Wednesday, 15 February 2012

I Feel As If I've Lost Myself



I find myself in a slump again. I have no real reason to feel down. I am getting physically fitter. I am not poor. I have a supportive spouse who is also my best friend. This feels good in one way because one's partner should be one's best friend. But I also feel as if I should have someone else I could share the inner me with. Sadly that isn't the case. It's not that I don't have people who would listen it's that I have lost trust in others. Perhaps that's because I have more experience in listening than sharing or it could be my exacting standards for friendship. I have debated the subject with my OH but we didn't reach a conclusion so I have no exciting insight to share.  I don't really miss work. I think instead I miss the idea of work. The idea that I am a productive member of society. That I matter. That I count.

I know the rational. That I need to work out new routines, new interests. That in time I'll get used to it and feel happy. But I have to say folks that day hasn't yet arrived. I feel without my work I have nothing to say that would be of interest to anyone else. This is illogical because the work I did was confidential and therefore I was only able to discuss it freely in peer group supervision or with my supervisor. Nevertheless I felt as if I had something of value to impart. 

Twitter and Facebook which hitherto had seemed entertaining and interesting has started to pall. Perhaps that's part of my Gemini personality. I do tend to have crushes on things and then my interest wanes. Don't get me wrong I still feel there's a lot to be said for both it's just that I need something more in the way of stimulation. 

I know numerous people who are retired and who love it. Many on twitter have shared with me their new found confidence, interests, happiness. Their ability to just be. But all of these things seem to elude me at the moment. Don't get me wrong I don't feel as if I've lost confidence. What I do feel is that I've lost interest in life and the ability to sustain feelings of happiness. My work was my life and without it I feel as I have no life.

Yesterday I cleared some of my text and work books off my shelves. I've donated them to an ex colleague but instead of feeling freed in some way the sense of loss increased. I have been someone who has always enjoyed challenge and change but this particular challenge feels like a dead end. I used to be fun to be with and now I just feel dull.




13 comments:

  1. This sounds like a reaction many have after a major loss, a kind of numbness without open grief. I was wondering about the loss of all the creative and varied connections you would have made through your work, that you now no longer have or expereince. For me, this would take some getting used to. They define much of who I feel I am at the moment,
    @sheepfoldcarer

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  2. Thanks for sharing that with us Barbara. I can't relate to every detail but I certainly understand the feeling. I think everything you have to say is interesting! I wish I had your talent. Being a fellow Gemini I know  this to shall pass and you will figure out a new way. :) xxxx

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  3. I agree Kathie. I think the feelings of loss began last year when I had a hysterectomy. I had always been fit and I thought I'd be ok in a couple of weeks. Without going into detail it was more complicated than that. I didn't have to retire but I wanted to finish feeling I was still doing good work. I'm sure you understand. I know it will get back but at the moment.....Thank you for reaching out to me.

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  4. Thank you Cindy I feel blessed in my connection with you on Facebook and Twitter.

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  5. I can relate to some of the feelings you have, for me working from home and being isolated at times has been a great challange for me.  You are a talented lady with so much to offer which is interesting and honest.  Maybe you will have to go with the flow of your feelings for a while, its a big change of direction and you will get there.  I might not have the answer but I'm thinking about you :) x

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  6. Hello Lady Babs of Sheffield - feeling lost is a common feature of changing one's life style from active to retired.  What some of us don't realize is that oftentimes, it is a positive self inflicted condition as we move on through life.  It is not a bad thing, and it can (and should) in fact be very rewarding.  I hope this will be true for you too.  And rest assured that you are NOT lost to those of us who follow you here and on other social media.  You have become even more relevant now, at least to me. 

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  7. Hi Barbara, your post struck a note with me. I went from having a very full-on, high-profile job to being freelance and working from home. Even though it was my choice the loss of status is something I still struggle with (and it's been 12 years). My new life means I can be flexible around my sons, have less stress, call the shots etc but at times it also means I feel directionless and, well, a bit useless. I want to feel I'm doing something useful and at times I don't. 

    Also, we adopted two boys seven years ago and, although I still feel it's the best move we ever made and they are a true delight, in the  (positive) upheaval that they inevitably brought to our lives I definitely lost myself. 
    Although it isn't a solution, I've found that a way to get some happiness back is to do something I genuinely love every day. It doesn't have to be a big thing, but something that is just for me. You probably already do this. Also, because I have no adult company during the day I find that connecting with others is crucial - a coffee with a friend every few days always helps. Plus, I'm a great believer in the need to keep learning - whatever you choose, it's a really life-affirming, uplifting thing to learn a new skill. Eleni x

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  8. I guess I'm the one with the answers but knowing you are there makes a difference. Thank you x

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  9. Thank you Woody - I am so moved by your response - thank you is all I can manage x

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I believe emotions affect behaviour and behaviour affects emotions affect behaviour. I need to change my behaviour I think so the doing the nice thing and learning something new is very relevant x

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  11. My mum, who's 80 this year and very active and sociable, felt she had lost her identity when she stopped working. After my father died in 2003, she forced herself to join various organisations so that she would get out and about. It's been the making of her because she has become social secretary of two, and puts her organisational skills to work booking speakers and creating excursions. I know it sounds trite and you acknowledged it yourself, but when a part of your life ends you have to strike out and forge a new path. All the best!

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  12. I relate to this on many levels. I haven't retired but I have lost most of my work lately and do often feel at a loss. Like you, I have a husband who is a good friend but who does not understand my 'soul' stuff, if you like. And, like you, I find Twitter and Facebook of limited appeal...fun in small doses but lacking depth maybe? 

    Maybe you need some time to adapt to your change. Time for a new passion (and yes, I am SO like you with that... :) ) It will come, I'm sure...just look for the 'flirts' as Arnie Mindell called them...your mojo WILL return, my dear...  xxxx

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  13. thank you Jane just knowing or feeling that someone gets it or me helps x

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