*Disclaimer: I consider this very emotional so please be cautious of your self care when reading. There will be a positive end.*
I want to start out by saying I had an absolutely wonderful birthday weekend! I celebrated from Friday to the day of my birthday, Monday. It was filled with some of my favorite things: family, friends, food, dance fever, and singing fun. This weekend was one of the best all year and it is a great one to move towards closing out this year. And while I speak on such happy times usually in my blog and on FB, I want to cover something that’s very real. Not just for me, but for a lot of people. The quiet sadness.
While I am a strong and positive person, there are moments, the most quiet of those, where I sit and I think. Sometimes of life’s beauty and joy, others of sadness and pain. It is that sadness and pain that we all experience at some point but may find overwhelming in our most trying times. I’ve been thinking about it, and reflecting on those feelings I’ve felt within this year. Again, this one in particular.
The quiet sadness. It’s that feeling when it appears you are alone and everyone else has gone to do what it is they do. Gone to work. Gone home. Gone on vacation. Gone to college. Gone to live their life. Gone into a new love. And here you are, in the moment, stuck.
Yet, in other times, they are here and you are gone. Gone to that moment you got bad news. Gone to the moment you lost something most meaningful. Gone to the point when life changed. Gone within your mind, thinking about whatever it is that is making you feel this way. Somewhere, where you may feel deep down alone, even within a room full of people who love you. Sometimes you can’t explain it, and other times you can. Sometimes you hide it from everyone, and other times you can’t hide it no matter how much you try. Other times, you don’t realize you’re showing it.
As someone who studied psychology in college, has plenty of loved ones who have grappled with these feelings, and has grappled with them in my own ways as well, I have seen some of the signs and symptoms. What has changed this year is that any feelings that I have felt have been due to my own condition. Not dealing with someone else’s news and its effect on me, but instead dealing with my own. It’s been different.
After my diagnosis, I was running on autopilot for a bit. I posted my first few blogs, went on a few trips, had the summer full of appointments and recovery. The summer slid into the fall and I kept with positivity. With no work, no coworkers, no students, no lessons, no TFA, no basketball games, no basketball practice, no meetings, no usual young adult routines, I had plenty of that time to think and ponder. The chemo started to really kick in. Add in weight gain, losing my eyebrows (of all things to miss and it was after my chemo was done at that), and having such large, physically ailing days and weeks between my treatments, I was not feeling great at all.
Between October and November, I didn’t write a thing on this blog. A lot of this was due to fatigue from chemo. I physically did not have the energy. But wrapped in that was fatigue from sadness, the quiet one I spoke of above. I was grounded in faith and promise, and still there was a creeping of tiredness. Not wanting to do much, not being able to do much. I slept. Woke up and ate. Watched TV. Attempted to do grad work but struggled. Chatted with my family and a handful of friends. Slept. Repeat.
It wasn’t until the very end of November that I finally posted after getting reassurance from my professor. Her words gave me hope and motivation. I finally talked to folks after being locked away, not getting out, and not feeling like myself completely. Additionally, I knew the holiday season would bring out joy and peace. And yet, some sadness lingered into December.
At the beginning of this year, was one of the happiest of my life. I felt unstoppable, full of love received and love to give. Driving down the road of pure happiness and taking in my young adult life. Cruising through until that one day I put myself in autopilot to make it through the days, the weeks, the months. And at the beginning of December, I took myself off autopilot and had to reflect on the happenings of this year. There were tears, regrets, and pain. Forgiveness of self and acceptance of change. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that bad in my life. And yet, there was saving grace.
I faced my feelings head on and what was waiting for me was continued gratitude, faith, and happiness. Not the temporary feelings of happiness and the consistent need to push through to make it, but complete knowledge and understanding that I am a conqueror; my testimony includes great trials but has greater gains. I’ve looked back and reflected on feelings of my situation and realize there is so much we take for granted but experience and enlightenment make the difference.
So for my folks who are stuck in a quiet sadness, I pray for you and your journey. For those who have not, I pray for you and your understanding of those who are. I pray for those who lost a loved one, those who have yet to see their dreams fulfilled, those who experienced trauma and can’t quite get over it, those who feel like they have been left behind, those who have experienced quiet sadness and have been able to overcome but worry about going back. I pray for us all, and that as we move throughout life, we continue to find the faith and drive of the human experience that keep us moving towards better days for all.
As 2016 winds down, remember that it wasn’t all bad. Remember the positive: We are living. We are learning. We are growing.
“Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.”
And oh what joy I feel now.
Have a Merry Christmas and happy holidays, y’all.
Twizzlers and truths,