Fri. Dec 6th, 2019

Anais ForReal

Straight No Chaser

It’s Ok to Be a Disconnected Grieving Introvert

4 min read
Photo by Chad Juego on Reshot

Photo by Chad Juego on Reshot

In life, there are things that I can do without even thinking about it because it’s second nature. For me, those things are excelling at my job, spending time with my friends, and focusing on my son. These things have been my lifeline for the past year and more so in the past few months.

My job allows me to be creative within the sales training space and, I love that. This job has been my norm when everything was chaotic. It has allowed me to tune out the noise and focus on the projects. I admit that it was a lifesaver at times.

My friends have been my lifeline to normal. Most of my friends I’ve known over a decade, although I have some amazing new ones as well. There were a few friends that were aware of my father’s illness in the earliest stages, and they have been so helpful during my grieving process. They are very in-tuned to me, which is a comfort because they are my norm in a world that is no longer normal.

My son is twenty, and he doesn’t need me as much as he once did. However, he does need my support in more of a young adult way. I am moving toward being an empty nester, but he is still my constant. Caring for him and focusing on him is something that I’ve done for twenty years, so the normal of it gives me comfort.

I can do all of these things as I breathe. It’s just the things that are outside of these areas and not a part of my norm that is challenging me. I don’t even know if I would call it a challenge because some of the disconnects is oddly comforting to me.

I need to disconnect to a certain degree if I want to find my new normal. The self-preserving disconnect is due to everything in my life that is so different now. The differences brought on by the grief and other factors are forcing me to view my life differently. So I need the quiet of the disconnect to help me figure it all out.

I don’t know if this is the correct way to handle grief or if there is a right or wrong way to deal with it. Death and having to grieve while pretending life has not unseated you is wrong. Moving on with my life as if nothing has happened, is just wrong. Neither is my norm or reality. Those that can view it as such are possibly at a different stage than I am at in this stage of the grieving process.

It has been rather easy for me to disconnect, in general, because I am an introvert. Although I can be very social, I am very comfortable with my own company as well. Disconnecting wasn’t a conscious decision that I made. It just happened, and it gave me comfort when I needed that in my life.

The disconnection is to people outside of my close group of friends and outside events taking place in the world. So, I am moderately unaware of what is going on in the world and locally. Additionally, although I am meeting amazing new people, I don’t feel comfortable pulling them into the uncertainty of my life when I am trying to figure out my new normal. To pull them in would be selfish and unfair, right?

I initially explained my disconnection to one of my friends that I didn’t want to deal with anything bad. However, that was not the truth in its entirety. I think its more of the energy I have to tap into to focus on other things and people. Sometimes I want to do it, for some people, and situations but sometimes it’s overwhelming. These feelings force me to circle back to how different everything is now and the struggle to find my new normal.

The death of a loved one that played a pivotal role in your life is a life-altering experience. In my case, it’s as if the very foundation of what I built my life on is now missing. I feel as if I am floating out in a vast body of water tethered to just a few things that may or may not be keeping me from totally floating out into nothingness. These things are like life rafts of sorts. Those three things are my job, son and, close friends.

I can’t say that disconnecting is the right way to handle grief, but for me seems to be working to a certain degree. That’s because it allows me to continue functioning in a world that is no longer normal for me. The world now feels as if I am living someone else’s life.

I have situations, people and the world going on about their lives, which is the norm. I also want to feel, experience so many of the things and people going on around me, but it often feels overwhelming. I mentally hold my hands up and say, wait. I feel like I need to stop the world just for a minute or ten million minutes, but that is just not reality. So, since I can not do this, disconnecting has to be my reality until my reality shifts, and rights itself into the evolution of my new normal, whatever that may be.

I will continue to keep my mind, body, and spirit open to the beautiful new experiences and people that the universe has in store for me. I have a feeling that I am in store for some life-altering experiences. However, right now, until my present-day temporary reality shifts, there will be a certain degree of disconnect, and that’s ok.

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