(This is a piece of non-fiction.)
I’m sad often. I am well aware that my problems are First World problems and am grateful every time I turn on a faucet for clean water, turn a switch for light, or push a button for cool air. But Sadness is real and affects the body in all kinds of ways. Since March, I’ve been dealing with the grieving process of losing my mother – my last link to my childhood. I’m pretty sure that was the trigger to my downward spiral. Don’t understand spirals? Read Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.
I’ve been fighting my way to the surface, fighting to see sunshine rather than darkness. I’m not there yet, not every day, but I’m closer now and can see more light than darkness. What has helped? These may sound cliche’, but cliche’s sometimes exist for a reason.
- Time. Time does NOT heal all wounds. Time does, however, allow for healing, reflection, and acceptance.
- Count my Blessings. I have many blessings – a home, 2 healthy adult sons, friends, a husband whom I love. Sometimes, though, sadness can still blanket out the oxygen in a room. I can, at times, feel unworthy of the blessings. Instead, I try to look upon these blessings not as gifts, but as responsibilities. I’m Irish. I live up to my responsibilities. Worthy or not, my friends and family DESERVE me to be present for them.
- Adopt a Pet. This is NOT for everyone, but my husband (who did NOT want another animal in the house) saw my sadness and placed my needs before his own desires (also a sign of a TRUE Dom!!). I adopted a small little dog who needs me as much as I need her. She’s a bit clingy, so my husband named her Saran Wrap.
- Change expectations. This was hard. Very hard. I’m 55 years old, asthmatic, have serious arthritis in a knee that has endured 3 surgeries, and post menopausal. I am never going to live, feel, or look like I did 20 years ago. I can, though expect to feel healthier, experience new adventures, love fully, and age gracefully.
- Accept Sadness. To quote Longfellow: Into each Life Some Rain Must Fall.
Without the Rain, how can I appreciate the sun?