It Comes & Goes In Waves

Sadness. Depression. These are all too familiar things for a lot of us to experience. Show me a life without sadness, and I’ll show you a lie. Even though it’s something we know we all experience at least at one point in life, it’s instantaneous loneliness. An excuse to burrow further into your deep dark hole. I’ll just hang out down here alone; no one would ever understand. Except that we do…but that’s the story we tell ourselves. Retreat. In the choice of fight or flight, we are fleeing; running away from our problems and our feelings. I can handle just about anything, but don’t give me my own feelings…it’s too much.

A few months ago (and I’ll be honest, still a little bit now), I dealt with overpowering feelings of sadness due to a plethora of things that were happening all at once in my life. My boyfriend and best friend of 2 1/2 years and I mutually broke up and I learned the true meaning of the cliché “sometimes love is not enough”. This also meant I had to find a new place to live in the middle of job searching to get out of a toxic environment that had been taking advantage of my good work ethic for far too long. Turns out, after you reach your breaking point, it’s really hard to find the motivation to get out of your bed in the morning for an hour commute to a job that is sucking all of your soul out of you with every waking minute. It is a very defeating place to be in mentally when you know you could use your intelligence and skills for much better things and would rather give it a company that needs it and appreciates it more, but you can’t seem to even get an interview. Around the same time, one of my lifelong fur buddies that I’ve had since I was 18 years old had been recently diagnosed with diabetes and also had an insane case of allergies so I was having to give him insulin shots twice a day, a steroid pill once a day and basically watch as he deteriorated into a cranky miserable cat right in front of me. I thought I was going to have to put him down because he was just so unhappy and I felt selfish keeping him alive. I made the decision to stop giving him his insulin shots and just continue with the steroids to at least let him live out the rest of his life a bit more comfortably. Since then he has been a much happier snuggle bug, but it still weighs on me every day that he doesn’t have much of a good life left in him. Essentially I was in what seemed to be a whirlpool of horrible things happening and I definitely didn’t feel I could handle any of it anymore. I had anxiety every day and I would go to the bathroom at work to cry every chance I got. I felt super weak that I couldn’t seem to handle the things life was throwing at me in a more calm and collected manner. I was getting angry at myself for my own sadness. I eventually decided to ask for a month of personal leave from my job in order to at least have the space to try and breathe again without the pressure of having to go to a place that only made me feel worse.

I attempted to tackle little things day by day to get out from underneath all the dirt I buried myself in. With every item I checked off my list, life seemed slightly more bearable but any minor setback felt like a major one. You can’t really plan how long your sadness is going to last. Sometimes it would go away for a while and I would feel like I was finally free, only to have it come crashing back out of nowhere and feel completely out of control again. I started to hate the very traits about myself that I used to think I loved because it felt like they were biting back at me every chance they got. My kindness was letting me get taken advantage of. My forgiveness was getting my heart broken. My willingness to compromise seemed to just lead to me getting let down by others.

Here’s the thing about sadness, it can take you by the hand and lead you to more and more of it if you let it. It seems easier to dig deeper than to find a ladder or a helping hand. It’s more enticing to just lay down and give up and cover yourself with feces and bugs. It’s much harder to fight. To lift yourself up again. To find love for yourself again when you don’t feel loveable. It’s shameful to have to admit that you don’t feel happy all the time and your head isn’t busting with words of positivity and encouragement for anyone and anything. Well it shouldn’t feel shameful, but it does. It’s why we usually keep it inside, try to deal with it alone. Hide away from our friends and hermit ourselves into a corner with Netflix to forget about real life for a brief moment in time…or for however long it lets you before asking if you’re still watching. Yes Netflix, I haven’t eaten breakfast lunch or dinner yet but I definitely have the ability to just keep laying here mindlessly for another 8 hours, it’s the one thing I’m truly capable of.

This isn’t a how to deal with sadness, self-help, go fix yourself post. This is a vulnerable acknowledgement of my being human and that it’s ok. It’s ok to get sad, feel hopeless and not really know how to keep going. It doesn’t make you a failure. I am not a failure for having feelings even though I really want to think I am. I have proven to keep going when I don’t think I can or when I really don’t want to. I am proof that life sometimes sucks and sometimes it’s also really beautiful. I get sad but sadness is not me, it’s just a part of me.


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