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Attitude to Motivate?


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I saw my therapist today.  He said something that had never crossed my mind and I'm pondering it.  

So...I was telling him how I just don't want to do anything.  There are soooo many things I need to take care of, in soooo many areas - it's overwhelming; but I have to force myself to work at anything and prefer to forget about it most of the time. And when I do try to do something, I'm afraid, confused and can't figure out how.  I was telling him that when I had Cody - for 34 years, I would figure stuff out, do what I needed to do and find ways to solve problems because seeing him be happy or seeing how proud he was of me was a prize I could win and never tired of earning.  Loving him motivated me to find whatever I needed within myself to MAKE things work - to find a way and make it happen.  

I was telling him that, well - I know I still have the same abilities - I just can't seem to find them anymore.  Now --  my own happiness is not enough to motivate me.  He said this:  "What if we look at it as SURVIVAL and HEALING for ourselves instead of 'making ourselves happy'.  We would still find happiness, but as an end result and not the motivator."

Just thinking about that makes me feel a small spark of the 'inner power' that I used to feel.  Like - I have what it takes to do this, and my survival and healing depend on it. Interesting attitude adjustment that might just create the motivation I need to move on some very important tasks that need taking care of.

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I really like what your therapist said.  Happy is really not a word in our vocabulary right now.  It is survival and hopefully healing.  At 30 months I am still in that mode.  I don't look for happiness.  Maybe it will happen someday, but I feel there are steps to get there like more acceptance and maybe moments of semi contentment.  I have all the old abilities too, but motivation is missing.  There are things I could do that used to make me feel 'happy' to get accomplished, but now they feel like monotonous chores.  Grief robs of so much more than our partners.  It takes the people we were too.

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9 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

  Grief robs of so much more than our partners.  It takes the people we were too.

Oh, this is so true!  We have to find a completely different person that we've become now - or rather are becoming, and add in grieving not only for loss of our partner - but loss of our own identity.  Loss of who we are and have been for all these years.  Maybe, one day we can find that new person we are now that's better because we had them in our lives for those years.  Maybe. Something to hope for at least.  They say hope is a good thing.  I've lost hope.  Maybe thinking of that the person I am (or could become) now as being a person that might be a tribute to him and us would bring peace at least.

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11 hours ago, Maynard said:

 "What if we look at it as SURVIVAL and HEALING for ourselves instead of 'making ourselves happy'.  We would still find happiness, but as an end result and not the motivator."

I like that.  I want to quote that for my grief support group, that is worthy of remembrance.

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So far I have been able to do what I have to do but really nothing else. It is a major effort for me to do anything else. One of our sons visited last week and our daughter this week. I am very lucky and yet it is an effort to be seemingly dealing with things when they are here. At least when I am alone I can be how I want to feel.  I am lonely...even when they are here because he is not. Even my daughter said it is hard to believe dad isnt here. My thoughts exactly and I live with it here. minute by minute. We knew that one of us would be alone someday and I thought we could deal with it but I have found not easy. We were older so definitely knew...but still are we ever ready, particularly if death is sudden? I wonder if other cultures handle it better. I don't know, just know I am not!

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Maynard, one of the most profound things I read about hope (as I am struggling to feel it again) is that grief robs us of and makes us feel betrayed by it.  It didn't save our partners and I don't understand it anymore.  I carry an etched little thing in my pocket with the word Steve gave me years ago. Everytime I change pants I wonder why except he asked me to always keep it.  At this stage I pretty much scoff at the word.  

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5 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

  I carry an etched little thing in my pocket with the word Steve gave me years ago. Everytime I change pants I wonder why except he asked me to always keep it.  

I think he asked you to always keep it for a reason.  He wanted you to always have hope. I'm sure he still wants the same. That's sort of like a 'word' from him coming from the other side now - his wishes for you.  I know thinking that hurts like the dickens, but maybe - just maybe there is hope to come for us one day.  I'm pretty sure it would make Cody's soul very happy to see me having hope.  I think, for now I'll say I have hope that I will have something to hope for one day.  :-)

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Motivation seems to be one of the most difficult things. For weeks after my wife's death it was difficult for me to motivate myself to even get up in the morning. That changed fortunately, but even now, when I have to do something....anything....even like doing the shopping....it sometimes takes a while before I actually set off to do it, like my brain is still having trouble dealing with day to day, 'normal' life.

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