A few months ago when I went to see my psychologist, I asked him a question: “When I will be normal again?” He slowly answered, “Your life will never be the same, you will develop your new normal.” I didn’t fully understand what he meant until recently. I didn’t even know my mood swings could be so dramatic. One minute I was laughing and feeling like life is so good, and then the next minute I was crying like a baby and didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t really like myself this way, but it seemed like I would stay that way for a while, maybe a long time.
You may recall that I finally figured out my life purpose and I also came up with my plan to reach these humongous goals. Recently I finally started developing my public speaking material as a part of the plan. Boy, I didn’t realize going back through my whole life and looking at those memories could be so tough, especially those hard ones. I spent the entire day Mother’s Day working on my outlines for a PowerPoint. After it was all done, I was so drained and emotional. I could feel the mixed emotions in my chest and I could barely handle it, so I went for a walk. The birds were chirping and there were so many trees blossoming. The evening sunbeam was gently shining on my eyes and I noticed that I had a big smile on my face. But suddenly, the tears came too. I was trying very hard to hold them back until I reached a little wooded area. Then I just sat in the middle of the woods and cried and cried. The feelings of being unwanted, abandoned and unloved from my mom when I was young came back to me again, then the pain of losing my father and my husband.
After a while, I wiped my tears and walked back home. There was something beeping in my house. It was a smoke alarm in my kitchen on the tall ceiling. Great, how am I gonna climb that high to change the battery? With beeping every 60 seconds, there was no way that I could just leave it alone. Fine!!! I went to the garage and located the heavy duty ladder that my late husband used to love very much. I was trying to pick it up. Nope, it felt like it weighed more than me. I stuck my right shoulder under it and just managed to drag it to my kitchen without damaging anything. Then another problem appeared. How do I open it? This fancy ladder looks so complicated and I tried every way that I could think about, but it just stood in the middle of my kitchen, not opening for me. This was my last straw. I sat on my floor and cried for about half an hour. If my man was here, I never would have needed to worry about those stupid things!!
Indeed it was a very small and stupid thing to have a mental breakdown about. But that day, my emotions just took over and built up step by step until I couldn’t control it anymore. It was like a hurricane that just wiped off all my confidence that I had built since my man passed away. That day, I really tasted how powerful the native part of grief can be; the anger, the pain, the hopelessness and depression.
After I calmed down, I asked my neighbor to show me how to open the ladder and of course it turned out to be super easy. I went to work in my yard for a few hours to relax after that, but that night I couldn’t sleep at all. The next day I worked in my yard for a few more hours again and finally I got some sleep that night. Then there were more sleepless nights. I am surprised that I am hitting my rock bottom this late, I thought I was already way past the most difficult times of grieving, but it seems like it just really started. I really don’t want to hold on to this loss for this long. I want to be free, be happy! I want to have a life without sudden tears and breakdowns, I want to have a life that I am not constantly sighing or fighting with my emotions. But I am not there, yet! I am working on it.
So what is the new normal for me? It is keeping smiling, even through tears.
Photo credit: Grace Liang/@life_of_a_goldenfeather
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