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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

I want out.  

I want out of this suffocating space I feel closing around me. I don't want to be here. I don't truly enjoy what I am doing or where I am right now. Don't get me wrong, I do have good days.  I don't sit and cry all the time anymore. I actually can function on my own, but I still feel like I am on autopilot.

Get up. Go to work. Come home. Go to bed. Rinse & repeat. I just want out.  

I still have this urge to leave for a long sabbatical. I want to truly smile at someone and feel it cross my face. I want to laugh so hard my stomach hurts and tears roll down my face from that laughter. I want to sit with a group of people and not feel isolated and lonely while listening to them talk. I want to feel the security of love wrap it's arms around my shoulders and rock me again. I want to experience life. I want to roam and experience new things. I want to meet new people. I want to pull energy from these new people in hopes to help me shape this new me. I want to create new memories. I want to wander and not feel the pressure to go back to a "normal life".  Normal doesn't feel normal anymore.  It feels like a plastic bag over my head suffocating what amount of life that may still reside inside me.

I just want out.

There is no normal life.  The blissful veil that covered my eyes for so many years is gone.  This whole year all I wanted was that normal back. I begged for it's return. I'd cry for it to come back and comfort me.  But, "that normal" is no longer a possible reality. "That normal" isn't something that will ever be possible. "That normal" died a year ago.  I keep feeling the pressure to get back to "normal". Get back into the swing of your work life. It's been a year since "normal" disappeared. It's been 10 months since I was forced to return to work and get back into my "normal routine".

It's not working for me. Normal... isn't normal anymore. I want out.

Normal routine...... I've had a hard time with this concept when it was mentioned to me 10 months ago. "You need to come back to work and get back to your routine. It will help with you moving on." My routine?  Please tell me what that looks like now because I don't understand what my routine is after he died?  My routine?  Still....... drawing a blank. 

It's been 10 months now that I returned to my "normal work routine". It's not working. I grow more & more frustrated.

This life I had before my husband died is no longer working for me.  I can't fit back into that skin. I don't feel I am meant to be in this spot anymore. Normal is gone and I want out of whatever this is that I keep trying to push myself back into.  This "routine", this "normal", this.... "thing" that I can't fully describe... It doesn't fit anymore.

I just want out.  

I'd like to tap out of this ring now.

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Comment by IndiaKai on August 25, 2014 at 6:22pm

@On This Journey - No better place to vent but here.  This is a safe zone.  :) I'm not a fan of the "you are doing so well" or "It's good to see you out and about" comments.  I just want to bonk people on the head.  Really?  How am I supposed to look after 13 months? Am I supposed to stay locked in my house??  Come on people stop and think about it? Life does move on.... including mine.  I may not like it and it moves way to fast at times... but I still have to wake up and go on with that flow of life. 

@Cristina - I haven't read Levels of Life. I'll check it out.  I read a bunch a books on grieving then stopped at about 10 months.  I just couldn't take it anymore. I picked back up some fantasy/Sci Fi books to all me to just allow my brain to escape the reality of life.  But... I will look into it.  Thank you

@Wildflower -  I try to escape every couple of months because I can't handle this "normal routine" that i've been trying to keep.  I get that same question from people, aren't you scared of traveling?  Are you kidding me?  The worst thing has already happened to me.... going and trying to live my life is what my husband would want. The returns from traveling is where I have my crashes too.  They hit hard.  I'm still trying to plan my next move and position myself better to figure out what is going to work for me.  Everyone who has commented is right, it can take years and I am slowly understanding that.  So, I'm starting to plan now. Start positioning myself to walk away from this "normal routine" and get myself into a better, more healthy lifestyle to continue to heal, grow, and learn to love life again.  I really do want that goal for myself.  I know that is what my husband would have wanted too. It's just so so so hard to let go of him....well....mostly letting go of what is left of "us" is hardest.  


Comment by wildflower on August 24, 2014 at 7:42am

IndiaKai I so understand the trying to fit in.  I wonder where my life will go from here and just waiting for it to unfold.  A relative who I talked to this weekend said she was so glad to hear I was doing so well.  I guess because I am busy and doing things she assumes I'm well but I try to spare telling her how deep the hurt is and I am just trying to find my way.  Yes I am traveling and keeping busy but the crash always comes when I return home.  But it seems to be a softer landing as time goes on.  I've applied for a three month volunteer position with the national park service as I feel a new experience is what I need.  The positions are filled for the next year but I am hoping to go when one opens the winter of 2015-2016.  It seems a long way off but may be best as I am less then a year out.  I have been asked aren't I afraid to travel so far, Hawaii, but I met my hardest challenge when I lost my husband.  IndiaKai hope you find the answers you are looking for.  I know I keep trying as I know they are out there somewhere.

