a shadow of (one's) old self(redirected from a shadow of their old selves)
a shadow of (one's) old self
Someone or something that has changed dramatically to become decreased in vivacity in some way, often following negative circumstances or some traumatic event. Tom's been nothing but a shadow of his old self since that accident, his bubbly, outgoing persona replaced by gloom and seriousness. The mass emigration of workers from the country during the recession has left it a mere shadow of its old self.