Interest and enthusiasm

I thought I would share some recent experiences with you and mention the positive impact they have had.
After my wife died in August I decided that I wasn’t going to allow myself to become totally paralysed by grief, or indeed by fear.
I decided to push myself into joining a range of different activities most of which were organised by the local branch of University of the Third Age (U3A). I signed up for different types of groups but mainly they were those where I could meet and talk to different people. Looking back over the five months I think that has been a successful ‘intervention’, although initially it took a great deal of effort to overcome the inertia.
After the Christmas break one of the groups, a book club, resumed last Monday and I caught myself clock watching and counting down the hours until I could set off. I realised I had become very interested and quite enthusiastic, and had missed it.
Today I’m going to a Drawing group and I’ve received the email giving me details of today’s assignment and I’ve been scurrying round finding different things I need, the right paper and pencils. Again I recognise I’m quite excited and completely interested to undertake the challenge.
Not long ago I would have felt some guilt but I’ve rationalised that by working out what the feeling of guilt would achieve and I know my wife would want me to be doing these things as she had always encouraged me.
I’m not proposing this as a panacea for all things grief but if anybody reads this and thinks this could enlighten their thinking about how to live on then it’s been worth it.
I’d liken it to sowing seeds and hoping some take root. In my case virtually all of them did and I may have to cut back a bit.

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Like your use of the word" inertia"
Yes if you keep on doing what you are doing ,get same results,remain unchanged.
My self esteem has increased slightly,my self confidence took a nose dive months ago,so i have lack of faith in my own abilities.Catch 22 as i understand you have to do stuff ,like challenges you mention for confidence to build.
You found the courage to take that step and leave your comfort zone,and as a result gained interests to help you along.
Difference between Living and not just existing x

I suspect we all lose confidence in the early stages of grief. Maybe we are missing the person who gave us confidence, the person that built our self esteem. It may even be part of how the brain deals with trauma in terms of holding us back until we can safely step forward again. I’ve struggled to do things that didn’t even involve any thought previously.
We’re all capable of adapting and we’ve done it for ever. We’re all capable of learning new skills and ways of being. I suppose the big question is how do we convince our brain we can do it. It’s much simpler to stand still than learn to walk but we did take those first steps. All our lives we’ve learned to do things that terrified us.
We are surviving, and, as you say, existing. Our brains still have the same functions and capability as they did before the trauma. I doubt there are many of us that had everything done for us by our loved ones, not even the Queen gets that. I’ve found that when I’m doing things that I frequently used to do on my own there is still something that holds me back. There is a degree of difference and yet I can’t identify what it is. That frustrates me.

Thank you for sharing. I find this very encouraging.

I’m really pleased to hear you have taken something from my experiences. I think of it as a message of hope and it’s a bit like giving something back as I took things from messages when I needed to.

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Very well put!

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