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How to Keep Out of the Snares of Long-Term Sadness


“How to Keep Out of the Snares of Long-Term Sadness” by Joan Y. Edwards

SadnessCopyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards and Her Licensors

Sadness
Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards and Her Licensors

Sadness is a feeling that can be extremely intense and actually cause you pain. It can be a fleeting moment in time, or it can last a long time. Sometimes you are sad for a couple of days or a week at the most. Sadness that lasts months at a time may be called depression.  You want to keep out of the snares of long-term sadness. It’s a  sickness in itself. In order to help you keep out of the jaws of the depression traps, I believe my suggestions and those in the resources will help you.

Are things really as bad as they seem?

Are you jumping to conclusions?

Did you cross the bridge of bad things before you got to it or before it even existed?

Sad Woman - Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards and Her Licensors

Sad Woman –
Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards and Her Licensors

  • Worrying causes sadness.
  • Focusing on the worst-case scenario of what could happen
  • Failure to be able to accomplish what you want
  • Loss of a job
  • a break-up with a friend, a friend moves away
  • a pet is lost or dies,
  • Being sick  or seeing someone sick

Of course they say sadness can deepen into depression. I want to help you prevent that:

How to Lessen Sadness

Recently, I’ve been surrounded by people who were close to death…so close they were afraid they were going to die. I, too, had thoughts that they might not live, but hoping and praying that they would live.  With loved ones on the verge of dying, I was extremely sad. I know it must be hard for them. Months and months of illness, in comas or coughing so much, you can’t think straight is difficult for those who are sick. Then I happened to think. I should be celebrating that my friends are still alive. They are very much alive. I was crossing the bridge of death before it was built.

In 1994, many moons ago, my ex-husband died, two uncles died, and two others died within a few months of each other. I was devastated. I felt like they were all screaming at me saying, “Come on up here with us.” They wanted me to come up there to heaven with them. I told them, “Sorry. I’m not ready.  I’m not coming up there yet.”

Sad male adult uid 2

Sadness Has Trapped Him
Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards and Her Licensors

Four years ago on March 18, 2009, my Mother, Ethel Darnell Meyer died. Last year on March 25, 2012 my older sister, Judith Carolyn Thomson died. When people in your immediate family die, it may affect you more than you realize. You and I must say to them, “Sorry. I’m not ready. I’m not coming up there yet.”

With yourself and your loved ones, you want control of the situation.  You want to stop sad things from happening to them. It is definitely not always possible to do that. Once you let go and say, “It’s all right if they go and it’s really great if they stay, it releases that stress inside your emotional self. You’ll notice your muscles aren’t as tense.

Thinking that if they die, you cannot live may lead you into a long state of sadness, into depression. Make an effort to create a balance in your life so that you are not too sad.

Focus on setting a goal for something you would enjoy doing in the near future. Give yourself something to look forward to doing.  Those who are sick or who have died don’t want you to spend the rest of your life being sad. They wouldn’t want you sad for months and months. They would want you to achieve your dreams and be everything you can be.

The older I get the more I think about the possibility that my time for dying is getting closer. But then, you say. “Joan, everyone is getting closer to the time when they will die.”

You’re right. Some people die before they reach 70. Not everyone who is in their 70’s dies. Not everyone who is in their 80’s, 90’s, or 100’s dies. It all comes down to when God is ready for you, he’ll call you whether you are 10 minutes old or 115 years old. Methuselah died when he was 969 years old according to Genesis 5:27. I personally think they must have counted years differently back then.

Being calm enables you to help those who are caretakers of the sick and the dying. When and if they die, then you  can deal with it. After you’ve admitted the possibility of death and also the possibility of living, it is best to focus on making the best of the situation. Focus on living. Be thankful for as many things about that person as you can list.

