Congratulations, you get to be sad!

I had an above average week last week. One of those weeks when I have absolutely no problem believing that everything will eventually be just fine. I will have a safe and fulfilled future surrounded by people who love me (which is a lot like my present state). Then I went to therapy and I lost it, and I got extremely sad. In fact, I became sad talking about my sadness. For you see, the new bane of my existence is what I like to call the Unexpected Bouts of Sadness – UBS for short. 

UBS happen at any point during the day or night; they vary in length and intensity and they unequivocally suck. They suck! There is nothing much I can say about them. Sometimes I cry and sometimes they go away without me crying. But every single one of them comes out of nowhere. I wish I could categorize my triggers and cut them off from my life, but I can’t. They are random and uncontrollable. The only good thing I can say is that UBS used to overwhelm me, and now they just frustrate me.

I mentioned to my therapist that I was rarely angry, but I wanted to be. I can get frustrated and anxious. I definitely lose my cool. I can be petty and snarky, but anger always comes in small doses and quickly disappears (no contact definitely helps to keep the anger away). I don’t hate M.  I can feel my love for him slowly dissipate, but it is not being replaced by anger just indifference. Sometimes, when a UBS comes I just want to feel anger instead. I beg for the anger, because the anger would be easier to deal with. Anger can be a powerful motivator, a good incentive. Anger can be an “Oh, I will show him” drive. Sadness sucks, there is no upside. There is no bright side to the feeling of sadness. UBS in particular are extra sucky, because they interrupt my otherwise above average good days.

I’m all for feeling my emotions, but I hate UBS. I want to control my sadness and not let it control me. I want to be able to just sometimes end it. I just want to be able to be sad in the quiet of my own home, and not all around the city. But my sadness demands to be felt. My grief refuses to be ignored. There are no shortcuts and no detours (at least not healthy ones). So, I shall feel all the feelings, I shall mourn all the losses.  Yay me!

My therapist tells me that it is good that I’m sad. Because anger is a secondary emotion, it is responding to something. When I feel sad, I’m bypassing the anger and dealing with the real feelings. I’m emotionally evolved and my reward is to be sad. Congratulations to me!

I try to embrace the sadness. I bring it onto myself and offer it to God. I feel the pain, I live through it. I put one foot in front of the other. I keep doing the right things; I own the sadness, feel the feelings and just wait until it is good again.  Because as the Gospel says “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).


4 thoughts on “Congratulations, you get to be sad!

  1. I love the term – UBS. And I’m glad those days are gone. Not sure if it will make you feel better or worse, but for me it was probably about a year. And it would just hit unexpectedly. In the elevator up to the office at work, in line at the grocery store, in the car with a buddy when a song comes on the radio. It was…


    In some ways the fact that I’m a guy made it worse. I mean, I’ve never thought of myself as a “man’s man” – I’ve always been a bit more in tune with myself emotionally. But at the same time, I’m 6’2″, and fairly athletic. Plus I’m generally able to control my emotions pretty well – I try not to get too high or too low, and always use big picture thinking to prevent me from overreacting to situations.

    So it would be a bit embarrassing and frustrating to have times when I would just break down randomly.

    It will pass though. Just take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes being a guy definitely makes it worse. People sort of expect me to cry and being the left spouse means that people sympathize a lot. But I’m usually a very cheerful person and getting used to being sad and “above average days” is very difficult. This entire thing feels like an out of body experience.

    But I believe you, it will pass and get better. Just comparing today to three months ago is like night and day. Three months ago, I felt like the world was literally falling apart and I couldn’t imagine continuing my life without M. Now, I don’t even feel an urge to write him anymore. I’ve accepted that it is over and I’ve had enough fun and good days to have hope and look forward to a new future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think depending on where you are in life the anger can be very useful. For example, if you are still with your cheater or your abusive partner then sometimes you need a healthy dose of anger to quick your ass into gear. But it is important to let go of it when you can. Staying angry is just giving them more control over your life. I like the practice of detachment to separate my happiness from other people and things. I’m not great at it, I’m. Just beginning this journey. But it is a journey and we’ll eventually be on the other side.


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