What Would You Do If You Lost Part Of Yourself?

Sometimes, from an accident or even just from simple aging, you might have lost a skill or talent you previously possessed. How did you handle that?

As you grow and mature into an adult, there are naturally things that you are good at. Perhaps that comes from natural talent, or maybe you develop skills through endless practice. Regardless of how you did it, these things may be important to you, and perhaps even a foundation for how you think of yourself.

What happens if that is taken away?

Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What makes you you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What gives a person value?’

As you age, you will have events of one kind or another. You might have a medical scare, or be involved in an accident of some kind. You might find yourself, rather suddenly, to not be able to do something fundamental to your ego.

Then, of course, there is aging. After a certain age, our bodies begin to wear out. Our eyes don’t see as well as they used to, we don’t have the endurance we once had, and it becomes oh so easy to strain a muscle doing even the simplest task.

What happens when someone who a fast runner suddenly finds everyone is faster than they are? Or if someone with 20/20 vision needs to get glasses in order to read? A person with a prodigious memory might have trouble recalling names.

How can you cope with this eventuality? How do you redefine yourself as your skills and abilities, mental or physical, change for the worse? What would you do if you lost part of yourself?

Related questions: What makes you feel old? How have you changed? What makes change possible? What skills have you lost due to technology?


3 thoughts on “What Would You Do If You Lost Part Of Yourself?”

  1. Loss often involves grieving. I understand that there’s some debate about whether the process of grief must go from one stage to the next — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. That said, I speak from recent experience, if you must grieve the loss, acknowledge that you must also eventually find yourself accepting the new you. There’s often no going back to the old you.

    Not accepting loss crowds out the growth into the new possibilities with the new you.

    I spent six and a half years mildly depressed because I refused to accept the “new” me I’d become after a significant bout with deep Depression and Anxiety — and the changed self I’d become as a result. It’s only been within the past couple of months that I learned to accept the loss of my old self. Thankfully, I can say that in accepting the new me I’d become, I’ve learned I have other strengths I can rely on to fill the void loss often brings with it.

  2. I had to face a situation like this years ago, following surgery to remove a brain tumor. I found that I could no longer do some basic arithmetic, and having been a math major in college and studying math in graduate school, this really threw me for a loop.

    Thankfully the problem went away eventually. But it impressed on me the benefit to constantly learn and explore new ideas and skills, even if I find I am not very good at them at first. Embrace the change.

  3. Ya know when I first saw the question my mind immediately immediately went to physical loss. I imagine because my husband has lost both of his legs over the last 4 years.
    Not only has this brought many changes to his life but mine as well.
    Everything we do is different from the way others respond to us, to our daily routine.
    Then as Michel said there’s the mental health changes that go along with it.
    Now my husband has been able to find a new normal to what everyday life is for him, and is finding new challenges daily.
    But I constantly wonder what if I were in his place. Could I deal with his loss? Well in a way it’s my loss too.

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