Do something new. Go somewhere different. Get books to learn something new. Make something. Bake something. Try not to focus in your mind about them dying or being dead. Focus on the fact that right now, they are alive. Do everything you can to help them live. When you’ve done everything you can possibly do to help them live, then you’ll be happy with yourself, knowing that you did everything you could to extend your loved ones life. God will certainly be happy with you. If God is happy with you, don’t worry about anyone else.

  1. Prayer – Remember that not only does the sick person need your prayers but also the doctors, nurses, technicians, janitors, cooks, etc. in the hospital need prayers and thanks, too.
  2. Visit
  3. Gift
  4. Letter
  5. Card
  6. Flowers, food
  7. Email
  8. Phone call
  9. Money to help defray medical costs
  10. Money for services in the hospital that’s not usually provided – nails, hair stylist.

It is important to do things for you so that you will have the power and energy to do things for others. Here are a few suggestions of things to do for you:

  1. Take a bath or shower.
  2. Put on your favorite outfit.
  3. Treat yourself to a rubdown massage.
  4. Get your hair styled.
  5. Get a manicure and/or a pedicure.
  6. If a man, get a shave at a barber shop.
  7. Eat at your favorite restaurant.
  8. Watch funny movies.
  9. Watch a sad movie.
  10. Read a good book.
  11. Listen to your favorite music.
  12. Take a walk.
  13. Go bowling, play basketball or a sport.
  14. Go grocery shopping, get stuff to make a favorite dish
  15. Play cards or other games.
  16. Sew.
  17. Create or paint pottery.
  18. Build a bird house or other creation from wood.
  19. Write a story, poem, or song about you and the person who is sick.
  20. Take Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C… Ask your Doctor or Health Care Provider first. This may calm your body and help you lessen stress of your body and mind.
  21. Talk to a friend about the situation. Just talking about it and sharing your feelings lightens your load.

If you are a caregiver, remember that you must take care of you so that you can take care of your loved one. You are a blessing and a gift. Like the flight attendant tells you on a plane, put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then help others put on their oxygen masks.

I really liked reading “12 Things Happy People Do Differently:” http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/08/30/12-things-happy-people-do-differently/

Resources:

  1. Jacob Sokol. “12 Things Happy People Do Differently:” http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/08/30/12-things-happy-people-do-differently/
  2. Lisabetta DiVita. “What Are the Causes of Sadness?” http://www.livestrong.com/article/89621-causes-sadness/
  3. Sen. “Stop Being Sad:” http://www.outofstress.com/stop-being-sad/
  4. Web MD.”Causes of Depression:” http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/causes-depression

Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope it keeps you out of the snares of long-term sadness. Please share ways that help you handle sad situations.

To receive an email when I post my next article, click “Sign Me Up” in the left hand column. In the WordPress confirmation letter, I put a link and password for you to receive a free logo that says: Never Give Up Build It One Block at a Time. It’s my gift to you for subscribing to my blog. Thank you.

Celebrate you three times today. Once for what you were, once for what you are, and once for what you hope to become. Visualize it as if you’ve already achieved it.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

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14 Responses

  1. Joan,
    I can especially appreciate this post right now. Lots of helpful tips. When we’re caregivers, we have to remind ourselves that it’s healthy to give ourselves some time away for running errands, etc. Thanks for reminders of taking care of self too.

    Like

    • Dear Linda,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad that you found lots of helpful tips to remind yourself, as a caregiver to take time for yourself. Celebrate you and the ones you love!
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  2. Hi Joan,
    Thank you for sharing. Your tips and what signs to look for is wonderful. But I do believe Methuselah died when he was 969 years. 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Tracy,
      Thanks for writing. You’re welcome for the post. I’m glad my tips and signs to look for are wonderful. What a sweet compliment! If Methuselah died when he was 969 years old, then is there hope for me to make it that long, too? Smile. Smile. Smile.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

      • Yup, that means there’s hope for me too! As long as I remain healthy. 🙂

        Like

        • Dear Tracy,
          That is awesome, heading to 969 years together! Ever onward and smile, smile, smile.

