I have been doing some thinking and some writing about unbearable sadness, lately. Not depression. But the profoundly deep black hole of sadness that seems absolutely unbearable. The kind that longs for comfort and companionship and compassion while simultaneously needing desperately to be invisible.
The kind of sadness that includes fear and shame. Shame that the loneliness means so much, is so ultimately important, keeps us frozen and immobilized. Fear that we will be judged or criticized for holding so much pain and sadness; that all of this feels so true while at the same time realizing great loss of self esteem, self regard, a wholeness we know we have had and can no long seem to find……a wholeness that served us well at one time and has fled into the huge field of black emptiness.
A sadness that has no tears. Only unbearable and unutterable bleakness.
I think sometimes our body can no longer hold the strain and we find ourselves not only dealing with the sadness, fear and shame, but as well, a cold or the flu. Our body has reached it’s peak of tolerance and explodes into coughing, sneezing, aching, swollen red eyes, vomiting up the unutterable….
Amidst all of this distress, I am urging you to find a tiny patch of compassion for yourself. There is reason for all that you are feeling and all that your body is doing. Don’t fret about what that reason might be. Simply search around deep inside and find even a tiny modicum of compassion: of course you are distraught. Of course you ache and vomit and want to but can’t cry. You have been an incredibly brave trooper for sometime now and you are tired of the burden. You need to rest. You need to unload and breathe. You need to be soft and gentle and caring and find acceptance and compassion. You deserve to be miserable right now. It won’t last forever. It never has. It never will. But right now, misery is what you need to hold on to for a bit of comfort, to be still long enough to find deeply needed connection. I think when we get into this difficult painful place we are longing for connection; longing to feel seen, understood, accepted.
Sometimes our brave little soldier self can give self what she/he wants and needs. And sometimes helpe is needed and deserved. Sometimes it is simply too lonely and we want a hand to hold or help pull us back into this world or to soothe and comfort us. That is totally alright. We all deserve help. It is fine to ask, it is fine to feel neglected when this help, or comfort or compassion isn’t freely and wisely offered without the asking.
Don’t however stay lost in the refusal to ask. That just sets up more pain and loss and disappointment. When we most want to be invisible, what we really want underneath all that is to be seen and understood. And we long for that seeing and understanding to be initiated by our beloved, or best friend, or even the neighbour. However, no one is perfect, and we will get missed. Thus, ask. You can do it and it not only is okay, but it is part of good self care, compassion for self, and a big part of continuing to be a good little trooper or a good little soldier,( whichever you prefer).
When withdrawing or withholding or getting lost inside oneself becomes too much to hold any more, stretch out your hand. Make eye contact, and utter an at least almost bearable sound. Ask. It is worth the risk if you use your natural intuitive smarts and ask the right person in the right way.
More about that later.
Enough right now to take tiny little itty bitty baby steps when unbearable sadness moves in and takes over. Begin by accepting that the sadness makes sense even if you don’t understand how or why it makes sense just now. Have compassion for the pain you are holding and slowly careful let yourself reach out in some way that works for you: note, email, direct ask, phone call, whisper, tears, moans……you can find a creative way. You are, don’t you know, very brilliant. You can, you have, you will listen to yourself. And trust what you hear. You are also exceedingly wise. You haven’t lived this long and been dumb. It simply doesn’t work that way.
Hugs and love, share with me if you want to. Sending caring energy for hope and solace. You deserve both.