As the heading says, I am feeling a bit frustrated today. More than just a bit, really.
A couple years ago when my son-in-law was killed, my daughter's pastor at the time responded to her question about how to get back to normal with something on the order of finding a "new normal". Last week as I was reading another blog by someone with invisible illnesses, the same basic term was mentioned. I don't think I have applied this term to my own life.
I can remember most of my early years praying to God asking for "a normal life". As I got into adulthood, I gradually started to realize that there really is no such thing as a normal life. Everyone has their own "normal".
But when things in your own "normal life" change permanently and drastically, finding a way back to some sort of stability can be difficult. Not allowing yourself to do so can be paralyzing. I think I am somewhere in between. And I am frustrated. Since I haven't really ever thought of applying the idea of a "new normal" to my life until today, I've let myself be stuck in trying to get back to my life as it was before my disabilities changed things.
My life has never been easy or what I ever considered "normal". It took me a long time just to realize and accept that I wasn't going to have that kind of "normal" life. My life was what it was and I would never be able to change the past. No matter what, I can only either stagnate in the present near-paralyzed life or I can try to find that "new normal" and go from there.
So this is where I get frustrated. I want a future. I want a good future. I am only 55 and too young to be thinking of spending the rest of my life stagnating when there are so many things I believe I could be doing. Just because I have some disabilities doesn't mean I am worthless. Yet I feel worthless. At the same time I know there are things I could be doing. But to do those things, I need help. And this is where another big part of my frustration comes into play. I don't have that help. I have the help that I need for the basics of my life. But not for the extras. And I cannot force people to help me.
The thing is, many of the things I would like to bring into my "new normal" would be fun things to do with at least one other person, or a group of people. I just can't seem to find anyone interested in being part of my life. And I can't find anyone who is interested in allowing me to be part of their lives. This does not include my children and grandchildren, although they could go a step or two further than they already do, if they wanted to. I don't know how to take the steps necessary to get to where I know I could be. I've tried everything I do know how to do but with very little in the way of results.
The biggest step forward came yesterday when I finally found someone who helped me go back to church. Going back to church wasn't easy on me physically or emotionally. I'm supposed to try to go again next Sunday. The way I am feeling right now, I am not sure I will want to. At least not yet.
I feel stuck. Stuck in this place between being able to do things I know I could do, and being able to do them. I know that makes no sense. But if you think about it, it does make sense. I know that I can do these things I want to do. It is just the getting to that holds me back. There are still the physical limitations, while improving somewhat, still aren't where I would like them to be. It's hard when I am sitting here comfortable in my home thinking I can do something, then dealing with what it takes to actually leave my home to do those things. There are things I would love to be doing right here in my home but doing them seems just out of reach.
So, is this my "new normal"? Is this what I need to accept before I can move on?
It seems like my entire life is just comprised of one grieving process following another. I am tired of grieving losses. And I am tired of the brief gains only to be followed by more losses. It takes away hope. And I am barely struggling by with the little hope I have left. Something has to change. I don't know what that change is or how to make it happen. But I keep trying.