Becoming “Me” Again – Reconnecting With Your True Self After Grief and Loss

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Seven months ago, my husband died unexpectedly. My entire world collapsed in on itself when that happened. I’ve known heartache and grief before, but never to this extent.

Earlier this year I wrote about this for the book, Wellness Universe Guide to Self-Care: 25 Tools to Achieve Anything. Now, that I have had some time to tend to my healing and adjust to my losses, I decided to write about some of the challenges I have faced along the way of my grief journey.

One of those things you never think about is how your use of pronouns needs to change when you lose a partner or significant relationship to death, divorce, or a breakup.

I learned how hard it can be to stop referring to “us” and “we” in my everyday conversations. “We moved here two years ago, and we love it.” So easy to slip back into the amnesia and the old patterns of speech.

Then I catch myself. “Oh, it’s only ‘me’ now,” I hear myself sheepishly explain. Only me. The feel of that is like another dagger to the heart. It reminds me of the pain of loss, but it also has another cost to my well-being. I’ve just devalued myself by insinuating that my “me” is less valuable than my “we” status from before.

Wow.

I talked to lots of other women, widows and divorcées, to hear about their experience and their struggles to figure out how to navigate socially when their marriages ended. I listened and discovered that the loss of the role of “wife” or “significant other” is another of the many adjustments we have to make in order to move forward.

So, I got busy thinking. And writing. I contributed a chapter to the Wellness Universe’s next book, Complete Guide to Self-Care: 25 Tools for Goddesses. My chapter is: “Suddenly Single: How to Become “Me” After Being “We” for So Long.”

Some of what I discovered was based on early conditioning. Many of us were raised as little girls to look forward to becoming wives. As humans, we long for belonging, and as we grew up and left our families of origin, many of us decided it was important to create our own families in order to continue that sense of belonging. Speaking for myself, I felt more at ease socially during the years I was married. We were a unit, a united front facing the uncertainties, difficulties, and joys of life together.

Reclaiming “Me”

Now, I am taking steps to claim my Self back. I’m letting go of “we.” I stopped wearing my wedding rings several months after Tom died. That was me accepting the reality that I am no longer married. I also started bringing my maiden name out of mothballs and am using a hyphenated last name of Hopkins-Doubts, at least in my professional life. That feels like a self-honoring choice, as well as honoring my beloved.

I’ve examined limiting beliefs and distortions of the truth about myself and liberated myself from them as well. I’ve made friends with my emotions and learned to do things I relied on my husband to handle (like handling my finances like a boss!).

This is the work I help clients do in my coaching practice. I help them answer the big questions of, “Who am I and what do I want?” when all they want to do is get back to feeling “normal” again. I help them learn to navigate the changes and transitions of life so that they become steppingstones to reach the other side of grief.

These seven months have been a time to practice on myself. And I believe that I’ve come to know, appreciate, and love myself in a different way than ever before. I have learned some essential truths about myself, love, and life that are guiding me in creating my life’s next chapter.

Here’s something I wrote in my chapter that I want to share with you:

“Do you want to know the truth about yourself?

You are perfect as you are. You are made of love, and so you don’t need to search for it outside yourself. You don’t need to be doing the “right” things to prove you are worthy. You are worthy. Your life is precious. Everyone else’s life is precious, too. All life is precious.

You have heard this before. But have you ever lived from this level of truth?”

I share much more about all of this in my book chapter. I also provide a powerful tool to help women connect with their ideal future self, their authentic self, in order to access the wisdom that comes from within when it comes to creating a life they love.

If what I’ve written here speaks to you, I encourage you to check out the book.

There’s so much goodness being put forward by 25 wonderful authors, and I’m honored to be one of them.

~ Carrie Hopkins-Doubts

Connect with Carrie Hopkins-Doubts on The Wellness Universe and walk away feeling better!


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