The Pandemic Sharp Edge: Dealing With Sadness, Despair and Feeling Lost

Life is an interesting narrative of so many in-betweens. It's not all about triumph and success, happiness and contentment, joy and celebration. 

It's also about failures and defeat, sadness and despair, misery and emptiness, distress and loneliness.

To understand life's complexities, there's always a balancing act between these rise and fall, high and low moments to appreciate our humanness and recognize our strengths and process our weaknesses.  

We can be at our happiest, feeling inspired, motivated and in high spirit. But the story of life is not all about rosy things and ecstatic moments.

In some days, we will hit rock-bottom. We will pass through a terrible moment of despair, sadness, defeat, confusion, feeling lost and abandoned and misery. 

Our emotional and physical reactions are triggered with events in our surroundings. How we respond and react depends on how it affects our mindset and situations, and how it is deciphered by our emotional maturity and life's principles.

We all have bad days at some point in life - a bitter argument with whoever we get associated with, feeling rejected by the people we love, getting passed over a promotion, lost a job.

Sadness, therefore, is part of our growth, a normal human emotion. It is our body's involuntary response to a reality presented less than our expectations. 

Grieving over a decision or moping on a circumstance that went wrong, lost of loved ones or even pets. Sometimes, it comes to us all at once and the weight and burden will bring us to our knees. But as with most distressing events in life, we can get through it in time. 

The year 2020 really pushed us to the edge, shredding us to pieces, giving us so many hard days and battles to fight.  

So many moments of discomfort that the feeling of inadequacies and distress overwhelmed our system and crashed our spirit. 

The isolation period during lockdown,  fear of catching the virus and anxiety towards the future gave us so many negative emotions that sadness and depression ultimately became commonplace.

But we need to remember that nothing is permanent, even sadness. It is never going to last. It is temporary and we can do something to quell it off from our system. 

We should not let it stick in our body because it is totally destructive, like a rust that consumed our shiny perspective. 

According to Dr. Johnny Williamson, MD, as mentioned in the article of psychom,net about Living with Sadness, "When a person feels sad, sadness is often the dominant emotion but there can be a period of levity and less severe mood". 

According to Dr. Williamson, it can be resolved and relieved through several activities like reading good books, crying, cultivating and nurturing new  passion, exercising and opening up to trusted people.

But it's not as easy as that because people have different coping mechanism from loss and anxiety. Ability to fight off personal demons varies from person to person. It all depends on the person's  situation, circumstances, emotional maturity and perception towards life.

One intervention or advice might work for some but not for others. People handle problems and anxiety differently, that's why we need to address sadness and depression carefully not to become sensitive to others.

The level of sadness varies on intensity and duration. There are sadness that can easily be resolved, but there are some that it takes a considerable time to heal especially if the wounds cut deeper through the heart and mental sense.

But we all agree that sadness is temporary. Today, we will feel extra frustrated, lonely and miserable, but it's not going to be like that for the rest of the month. It will soon fade the moment we address and figure out what events trigger our sadness and despair. 

The next day we feel better.

Sun will shine again. We feel warm, we feel better, we feel happy and motivated. We began seeing life as a wonderful gift and a work-in-progress again.

This is because our emotions are being influenced by day-to-day circumstances and events.  Both personal and external forces. Our mindset goes along with our concept of life, our sense of purpose and how we viewed our existence in general.

However, according to experts, if we feel our sadness, feeling of abandonment and anxiety intensify and would not go off the couple of days or weeks or months, we need to seek support from professional specializing in mental health because it might fall into depression. And depression is now defined as a disease. 

Depression is no joke, it is something very serious and should not be taken for granted, thus, an intervention from a professional health expert is needed.

According to Psychom,net, the following are usual symptoms of depression:

  • A lack of interest and enjoyment in activities you normally find pleasurable/
  • Feeling sad and empty for prolonged days.
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Trouble eating or seeking satisfaction and comfort in food
  • Extreme fatigue and loss of energy
  • Restlessness
  • Irritable and easily triggered
  • Unwanted and exaggerated feeling of guilt and unworthiness
  • Lack of concentration or even make rational decisions
  • Thoughts of committing suicide
  • Constantly thinking about death and dying

Sadness can wear us down. It can affect our everyday undertakings, our relationship with others, our attitude towards work and life, prompting our mental health to yield to pressure. And this will lead to the state of melancholy further. 

That's why we need to figure out what are the triggering points of our sadness and anxiety so that we can plan activities to work on and battle off the negative vibe later. Don't just allow it to take over your disposition and system.

Remember, being sad is normal. We all experience it at some point in our life, especially during this difficult time, how we react into it is very crucial. 

Sadness if stays longer in our system, will take a toll in our mental health and physical state. So we shouldn't allow it to control and maneuver our life.

According to experts, we can overcome it. It's  possible to overcome it. Once we understand how our brain works against our emotion or vice versa, we can triumph over it. 

Always remember that sadness, defeat, misery, feeling broke, abandoned, lost and rejected are temporary emotions. It shall come to pass. 

As we begin to recognize these kinks in life, these snowdrifts, these negative emotions, and accept that our expectations will not always result to reality, the feeling of sadness will eventually disappear. The next day, we will see sun rising again beautifully and warm.

Life is like navigating into the high seas aboard our own maneuvered boat. One day, our voyage takes us to a placid blue ocean, the next day we pass through a stormy sea, and we will find ourselves sailing against the tide, tossing against the strong winds, fighting hard to hold on the rudder to stay afloat.

But with careful maneuvering, we will reach the calm shore, and we will look back at the chaotic journey of tossing and riding against the harsh waves as hard lessons to learn.

In life, we will not only learn from the classroom and books, we will learn from the experience. And the experience of fighting off adversities will make us tougher, wiser and stronger as we continue with our journey. 

We become steadier, softer, but tough along the edges with the experiences we go through. We become grateful that we pass through the toughest of times because it helps us build our toughness. It makes us more appreciatiative towards life. 

In the end, we will be triumphant if we continue moving without losing enthusiasm even how many times life crashes us down. 

Those potholes we stumbled were just test of times how far we could go in life without breaking. It makes us wiser and steadier. 

Let's appreciate our value today. No one really does if we would not begin it with ourselves. Life is like a reflection in the mirror. The world will see us the way we look at ourselves.  

Once we recognize our self-worth, it's easier for us to understand ourselves when we're sad and feeling lost and figure out how to get rid of it. 

Life is absolutely wonderful.

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