Earlier today I posed the question on Facebook: What do you do to get yourself out of a funk? I got all kinds of interesting responses, which is exactly what I hoped for. However, nobody said, "Sometimes I do nothing and just allow myself to feel some sadness." Nobody questioned the actual need for getting out of a funk, for beating the blues. I had also hoped for that.
I'm in a funk. Yes, cheerful, Pollyanna me. I've got the blues. And you know what? It's okay. I know how to get to the flip side, I could listen to some happy music and get up with the beat, or I could go hug Steve and set everything right with my world, or I could bake something - a proven way to soothe my soul. I know how to change my mood... when I'm ready. I woke up feeling this way. I think the dreams I had that fostered this feeling are a culmination of me ignoring some resurfacing sadness. It's that time of year - it was three years ago that I began saying my last goodbyes to John. Spring, even in all its glory, will always be bittersweet for me. I recall, three years ago, taking a break from caring for John and stepping outside for a breath of fresh air. The sun was shining, roses were blooming, the air was redolent with growing things, and I thought, "How can it be this beautiful when the person I love most is dying?!" So, I knew I was going to start feeling this, but I've been pushing it aside because I've had a lot to do, and because the stubborn part of me is trying to insist that I don't need to feel it this year.
Oh, but I do. We need to allow ourselves to feel sadness. It's healthy. We have losses and hurts that cannot go unrecognized. That doesn't mean we need to wander around being Eeyores and bringing the rest of the gang down. But it's okay to be sad. What do I do when I want to allow that sadness its time? For starters, I welcome it. I look in the mirror and say, "Okay... here's your chance. Go ahead and feel that deep melancholy." I try to pick a time when I can be alone. I let myself cry if that's what feels right. If I need to cry and can't, I'll find a good launching point, like a sad poem, book or movie.
A friend once asked, "How can I feel so happy when everyone I know is going through such hard times?" Ironically, right about the same time, another friend asked, "What right do I have to feel sad when there are people going through worse things than I am?" Either way, it's okay. It's part of the cycle of life and our emotions follow that cycle.
So, this morning I gave myself a couple of hours this to feel sad. I spent some time thinking about heartache that I've been through. I made some art that had a definite somber feel to it. I listened to music that made my heart feel as though it was being crushed. I looked at an old picture of John and asked him the most impossible question in the world, "How can you be dead?" And then I finally cried until I couldn't any more. It felt good to feel bad. It felt right. I'm still in the process of shaking the feeling, but I'm better. That's okay too.
My life is good, but even in all that good there is sorrow.
"When everything's made to be broken,
I just want you to know who I am."
~Iris, Goo Goo Dolls