Ten Tall Tales of Grief & Loss - When Will I Feel Normal Again?
Whether you are at the start of your grieving process, or years into it, eventually, the question arises of Feeling Normal. When will I feel okay again? When will I feel like I belong in my own skin? When will the world stop this crazy spinning and calm down?
I certainly asked this of a friend of mine not long after the loss of my mother. After I had rejoined the world following a nervous breakdown, I still felt so removed from life - like all my days were happening to someone else. Since my friend had also recently lost her mom, I asked how long until I felt Normal again - she said, "well, give it a year...."
A YEAR!!??! Are you kidding me?? That felt like eons away, like it would never get here. But the fact is that the goal doesn't make sense in the first place.
And what I have realized over the years is that I was reaching for something that could not happen. I could not go back to life before my mother died - those times were gone. My Normal had MOVED – and one has to adjust, learn, heal and keep going. My healing process began to be finding who I was after this life-changing event - and this has been true for every one of the major losses I have had since then, including my father and stepmother, my childhood home, my elderly cats and my job.
I love what Brené Brown says, the sociologist and revolutionary author of Daring Greatly; How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. She reminds us that Change takes Courage – and you cannot have Courage and Comfort at the same time. That does mean stepping into the unknown, and that can be uncomfortable. But it is highly preferable than sitting in the soup of despair the rest of your days. I made the choice to actively heal and reinvent, and that is what I teach my clients. Don't look back to get something back that is not attainable - rather move forward to finding a new place of Joy and Peace in your Life.
Taking Action is the key - we have to DO something different for things to BE different - and to adjust to the difference that is now so painfully apparent. And if we can take just one small step today - do just one thing - and observe how it makes us feel - we will have made the first progress towards building our New Normal. Choice by choice, step by step - we grow into a new light.