Coping with Sadness #Musings

I’ve been feeling rather low for the past two weeks. Or maybe even longer. A close family friend of ours in his mid-fifties recently left the world. He was himself a messiah of hope and life for the countless many he had healed as a brilliant oncologist and yet when it came to his own suffering, he lost the battle on extremely unfair terms. I’m sure there were many others who knew him closely, would also have felt the same. I cannot imagine what his immediate family went through as he fought a brave battle until he succumbed to it in the end.

Ever since I’ve heard the news, every morning when I wake up, I am filled with morbid thoughts. Life seems so uncertain. One minute, we are making grand plans for ourselves and the very next, we are made aware of the fragility of our very existence. Maybe it is sadness, grief and worry all rolled into one. So many fears raged on in the mind that they drowned even the most wonderful holiday memories for me. And, then, like a constant, the feeling just lingered on and on and on…like a dull pain that never leaves your side, that colours your thoughts and takes over your mind slowly! I felt like bursting into tears through the whole of last week and yet, I held on, and went about my duties, did my thing to cheer up the boy who was having a bad day, called my mom and told her all the positive things to lighten up her mood because someone had been rude to her and she couldn’t get over it. But, the mirror just stared at me and laughed, a bit scornfully, I think.

Coming face to face with my fears hasn’t been easy. Talking about it, even worse and yet, I choose to speak up because I must not only deal with sadness but also overcome it. I know it isn’t unusual to feel this way. We all feel sad sometimes. Sadness is a normal human emotion which in many cases, accompanies loss. I remember hating the whole cycle of seeing off someone or bidding farewells as a kid because it made me cry. I never wanted to cry before anyone and yet, I would end up doing so, much to own embarrassment. Baring my feelings in the open has made me vulnerable. It still does. But, it also relieves in a strange kind of way. Especially, when you can do nothing about it!

And, after some soul-searching, I also found out that there are ways to experience normal sadness in healthy ways, even when things don’t seem to take us anywhere and we can actually allow this seemingly negative emotion to enrich our life.

How do we do it?

Firstly, allow ourselves to be sad. Yes. Seems strange, but it works. It did for me. Denying such feelings may force them underground, where they can do more damage with time. Cry if you feel like it. I noticed I felt relief after the tears stopped. You might too.

Write in a journal and share your thoughts with others. Call up a friend or a family member you’re close to. Or, you could doodle if you love to draw, or listen to music, if that’s your thing, and sit in the sun and soak in some warmth and light to fill up the soul! That’s my thing.

I’m not sure if you tried this, but I do—think about the context of the sad feelings. Are they related to a loss or an unhappy event? Think about the feelings in a non-judging way and ride the wave of that experience.

Sadness can result from a change that you didn’t expect, or it can signal that you might need to make changes in your life. Emotions are changing and will come and go. Sad thoughts also come and go. But, if the feeling persists and there are other changes or a constant fatigue and weight loss accompanied by an inability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, or recurring suicidal thoughts, I would strongly suggest you seek professional help.

I cannot stress enough why it is important to get help if this happens, rather than getting stuck in it. For all you know, you might just be on the brink of an impending collapse, without being aware of it yourself. I’ve lost a family member who didn’t seek help and, in spite of a flourishing career and all the trappings of a so-called happy life, called it quits, leaving behind a heartbroken family and a child for whom the world was never the same.

In the end, I think, we end up healing ourselves because we always tend to underestimate the power of who we are— always seeking from others what we forget we have within ourselves, all along! 

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I’ve also realised another thing. Sadness helps us appreciate happiness. Did you ever notice that? When our mood eventually changes from sadness toward happiness, the sense of contrast adds to the enjoyment of the mood. 

Tell me, how do you cope with sadness? How do you get over those feelings?

Joining Corinne at Everyday Gyaan for #mondayMusings today.

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15 thoughts

  1. So sorry to hear about your loss, Esha. And I’m sorry that you feel sad. It is natural to feel this way when a loved one leaves us. All those points you mentioned to deal with sadness is valid. I can’t cry in front of others much like you. But when it hurts too much, tears pour out without my permission and it all looks terrible. ( My husband has one too many experiences handling this terrible situation yet, he is not better at handling it! ) Writing definitely is my savior. I feel that when I write, mostly poems which are born out of my despair, slowly those tangles start to untangle on its own. But, it takes time to clear those negative thoughts through writing for me- a slow and steady process. Talking to a friend is the most preferred option for me. But this one is not working out at all. My close friend who lives here is busy and we are never getting to talk now. I think that not talking is also a reason for my recent dullness. You know Esha, I don’t have any friends now in real life. I mean I still have friends and they call me and talk when they have problems. But when I want to talk no one has the time. I am a talkative person to who I am close to. I don’t take sides just because someone is my friend or family. by saying it out loud, I get clarity, closure, and peace. Sorry for the blabber dear, as I told I talk too much when I get comfortable with the person. 🙂

  2. Everything you have written resonates so well with what I feel at times. Somethings are actually beyond our control. So letting go and moving on is the only way. How you let it go and how long it takes for you to move on varies from person to person.