Comment by Cristina on August 24, 2014 at 7:29am

IndiaKai, my heart breaks for you.  All I can say is, normal is an illusion, and sadly, it takes years, years, to get used to walking without our beloveds beside us.  Not to ever like it, but to get to where we can smile across our faces again.  If ever.  Your words could be my own.  Except you write better.  You totally describe what it's like.  And what we're all missing.  Have you read Levels of Life, by Julian Barnes?  The second half of the book is about being widowed.  He nails it.  It helped me to read it. 

Comment by Cristina on August 24, 2014 at 7:23am

On this journey, I so understand.  It's been nearly three and a half years for me, and I am where you are, too.  Lord have mercy on us all.  Sending you a bit of appreciation, I hear ya.  I hope it gets better for us all.  Maybe Sundays are especially hard, for some reason. 

Comment by On this journey on August 24, 2014 at 4:44am
I feel we all are living some kind of a ghost life, stuck in the what should have been and what the hell am I to do with what I am now. For me w 3 boys, managing the day to day is basic, the hours move along. But the weekends with the stillness haunt me. I dread the begining or school and yet I know we all need the schedule of it. The lazy days of summer leave to much thinking time. I keep waiting for the new normal, ha nearly 2.5 years in and I still loose my self in tears, and wtf. We have beautiful people around us all married friends with families our extended family well they dont exist (their choice and mine) my awesome sons slipped into there new normal with so much grace, I watch from behind like a ghost, stuck because I don't like this at all. It sucks it's not fair, and I didn't deserve this. I hate it when ppl say "your doing so well" really now it's not like I had a choice! I hope I haven't brought anyone down, just a vent of Sunday morning honesty. Thanks xox
Comment by IndiaKai on August 13, 2014 at 5:42am

Hi Ladylake & Cath,  your comments do help.  I agree with you regarding "for a reason, season or lifetime". I've better this week.  I was having a rough one with my emotions and the rumor mill that goes around the office.  I mostly stay away from junk like rumors and office gossip, but sometimes you just can't get away fast enough before the storm rolls in.   I've been at this job for 6 years and don't dislike it... I just don't fit anymore and I have been having this gut feeling for sometime.  I agree with you, I think my season here has come to an end.  I just haven't got to figuring out the exit strategy yet.

Comment by Cath on August 11, 2014 at 7:25am
I hate not fitting into my old life and there is no's not just my life but the life of my young children, so now I have to find a way to fit into that skin for's like trying to fit into shoes two sizes too small...I'm just not sure how to do it... Hugs to you x
Comment by Lakelady on August 10, 2014 at 4:59pm
Hi IndiaKai,

Sending (((((IndiaKai))))). I completely understand your comment about work "being good to you but not being good for you". I, too, may need to make some decisions in the future about my job. I'm not where you are but there is a tension every day in where my heart is more my head is. I don't have any answers for you except to say that I think your plan to be practical about how you exit is likely to be a good one– The problem is The disconnect the morning what you do every day and where you want to be.

The only way I found to get through the situations is to adopt a philosophy that I'm in a place "for a reason, a season, or lifetime." Sometimes I've been a job for reason – to learn something or you teach something. Sometimes, I've been a job first season of my life – and I'm wondering if that's where you are now and that's why you're struggling. Other times I've been doing something like a hobby that I know will be part of what I do for most of my life. I don't know if that helps at all but I thought I'd offer it in the hopes that it might be useful.
Comment by IndiaKai on August 10, 2014 at 9:41am

I wish I could throw up my arms and just walk away, but my analytical/reasonable side of my brain stops me.  I have responsibilities & issues to work through. My work really has been good to me, but it's not good for me.  I'm not comfortable, but I must keep it until I am ready to branch out and do something else.

I've been in denial for most of the year of my husbands passing.  I am just starting to go through his things after 13 months.  It's very hard, but I am forcing myself now. I recognize that I have to deal with my life here in this moment, before I can move on. Man oh man... how much I just want to flee.  Realizing the struggle I've put myself through trying...... no forcing myself to get back to normal because that is what everyone wanted to SEE me do.  Ugh... it's not working and some weeks are more frustrating than others.  

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on August 8, 2014 at 4:12pm

Yup yup yup.  So right on.  "Normal" feels like a sham, like you're an impostor in a life that no longer fits.  This is why I've been feeling such a strong need to retire and relocate.  That has eased up a bit, partially because the financial markets are tanking, but also because I am remodeling my entire upstairs and then getting a new kitchen, and I've moved to a new department at work.  My "new normal" actually feels normal -- so normal that the 30 years I was with my husband now seem like it was just a dream.

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