Recovery from any sort of adverse emotion is dictated by an individual's ability to process truths within herself, to accept those truths and to make peace with them. Whatever those truths might be...
The adverse emotion could be anger, grief, helplessness, guilt, fear, anything opposite of that which is traditionally seen as good or healthy. The truth could be very personal or it could be about another person or a situation or an experience.
The time it takes to work through adversity should not be determined by outside factors such as work or responsibilities or other people. Healing is a process. It is not something that can be scheduled or managed by the calendar. The process and the time it takes is very personal. It is not for us to look at others and decide when they should be done with it all and "back to normal."
Sometimes the adverse emotion never goes away. Sometimes you settle back into life and it lingers in the background, only coming to the forefront on certain days of the year or when something brings it to mind again. And it becomes part of your normal.
Sometimes in spite of the efforts of others to help you let it go or get past it, you hold onto your adverse emotion. In some sort of twisted way, you find comfort in it. You don't want to forget it or let it go. And it becomes part of your normal.
Sometimes you don't want to go back to whatever you had before you experienced the anger or the grief or the fear or the guilt because who you are now is all you know. So all that adverse emotion becomes part of your normal.
Tonight, for a moment, I came face to face with a piece of my "normal." For eight years, I have carried my grief around. And while they say time heals all wounds, the years do not seem to diminish this grief. I live with it. A day does not pass by that I am not mindful of it. There's a part of me that is actually grateful for it... as odd as that sounds.
I'm ok with keeping it in my back pocket, so to speak. But an unexpected moment like tonight's is slightly overwhelming. Another adverse emotion I guess I'll have to deal with...