Making It Through Sadness
"Sadness: Feeling down or unhappy in response to grief, discouragement,or disappointment."
The last month I have been dealing with a great deal of sadness. Let me explain, on February 24th, I had an experience where my Husband ended up having to call 911 for an Ambulance. I experienced a severe abdomen spasm that would not release. I did the best I could to manage the pain until I was draped over our bed in such pain and agony that I felt like I could not take it anymore. The pain was out of control. I could barely talk or breathe. I was gripping the heck out of a pillow and crying out to God for help. The pain flew off the charts and I could not handle it anymore. The pain gradually became worse and worse over a couple of hours. Thank God that when the EMTs arrived they administered medicine right away while I was still in my bed. Such a relief! The EMTs ended up taking me in to get checked out down at the Hospital. I was unable to move or walk on my own so I needed full help getting to the ambulance.
Since the ER visit I have been in a three week flare and unfortunately that means being stuck in bed for the most part. Usually my typical week cycles with my "normal" days of one leg dragging, general pain, stiffness and low energy, to both legs dragging and trying to shuffle across our wood floors to the extreme end of the spectrum of days being laid up in bed with zero energy and not being able to walk or move on my own at all. My Husband has to help me.
I have learned to ride it out, just go with and let it run its course. This mindset has developed because I know that in a few days I should regain some energy and be able to be up and around more. During the week I am mostly house bound. On the weekends if I am feeling okay my Husband and I try to go on little adventures, get out of the house and spend time together. But, sometimes I am laid up on the weekends as well. We have learned to take one day at a time and see how the day plays out.
A three week flare is a different story. It gets old really fast. My mindset of just riding it out for a few days doesn't work when the time turns into a week, two weeks and into three weeks. It definitely starts to wear on me. I do my best to keep a good positive attitude, rest, pray, and just be. The sadness shows up. I am sad because I can't walk. Being in idle mode is very difficult for me. During the three weeks, I have been dealing with a very small window of being able to walk and then my legs stiffen up, severe pain kicks in, my body shuts down and I end up being stuck in the kitchen or stuck in the bathroom. This has happened over and over again for three weeks straight. This has developed into a sadness of not being able to do things, be out of bed or have the mental energy to read or watch something to pass the time.
I can't help in the kitchen like I want to. I don't have the energy to put all the dishes away. This is also where the sadness sets in. I am a doer. I like to help and have a daily routine. I like to blog and encourage others. I like to read and create and be outdoors. I like to walk and do things to keep up my strength. I like to go on walks and adventures with my Husband. I like to go kayaking and take pictures. I love to cook healthy dinners for my Husband and myself.
I don't want to waste and forgot what God is doing in my life. He is working in my heart, revealing himself to me in very personal ways. His Word is alive and speaking to my circumstances. When I am in a flare I don't have the energy to read, write or blog. I am thankful for God's grace to remember all that happens once I am feeling a little better.
"Sadness in a normal human emotion. Sadness is triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience or situation. "
I know I am simply processing the experience and sadness is the emotion being felt. The sadness is playing a bigger role then normal because the flare is lasting a lot longer than usual.
10 Ways to Process and deal with Sadness:
1. Give yourself time to process feelings and emotions. Let it out, if you need to cry, cry. Allow your emotions to be expressed. (Psalm 116:1-2, Psalm 34:17-18, Matthew 5:4, Psalm 30:5, Psalm 6:6, )
2. If keeping a Journal is the best way to process your emotions and what you are feeling then write away. Find a quiet place and allow yourself plenty of time to let the feelings and words flow. (1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 38:9)
3. If talking and crying out to God helps you process then pour out to God the sadness of your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to comfort you and be your helper. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into the full truth. Read John 16 on how our sadness will be turned to Joy. (Psalm 13:2, Psalm 34:17-20, Psalm 40:1-3, Matthew 5:4,Revelation 21:3-4)
4. If needed, talk to a trusted friend or schedule an appointment with your doctor or a Counselor. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
5. Keep a Gratitude Journal (I just write the things I am thankful for in my planner on the given day). It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Looking for things to be thankful for in our every day life helps keeps things in perspective in the midst of sadness.(Joshua 1;9, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
6. Surround yourself with the things that spark joy in your life. Examples: Your favorite coffee or tea, candles, white fairy lights, a bouquet of flowers, watch your favorite show or movie, wear a favorite shirt or outfit, take a hot bath, listen to a favorite or inspirational song, etc. Seek out and look for things that spark joy in your heart and keep them close.
7. Spend some time out in Nature. Surround yourself in God's beautiful creation whether that be the beach or the Forest, a river or a lake or even a local City Park. This could also include physical activity such as a long walk to help process all your thoughts. My experience is that this tends to bring me a lot of peace. (John 14:26-27, Philippians 4:7, Matthew 11:28)
8. Do everything in your power to take care of the situation and trust God with all the other details. (Psalm 32:10, 1 Peter 5:6-7, 1 Peter 5:10, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 86:17,)
9. Create something. Sometimes keeping our mind occupied on creative outlets can do wonders and help process our true feelings. Try arts and crafts, painting, drawing, yard work, gardening, wood working, organizing, cleaning, planning etc. Discover you craft you can get lost in.
10. Seek out God's promises and hold onto them to help you process and to see His perspective in your situation. A recent exercise I learned is to write down all your cares, concerns, anxieties and worries (kind of like a brain dump if you have heard that phrase before) and then for each item find a Bible promise that correlates to each. I love this idea. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Deuteronomy 31:8, Joshua 1:9-10, Psalm 23:4, Psalm 119:76, Psalm 9:9, Psalm 46:1, John 14:1, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 91:1-2)
|This speaks right to my heart every time I read it!|
|The fact God is always with me gives me the strength to keep moving forward!|
|This is one of my favorite verses!|
|This is why I keep going!|
Bonus: The good news! We can glorify God in our sadness. God can use our sadness to bring purpose and growth in our lives. To build a stronger testimony of His faithfulness in our lives. To show the world that it is His strength and grace that is keeping us going despite sad situations. To encourage others who may be going through similar situations. This brings my heart hope, peace and joy to keep going and that I am going to make it through this season of sadness!
Have you walked through a season of overwhelming sadness? Did you figure out what was the root of the emotion? What helped you? Are there additional things that helped you process the emotions of sadness? Please feel free to share them with me. I would love to hear them.
Special Note: If the sadness persists and does not fade. If the emotional hurt does not resolve itself. If you have not adjusted or gotten over a loss or disappointment. Please talk to your doctor, a Pastor or a trusted friend for more help and guidance.
Love and Prayers ❤
Bible Verses. Biblegateway.com
Psychology Today Guy Winch.