mean to be me? What is my motivation? what drives me? What is my purpose? And depressingly I find that right now there isn't much out there that excites me.  So much of what I found joy in was pair activities.  In the last 20 years, I could likely count on 1 hand the number of times I went off to do something 'fun' alone.  And I can promise that those were not really alone but were things where the 'men' were expected to go do something and my wife let me get away with that.  Honestly even that usually didn't happen, my wife was usually more interested in the 'men' things than I was.  

I don't know if other people have found that they have lost motivation, a drive to achieve something and to set targets.  But right now, that is where I find myself.  I have told myself several times, I need to make muffins, or soup or any number of other things.  I even bought myself a butternut squash this week with the intention of making soup out of it and maybe some roasted butternut squash  to put into a pasta dish or two.  But I have the sinking feeling that the squash will eventually end up in the trash because the motivation I had while at the store has already waned.  I have never been a person who is good alone, and now I spend most of my days and nights alone.  My wife was the motivator, the 'we need to do something' person.  I was the person who was happy to curl up on the couch. 

Oddly, another thing I have started to notice, is that I am losing time.  Short periods only, where I will stop for no reason and just turn off.  My mother used to do something like this where she would just space out on us at times.  Not sure what her reasons were, but I know for me, it seems to be triggered, I get to a point where I just need to bounce something off someone and there isn't someone to bounce it off, and my brain just turns off.  The longest I have done this to my recollection is 1 minute just standing in one place not looking at anything or really even thinking anything.  Like my brain says stop, I need you to not think of that right now.  I have never been a person who just spaces out, I have always been the oddly vocal person who is an introvert, but gabs anyway.  Or at least the person always thinking of something, building some story or some plan.  But in my demotivated way, I just have nothing to fill these gaps. 

All these things wrapped up lead me to say this is not me, this is not the person I was, not the person I want to be, but right now it really is the person I am.  I find that I have to either force myself to be motivated, or find someone who can kick me in the rear long enough to get me moving again on my own.  This isn't to say I don't have short periods of motivation that get things accomplished, I really do.  During these periods I tend to run around getting as much done as I can fit in before the moment passes. And sometimes I have to stay motivated long enough to stop myself from undoing something I am trying to do that is positive, like donating some of her things to charities who can use them.   

I am not sure if others have found that they have just lost their mojo, but I really would like to know where to find mine.  I really need to find out again 'who am I?' and 'who do I want to be?', and more importantly, do I want to be that person with someone else or am I going to find the inner strength to be self motivated and strive while alone. 

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Comment by Hornet (Cindy) on November 19, 2018 at 7:15pm

You may find this strange, Tony, but having passed through 5 years after losing my husband, I find such comfort in your lonely words. This post, especially, resounds in my heart. You see, I am not me either....haven't been for 5 years. And I am still amazed how much of my sense of 'self' came from someone else...someone who loved me like no other. Someone who knew me as well as anyone ever could.

So I continue to search for Cindy, but haven't nailed her down yet. She keeps slipping through my fingers. I suppose one of my many tasks is to keep trying and keep praying that I succeed in finding someone worthy of being found. Or, maybe I need to accept that Cindy died 5 years ago as well and I need to look for someone else.

I hope it doesn't disturb you that there are those who still are not themselves after so long. But I have this odd feeling you won't be...disturbed, that is. Sadly, you now know exactly what I mean. And I am truly sorry for the event that brought you this knowledge.

Peace to you, brother Bear.

Comment by DIVA70 on October 18, 2018 at 12:18pm

I think that what you are feeling is completely normal. I am reading Its OK THAT YOURE NOT OK by Megan Devine. I recommend it. After 48 years of being identified with another person I too am grappling with what the new me is going to look like...I had so much joy doing things with my husband I just don't get the same feeling so I have started pursuing new activities that I can find joy in....still it is so hard to let go. I do know that my husband would want me to be happy again and I think that that's what your wife would want for you too so the key, in my opinion, is to just keep taking it one day at a time. 

Comment by makemyownsunshine on October 17, 2018 at 9:46pm

Thanks for writing that. I understand the missing time. I feel like I'm being industrious, and then I sit for what I plan to be a few moments and it turns into a half hour. A half hour of thinking about him. Of memories and then tears. I'm trying to not be hard on myself. I wake up every day with plans of what I will accomplish, and get some of it done. I loved cooking for my husband. I have resorted to weight watcher meals from the freezer section instead of cooking. Cooking for him brought me so much joy. Just to have him enjoy what I made. He always thanked me and told me, with that beautiful sparkle in his eyes, how much he liked something. This coming Sunday will be 9 weeks since he crossed over. I still feel him around me...and I still talk to him all day. We did everything together. At 57, it's difficult to perceive life with just me and not us. Thanks again for your post.

Comment by Callie2 on October 16, 2018 at 4:19am

Normal  All seems normal to me anyway.  I believe that in time, a lot will come into focus. It is hard to break from routine, it becomes part of who we are. I remembered at first, I wanted to do things the way my husband did. After a while, I found doing things my way is going to be my way forward. It can be confusing for a while, just as our emotions are tangled up. Be patient. You and many others here are able to express your feelings well—I was never able to do that. It’s a good thing. We make progress ever so slowly, even when we don’t think so!

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