“Those who have felt the deepest grief, are best able to experience supreme happiness” Alexandre Dume
Sitting with SADNESS requires great discipline, Emotional Fitness and heart wisdom.
I find it much more challenging than my anger to deal with.
I chose this word this morning because recently I needed to reluctantly do more SADNESS homework as we all have to from time to time.
I remember when I first started in my recovery journey in 1995 I really believed I was just a bad person who was also a little mad. When I put my 19-year drug and alcohol addiction down, the sewerage of my violent and abusive childhood followed me around like a bad smell. It has taken me years of therapy whilst remaining clean and sober to face and heal from the unpleasant mess of my past.
One of the most pivotal things said to me by the therapist I dedicated my first book to as I was confessing to my multitude of sins as a mother, wife, daughter and woman was …
“Cynthia as a psychiatrist for many years I’ve come to understand that clients fall into one of three categories.
They are either bad, mad or SAD.
Bad meaning mentally ill, mad also meaning a different type of mental illness, and SAD as a result of trauma, neglect, violence and abuse.
You Cynthia, most definitely fall into the SAD category.
You don’t need to be medicated, but supported and treated for the first time in your life, with great respect for what you’ve endured and the courage you still exhibit amidst immense SADNESS.
I cried uncontrollably throughout this whole session.
His kind words excruciatingly painful to hear, like disinfectant on a deep wound.
It was Christmas time, and I was a newly sober single Mum, aged 33 who had been ejected from my biological tribe because I dared to speak about family secrets.
I was convinced until this moment that I was both bad and a bit mad.
I had been told by my elders and siblings all my life since I was about four, that I was a burden, a liar and intellectually not “real bright”.
I believed them.
I much preferred to believe that the mess in my life was all my fault, that way I could preserve my fantasy that I had a perfect happy family.
Being the scapegoat, the fucked one, made the most sense to me.
Fast-forward almost 20 years and I still get SAD around family ritual times. My therapist’s words now echo in my heart, as I get annoyed that I cannot escape feeling unwelcome SADNESS.
“Cynthia SADNESS is a healthy and appropriate emotion for you to feel around family times. The realities of you past are truly SAD, so honour it, own it, be present to it and eventually it will pass.”
I repeat these wise words to my clients when they too need to face immense grief and SADNESS.
SADNESS often gets confused with self-pity, depression and weakness instead of being honoured and acknowledged as an essential stage in the grieving process as the heart repairs itself.
The universal truth is that SADNESS visits us all in life because the unavoidable truth is that …..
There are things that happen, that we don’t want to happen but have to accept …
Things we do not want to know but have to learn ….
And people we believe we can’t live without but have to let go of.
SADNESS is the healthy and appropriate response when we face these inconvenient truths in our lives.
Tears cleanse and heal when fear of SADNESS is replaced with respectful support and genuine encouragement.
But … most of all SADNESS requires immense patience as the grieving process takes it’s own time, for some of us a whole lifetime … and has it’s own plan requiring our respect.
SADNESS is not about us being mad or bad, so let’s remember to be a little more tender with tears (our own and others) when they cross our path?
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™