          Celebrate your sense of humor.
          Never Give Up
          Joan Y. Edwards

          Like

        • Tracy, even if your health deteriorates, there is still hope for you.
          🙂
          Bob

          Like

  3. Joan, thank you for this post, and for being there for people in their time of need.
    As a counseling psychologist working with people suffering depression, grief and other sources of sadness, and as a recovered sufferer of depression myself, I can offer a wonderful tool that armors you against any source of distress: acceptance.
    I can best illustrate this with regard to something specific like physical pain. Here is the text of a card I give out to many of my clients:
    “Geniuses at survival can live in hell, with peace in their hearts. We can learn from them. If I don’t like something, I need to work at changing it. But that takes time, and may never succeed. For now, I can simply accept it. Best illustration is pain.
    Pain = sensation + emotion.
    1. I have an unpleasant sensation. If I simply accept it, I’m not hurting. It can stay there, I’m OK.
    2. Sometimes I can’t manage this. Then I’m hurting. I can accept that for now I’m hurting, in pain, do want it to go away — and it’s OK to feel like that. Then I may be in pain, but it’s OK.
    3. Sometimes, I can’t do this, and am in despair: “What’s the point of living like this?” If I can accept that for now, I’m in despair, I can still carry on.
    Acceptance at one level may allow return to a better one, but can’t be done for that reason — or it’s not real acceptance and won’t work.”
    This and many other concepts are seamless parts of my just-released novel, “Ascending Spiral” http://bobswriting.com/ascending.html
    (Well, I am still working on the web page, but it should be up today or tomorrow).
    🙂
    Bob

    Like

    • Dear Dr. Bob,
      You’re welcome.
      Thank you very much for your explanation of how to handle it when you have pain or other problems. You are right. Acceptance allows a great release. When we accept things, we stop the resistance to it. Our energy can then be used to heal or enjoy making the best out of a less-than-perfect world. Acceptance also opens your mind to solutions you couldn’t see earlier.

      I am proud of you and all the work you do to help people. Congratulations on your new book.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  4. Hi Joan,
    Once again, you have written a relevant and hopeful post for me to read and refer back to. When one is not feeling too well physically, plus it is still gloomy and cold, it is easy to get into a funk and forget all my blessings, of which there are many. So thanks Joan for a great post!

    Like

    • Dear Megan,
      You are very welcome. I am glad I helped you remember your many blessings. Being thankful helps put you on the same plain to receive more of the good things you are thankful for. Thankfulness changes your mood.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  5. Dear Dr. Bob,
    Thanks for encouraging Tracy by telling her there was hope for her even if her health deteriorates! You are very compassionate.
    I am glad I know you.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

    Like

  6. Joan, this is an insightful post. Sadness, whether based on caring for family members or losing those close to us, is a part of life.

    My sister and I cared for my mother who had MS. She eventually became quadriplegic, then lost her sight, hearing, and ability to swallow. It wasn’t the physical aspect of caring for her that hurt, it was watching her suffer. This type of sadness can become an unbearable weight that you carry.

    Thanks for giving doable tips to help with sadness and Dr. Bob’s explanation and tips can be lifesaving.

    Oh, and on Methuselah, he probably lived so long because the air was clean, there was no processed or genetically modified foods, no pollution, no man-made toxins . . . LOL

    Thanks for the post – always helpful as usual.

    Like

    • Dear Karen,
      Thanks for stopping by. I am sorry about the problems your Mother had. You are right, It hurts a lot to see those we love suffer. I know that your Mother appreciated the loving care you and your sister gave her. I’m glad that you think my suggestions are helpful as well as Dr. Bob Rich’s explanations and tips. I am thankful for that. I appreciate your visiting my blog and leaving your comments. You’re right about the times when Methuselah lived. The air and products were purer for sure. You make me smile.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

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