On Being Sad
I’ve been sad lately.
My brand of feeling down often manifests as anxiety, which has been rearing its ugly head lately too, but this time around, my sads feel like actual sads.
It’s not all day long, mind you, nor is it anything that I find to be worrisome. I’m hyper self-aware, which is a blessing and a curse, but if I felt as though it was interfering with my ability to function, I’d be the first to head to my doctor to have a chat.
On the contrary, I’m finding my nightly sadness to be cathartic.
See, this is the first time since high school that I’ve ever actually been alone. As in, uncoupled, and I’m finding myself with more time and energy to focus on myself, which is awesome, especially since this is the busiest time of year for me at work. I’m finally knocking stuff off my to-do list, things that have needed my attention for months now, and really, truly enjoying the company of my kids.
But all this time also means I have more of it to think, about my broken heart still healing from a love lost, the mistakes I’ve made, the regrets I have, all of which surface in the still of the night.
It usually starts when I’m sitting in my nightly hot bath after my day is done and the kids are asleep. I sit quietly in the water and think about what could have been or should have been. I think of things that I probably don’t even need to think about, things that I have no power to change. Things that will always be.
But when you’re always moving and going, when your energy is always being forced out to help others, well, you don’t get the opportunity to mourn. To feel the hurt and sadness and anger and all those feelings you have, that I have, that have been taking up space in my head and my body for many years.
Some old, some new.
I don’t think they’re bad, nor do I wish they’d go away. For too long I’ve used work and men (my two vices) to distract me from feeling them.
And now I want to give them a chance to be heard so that they can be quieted, not suppressed.
These feelings remind me that I’m human. That I’m alive. That I made it through a whole lot of crazy.
After ten minutes or so, I hop out of the tub and into bed, falling asleep peacefully, awakening the next day feeling content and grateful, my puffy eyes the only indication that I’d been crying.
The funny thing is that I don’t expect to find any sort of resolution. There’s no magic salve or cut and dry answer that will help soothe or squelch them.
For now, I’m just letting them be heard and known in a safe place, hoping that giving them air to breathe will set them free once and for all.