I don’t know how to deal with sadness

“I don’t know how to deal with sadness” These are the words I said to a friend last week and more and more, I feel this is true.  My usual outlook is one of happiness, positivity and general silliness and so when I feel sad, I find it very difficult to know how to cope.

Things are quite tough at the minute, I’m getting over pouchitis and then there’s the whole prolapse thang going on. As I said in my past few posts, this has hit me hard and I just don’t know how to deal with the feelings that have come up.

I smile, I laugh, I joke. And I do mean it. But inside I have this chest thudding anxiety and stress that at times is totally overwhelming.  My head is so full, my thoughts are swirling around and my jaw aches from the constant clenching that crops up when I’m not feeling my best.

I just don’t know how to talk about it out loud, which is frustrating as I am usually good at articulating myself. I find it much easier to write it down but speaking out loud feels like a mountain to climb.

Along with the health problems, things are quite stressful. We’re moving house, I am really busy with work, there are family troubles with close members falling out with me (yet choosing not to explain why!) and my book proposal has gone out to publishers so I am trying to give myself a break and accept that it’s ok to be feeling anxious when you have a lot going on.

As usual I attempt to psycho-analyse myself. I think I have problems with the idea of letting people down. Perhaps I worry that people will walk away and leave me if I become too much trouble. I’m concerned that if I’m a burden, no one will want me. Daddy issues much??!!

I was listening to a podcast yesterday with Adam Buxton and Jon Ronson, a comedian and writer who I think are both brilliant. It surprised me to hear these celebrated and outwardly confident people discussing their anxieties with life, their confidence crises and the struggles they face with dealing with stress.  It kind of made me feel better to think I’m not alone. That actually most of us are dealing with some form of crap in our lives and that we may seem “fine” outwardly (the word “fine” mostly means we’re “not fine”) but inwardly there is a battle with ourselves.

I feel like locking myself away right now, things seem overwhelming and I’m putting stuff off because it all feels too big.  I have a really long list of work things that I need to get done, but I am in full on procrastination mode as I just don’t have the energy or confidence to get started.  But I’m trying hard to fight against this and I’m making myself spend time with great friends.  It’s important to me that I don’t retreat into myself, mainly because I’m scared of what is in there. I’m scared that if I sink in that hole, I may not surface again.

As discussed before on my blog, I do have control issues and I think I’m forcing myself to keep control. I’m making myself go out, see friends, be open, laugh more. I’m making myself trust. Trust that I have the love and support of so many awesome people and I need to respect them by letting them in and believing they will be there for me. In the way that I would (and have) been there for them.  I have made myself go out and see friends or have them over for dinner three times this week, each time I wanted to cancel as I just felt so anxious but I am so glad I did as being around awesome people can only make you feel better!

I heard a quote that said:

those who mind quote

I remember this when I am feeling sad and unable to talk to friends.  “Those who mind, don’t matter, those who matter, don’t mind”  But anxiety isn’t logical is it? Despite knowing that I have some wonderful support around me, the mean, sad voice in my head tells me otherwise.

Chronic illness is a right fucker.  It is never ending and that realisation that this is life long is pretty soul destroying.  I worry that I am a constant burden to the people I love the most, and I worry that they will get fed up of me and want to walk away.  I hate the idea of being a burden and I do worry that the time will come when it all gets too much for others, especially my husband Timm.  He tells me that this won’t happen, that he will always be there for me, but I feel so sad that his life is overtaken by my illness.

My default setting is to try and find the positive and make things better, and so I think I struggle when I have an illogical emotional response and feel sad.  Though I get that it is ok to be stressed out and down in my current circumstances, my usual reaction isn’t working and I can’t shake this sadness.  And that is tough.

Thank you so much to you all for reading and for the lovely messages I have received in the past few weeks.

I don’t find it easy to write this stuff and so I do appreciate your acceptance of me whether I am shiny, giddy Sam or slow, quiet Sam.

xxx

6 replies
  1. Nat Nat
    Nat Nat says:

    Sam I have the same feelings that I’ve become a burden to those closest to me and feel one day they will have had enough!
    But the people who mean the most to you and love you don’t understand your feelings but are genuine and love you for you, your illness, ailments and all xxx
    I promise feeling the way you do won’t last forever and you’ll wonder how someone as positive as yourself could have ever felt so crap an shitty about everything.
    Keep your chin up chic an try not to worry about the things you have no control over. (Easier said than done I know)
    Love you xx
    NAT xxxxxxxx

    Reply
  2. Rinse
    Rinse says:

    Sam, the best thing I found for my anxiety was a book by Paul David called At last a life. ( google him if you haven’t heard of him.) He has just written a sequel called At Last A life and Beyond, which I have just finished reading. I have tried many other routes, hypnotherapy, counselling, tablets, massage etc etc, but his was the only voice that made any sense to me. His style of writing is so simplistic that it may not work for everyone, but I found his style perfect as it’s impossible to read anything complicated when your thoughts are 100mph. His second book is very much a follow up, and doesnt really stand alone, so try the first one if you are interested.

    Reply
  3. Donald Barbarie
    Donald Barbarie says:

    Hi Sam Thank you for being able to share those feeling with us . When I’m sad I think about all the good things that came by because I am sick all the new people I have met sharing emotional times the help I try to provide to others that are loss or depress.Like you providing awareness .
    I used so shy to the point it crippled me staying in the house all the time before because I was to sick to get out plus social anxiety now I’m happy .People and friends tell me that I have changed. This weekend my wife and I are going out to our first hot tub birthday party I feel some anxiety because with all the bloating I look pregnant. .Sometime feeling sad is good make us think of the good things that has happened and shaped us into the caring and outgoing person that we are .I hope this will help help you dealing with your sadness
    Donald

    Reply
  4. Dolores
    Dolores says:

    Hi Sam,

    Thought your post was an excellent summary of how it can feel coping with a long-term illness and the effects it can have. I too have a j pouch and have felt just like you last year and was even unable to work for a while I felt so awful. My GP was brilliant and I’m feeling a lot better (with some blips along the way).

    I also had a prolapse last year which made me fear I’d lose my pouch (wonder if the two are connected in any way?). I’ve been doing pelvic floor exercises since then using a brilliant NHS app called ‘Squeeze’ which reminds you to do them 3 times a day. This has helped enormously and the prolapse doesn’t feel anything like as bad.

    Thanks for speaking out for people like us – you do a fantastic job. It made me feel so much more ‘normal’ reading about your experiences which often mirror mine.

    Take care,

    D

    Reply

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