Being told that someone very close to you has been diagnosed with incurable cancer is a shock. You go through every emotion at once while you are trying to process the news. A wave of sadness pummelling through your body, but I guess that’s what it will be like from now on, wave after wave of emotion.
My immediate thoughts were about how I can be supportive, how my family and I will cope with this upcoming rollercoaster. Over the past few days, I have been understandably struggling with my emotions. I was thinking about the coping mechanisms I’ve learned to deal with my depression and anxiety to keep me from going crazy. But I realised that what I am feeling is not depression; it’s sadness. I don’t know how to deal with that.
I am no stranger to this kind of news. I have lost a few people close to me over the years, but when you are faced with losing a parent, it’s different somehow. You are no longer watching other people deal with this; you are dealing with this.
I have spoken a lot about depression in this blog. Other sufferers will understand what I mean when I say depression is sometimes familiar and comforting. You learn to understand and live with your depression, and despite how irrational your thoughts are, it makes sense to you. The majority of my issues are about how I see myself, what I see in the mirror, self-hatred, low confidence, etc. It makes life difficult, but the feeling is familiar. If things get too much, I can go for a walk and clear my head. I know how to get myself out of a depressive snap. More importantly, I know my thoughts are the problem, and only I (with help) can fix that.
Sadness isn’t like that. I have no control over what is going to happen. You are faced with an inevitable end but have no idea what will happen in the middle. All you know is that the road ahead will be tough for everyone, and you have no control over the outcome. I cannot remove myself from this, nor can I snap out of it. I’m not sure if it’s the uncertainty of what lies ahead or the certainty that it will be painful and difficult for someone you care about so much.
This emotion feels different, and I can’t explain it, and the words aren’t there for once. I don’t know how to deal with sadness, or at least this type of sadness. Quite frankly, I don’t know what to do or where to put my emotions. It’s not depressing but upsetting. Maybe there are no answers. Maybe we just learn to cope, find strength from somewhere we don’t know exists yet.
If anyone has answers, I am all ears because at the moment, I have all this emotion, and I am not sure what to do with it or how to process it. Words of wisdom would be appreciated.