Who Am I? Now That My Loved One Is Gone

Who am I? It’s a common question everyone asks themselves at least once in their life. When answering, many find the answer often has more than one layer such as “I’m a son, a daughter, a husband, a wife, a business owner, a caretaker” etc. Asking yourself this question can become even more complex when you have recently experienced the loss of a loved one

The death of a loved one can be traumatic, causing many to feel as if they have lost their purpose. They may feel lost not knowing what they should be doing since they no longer have to worry about the well-being of their loved one. Sometimes, the way they viewed themselves, as a husband or a wife, has changed so drastically they can’t remember what it means to just be themselves. The realization that your previous concerns and routine are gone and you now have a future that is unknown can be overwhelming and scary.

So how do you find yourself again? There are some things you can do to help yourself find your “new” identity.

Take the process one day at a time. Once you have moved past the funeral it can feel overwhelming when you try to figure out your next step. So the best advice is to focus on today. Make lists of what needs to be done today and only focus on today. Establish a routine for yourself. Many find comfort in the routine as they know what to expect next. Working through a small list of to-dos provides a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. This is important in helping to ward off feelings of panic and becoming overwhelmed.

Start small. Pick small projects to do. If you are now living on your own, tackle something small like hanging a picture on the wall. Weed a small section of a garden or plant something new. If you were a caregiver and stopped doing things for yourself, then schedule a hair appointment, start a daily walk, buy a new book to read. Do something small to help yourself feel good.

Lean on others and try something new. Don’t be afraid to tell others what you need. Most people want to help but don’t know how. So, if you need something, say something. Sometimes this advice can be used in conjunction with the advice to try something new. Going out to do something can be overwhelming in any situation, let alone when you are feeling lost. Call up a friend and have them join you to try a cooking class, workout class or anything you’ve thought of wanting to try. This can be a huge step forward in helping to get yourself excited for the future.

Finding your identity again isn’t easy but you will get there. Focusing on the small accomplishments and taking everything a day at a time will help. It’s important to have patience with yourself and accept setbacks as they come. Tomorrow is a new day to keep moving forward.

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