Sunday 15 November 2020

When the sadness hits

I look around me: at the house I decorated so enthusiastically, and that I love so deeply. It's warm and welcoming, and just the right amount of quirky and lived-in that it embraces you like a big hug. The furniture is comfortable, the lighting is soft yet bright, and the flooring is forgiving to dirty shoes, muddy paws, spilled wine and dropped food. 
I have the dogs I always wanted on the bed, the cat I never knew I would love so much purring by my side. Bob the bird who just joined us is singing his little heart out from his perch on top of the wardrobe.
I mopped the floors today, cooked a hearty meal, and ironed 6 of Richard's shirts while watching a Christmas movie.
I'm living the life of my dreams. 

And yet here I am, tears streaming down my face. 
I am - I can't quite describe it. I have a hard time putting it into words. I wanna say "beside myself", but that's not it. For that I would have to know what "myself" is, and right now I don't. Right now I have no idea who I am or what would make me happy. 
Everything feels removed by a few degrees; like I'm a spectator who looks into someone else's life, a person she knows, but doesn't care much about.

I know, logically, that this is the life that I spent years creating. I know that I love countless big and little details about it: the person I spend it with, our dogs, the cats, all the animals, where we live, my job, that we have people who care about us and whom we care about. I love lots of different TV shows, books, my clothes, morning coffee, my walks, yoga, naps, my new floor, online shopping, going for breakfast with my husband, meeting the old guys whose company and wit I appreciate and get great entertainment value out of. 

Yet, right now, none of this is enough. 
It's all flat. I'm bored, dissatisfied, moody. I feel cold, sad, and panicky. All I can focus on is all the terrible things that are happening, or could happen.
I fight it. I fight it hard. I walk every day. I write my gratitude list. I cuddle the dogs, take deep breaths, try to appreciate the moment. I hug my husband. And I have glimpses of joy every day. Little rips in the canvas of despair that's threatening to wrap itself around me. 

But I'm not winning. The despair is still there. Even though I can push it away for brief periods, I haven't yet found a way to get rid of it. 
And the fight is exhausting. I get caught in the toxic downward spiral of only focusing on everything bad about my job, about imaging the worst about my marriage, about the sheer struggle that is getting up every day and having to live life. 

I simultaneously feel like I waste my life, but also that nothing matters anyway.
I should do more, but also less.
And most of all: I should stop worrying so damn much.

But right now, I just can't quite seem to get the knack of how to do that.  

I feel powerless. 
A larger, darker power has taken over the steering wheel of my life. 
I'm not giving in without a fight, however; I kick and fight and scream. And I do gain control, little moments at a time; not enough to take back control over my life, but enough to gain hope. I don't lose sight of everything that's good about my life anymore; I know it's there, even if it's hidden. 
But it's hard. It leaves me wrung out like an old, wet towel discarded on the floor.
I can't bear to look further than what's right in front of me; everything else looks grey and hopeless.  

But then again, I've been there before, many times.
It always got better. It doesn't feel like it right now; it never does. But I remember how it has been, and I have to trust that it will be like that again. 
It feels risky. 
It's scary. 

Yet, there is one ally that has never abandoned me: hope. I've always trusted that things will look up again, that I will be happy again, that the darkness will leave. 

So far, it has never disappointed me. I'm clinging on to hope this time around again, with the stubbornness my German ancestors bestowed upon me. 
Better days are ahead for me. 
Better days are ahead for all of us. 



  1. Giant hugs to you, Miriam! I'm sorry you are in this place right now but I am also certain you will walk in the light again... Light IS greater than darkness and hope WILL prevail.
    xox Elaine

    1. Thank you, Elaine, thank you SO MUCH. Just knowing that there are people out there who believe that the darkness WILL fade, is so comforting.
      Even though I do know it, deep down, there is strength in numbers.

      Today was a lot better than yesterday, which was better than the day I wrote this post. Better days are ALWAYS coming. We have to always remember that.

  2. Take care, Miriam. You put into words almost exactly how I am feeling as well. Very uncertain times...

    1. They sure are, but we have to believe that things will get better again. They will!!


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