Sadness in Difficult Times

Well, things have turned unexpectedly for us. Hubby has a bulged disc in his lower back causing extreme pain, and then he got in a car accident last Monday—driving through an intersection and hit an ambulance that ran a red light. Our car is totaled, but luckily, he is not in any more pain than he was before.

I was feeling very overwhelmed this morning. I’ve driven him around to his appointments and his work for days now (one: he’s in too much pain to drive himself; and two: he doesn’t have a car anymore). So my schedule has filled up dramatically over the past few days, leaving me with no quiet time to reground and recharge.

My energetic and emotional reserves have also been depleted. There has been a lot of “stuff” going around—anger, frustration, sadness, depression, anxiety, irritation, despair, fear, worry, etc. I know all those fall under three main emotions: Anger, Sadness, and Fear. And I know if I want to address them, I can just use the questions from Karla McLaren’s book. I can recognize what message they are bringing to me, and I can act on it.

But I just feel exhausted. Doing anything right now takes energy and effort, and I don’t have a lot of that available.

I guess that’s why I treasure this quiet hour right now. This is the first hour I’ve had all week where I’m not driving anywhere, four of my six kids are in school, and the two littlest are sleeping. So I can write, and breathe, and think, and sit in the sun (coming through the window because it’s autumn and it’s getting chilly outside).

Anyway, returning to this morning, I was driving home from taking hubby to work and I just felt overwhelmed with sadness. Life felt heavy. It was not like this even two months ago. It was so much harder now. How were we going to make it?

PROBLEM: I was feeling sadness over how difficult life now was for us.

You know what thought came to me? “Life is not harder. It is just different.” Well, that seemed a little contrary to how I saw it, but I have learned to trust that voice. And when I opened myself to that perspective, I felt myself let go of “life two months ago.” It made the burden lighter! Just because life is different now than it was two months ago, doesn’t mean we should doom and gloom. It is different. And we will make it through.

My sadness drifted away and the tears that had been so close to spilling actually retracted. Haha. I honestly did not feel sad anymore about where we were at now. It’s different, but that’s okay.

SOLUTION: I let go of the happy, carefree life of the past.

I realize this doesn’t take away from the sadness that my husband is in pain, or the sadness that I can’t help relieve him, or the sadness that I feel I’m taking my own frustrations out by being impatient with my children . . . (I could keep going. There’s a lot of sadness going on!) And I could go through each sadness and its message to me to help lift it, (and I could do the same for every little anger I’m feeling and every little fear that is trying to communicate to me), but right now, I am tired. And this small shift was enough for me to lift my foot and take another step forward. So it’s good enough for now.

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