be a shadow of (someone's or something's) former self

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be a shadow of (someone's or something's) former self

To be dramatically less healthy, vivacious, or robust, often following some traumatic event or negative circumstances. Sharon was a shadow of her former self after battling such an aggressive illness for so many years. This town is a shadow of its former self after so many of its residents have moved away.
See also: former, of, shadow
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

be a shadow/ghost of your/its former ˈself

not have the strength, influence, etc. that you/something used to have: He’d been ill for some time, and he looked a shadow of his former self.The old house, which had once been so full of life, was now just a ghost of its former self.
See also: former, ghost, of, shadow
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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