    Hope you are feeling better after penning it down here. Hugs

  3. beautifully written.. can feel each word written but yes as they say how long we can run away from our fears.. we really accept them, face them and change our perspective .. it is working for us…. there are certain things for which we can not do anything just acceptance and move on. getting hold of it really not work.

  4. I am one of those weirdly wired people who find it extremely difficult to bare their true feelings. I am in awe of you because I think it takes a lot of courage to firstly comprehend what ails your heart, secondly analyze the reason for it, thirdly find solutions within yourself and lastly share your insights so generously. I know bottling up things is not good but laying bare my soul is something I cannot very easily do. When I am sad, I find art and craft most therapeutic. Cleaning, decluttering come a close second. Physical exertion diverts the mind like nothing else! So I guess, spring cleaning is my kind of therapy! I hope you are feeling better now, cheer up dear friend, I want to read all about your lovely holiday in the next post!

    1. Thank you for your warm and encouraging words, Kala. I was very reserved always when sharing my thoughts and feelings and couldn’t share them
      or even articulate what I felt for a long time! I learnt it the hard way, though! Now, I unburden easily…and I find it therapeutic! Will keep your pointers in mind for later use, my friend. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss Esha. Time is a fickle friend… Sometimes it brings such sorrow and heartbreak that we believe our lives would never brighten up again. But stay strong. Release all these emotions so that there’s no pent up feelings in you.
    I loved the points you mentioned. It is so important to talk to close ones. Reaching out is one of the best ways to heal the wounds, but at the same time we need remember not to be too dependent on happiness borrowed from others. It’s a delicate balance and only those who are going through this know what it feels like.
    I really hope that happiness finds you again. Lots of love to you ❤❤

  6. I’m sorry for your loss, Esha. It’s strange that both our posts dealt with coping with the reality of death. My aunt tells me that her husband has sworn he’ll die after she does! That’s not a promise I want to make or be made. We never know, do we? Sometimes, I am fearful of losing my husband and wondering how I’ll cope. But I do believe that we find resources within us and around us when the time comes. Hugs to you. Praying for your friend and his family.

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. it is so sad and I can totally understand your emotions. losing our dear ones is one of the most difficult and painful experiences of life. and I agree that when we become sad, we get the true value of happiness. and it is must to deal with grief in a positive way, otherwise, it not only affects us but our family members as well.

  8. 2 of my best friends from the blogging world being sad feeling low and one more terribly sick makes me sad too. I agree sadness makes us appreciate happiness all the more but being sad for too long can take a toll on the health aspect. So cry as much as you can, as loud as you can but don’t carry the burden of sadness for too long. The wheel of life inevitably keeps on rotating.
    I shoo away my low feeling by writing about something which was a happy memory or a positive aspect. It helps to divert my mind away from sadness (which in my case is hopelessness). I treat it in the same way I used to treat the dreams of ghosts in childhood. Whenever I dreamed of ghosts and felt scared, I immediately tried to turn my thoughts towards happy and loving events causing the fear to vanish and I went back to sleeping peacefully. I wish you get over this phase soon, Esha.

  9. This is not necessarily helpful, but I’ll say it anyway in case someone out there has advice or just relates. When I’m sad, I eat. I’m an emotional eater. It’s a way to make myself feel better in the moment of course, but five minutes later I feel worse. This is an ongoing struggle because sadness is such a difficult emotion to overcome. I try to go out for a walk to make the feeling pass. That helps sometimes, too.

  10. Thank you for sharing honest ponderings about your grief. My mum passed away this year followed by a close family friend, so there were days this summer when I felt as if I needed to take attendance just to be sure who was here and who had left. Christmas seems to make all the feelings (both good and bad) more urgent, so I’m working hard at being patient with that. And I’m thankful that there’s no condemnation for simply feeling sad. God gave us feelings as part of our humanness, and often, if we lean into the process and let it unfold, we find creativity and a closer connection with Him as a sad but beautiful by product.

  11. First of all, hugs, Esha!
    I have been going through sadness, too, but of a different kind. Have been dealing with hopelessness, and worse , worthlessness, since quite some time now. The realisation that I have still to ‘achieve’ something in life, get successful at what I do, all of it and some more has been giving me sleepless nights. My friend tried consoling me with words of encouragement like how well I have been writing, etc, but it’s still burdening my heart and my mind. So, yes, I feel low, all the time. I find everything about myself way below others, when I compare myself to them. I know, this is so wrong, but I inadvertently end up doing just that! Crying helps, but for some time. So, I write. Poured out my feelings in a post without thinking about what anyone would say/think.
    I find writing therapeutic. I find cuddling with Cookie therapeutic. Meeting people who really care about me is also what makes me feel good. And, yes, I pray. Fervently. Someone up there might listen!

    I hope you feel better soon. If you do feel like talking about it, then just call me. I am there for you! <3

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