The Sadness Rut

Sadness

Sadness. This girl gets me.

I’ve been on crutches for almost 14 weeks. I had appointments with my physician at 4 weeks and 10 weeks. At both appointments, I hoped I’d be released from crutch life. At both appointments, he said no. At the 4-week appointment, I was fine with it. There were still some endorphins in my system; my metabolism hadn’t slowed down; I was still “losing weight” (coughmusclecough). At 10 weeks, I had to chant don’tcrydon’tcrydon’tcry in my head for the duration of the appointment, until I made it back to my car, where I could lay my head on the steering wheel and wallow in self-pity. #dontcryanddrive

The problem isn’t necessarily that I hate the crutches so much; sure, they’re a nuisance, but I’m still able to pretty much do what I would normally do. (My husband might disagree with this statement, as he has to carry all the groceries, vacuum the floors, carry the laundry, and at the end of October, carry all the boxes when we move.) The problem is that my personality is built to need and expect forward motion. It’s why I like running. With running, there’s always progress to be made: running farther, running faster, feeling better. It’s why I like knitting: I can see the scarf (that’s all I can knit) get longer and longer. It’s why I like doing laundry: Giant piles of folded clothes that smell great are satisfying. It’s why I like cooking and baking: Hello, delicious results!

I need to feel like I’m making progress and getting better, and these days, 85% of the time, I feel a gut-ache worry that there’s not any improvement, that I’m not getting better, and that I might still be on crutches when the snow comes.

My go-to sadness busters (running, long walks in the summer sun, and eating) are not available to me. So tell me, friends, how do you snap out of a sadness rut?

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4 thoughts on “The Sadness Rut

  1. Plan A: Assuming your doctor does believe that you will heal, remember “this too shall pass”. What is invading your everyday activity will eventually be a blip in your lifeline. (Or when you go through menopause and your brain get fuzzy for a few years, you won’t even remember it happened. Nick will have to remind you. And you’ll say, “Oh, yeah. That sounds familiar.” )
    Oh, shoot. But what if the doctor didn’t say that……
    Plan B: Focus on all you can do. Like writing blog entries that make your friends admire your turn of a phrase and vivid imagery. My mom’s advice always was, “Do something for someone else.” Go find all the menopausal women you can find and offer to write a blog for them. Like about how frustrating it is to find out the flashes of light and big, nonfloating “floater” in your eye is caused by posterior vitreous detachment that happens age you age but that yours didn’t completely detach — it got stuck. So now you’ll see a black “string” in the center of your vision and flashes of light for up to 6 months while it finishes detaching. Does it sound like someone is bitter about the whole aging thing? Oh, yeah, mom would say, “It’s better than the alternative. Go do something for someone else.”
    Shucks….. So now we go to Plan C: Stock up on Ben & Jerry’s. Find a series you never watched that has lots of episodes on Netflix. Binge on ice cream. Binge on TV. Then you’ll be all set to write your grand “Eat, Pray, Love” style best-seller after this is over. I don’t know if the “Eat, Pray, Love” example is a good one. I couldn’t get past the second chapter. She seemed too self-involved….. She needed to Go Do Something For Someone Else instead of focusing on herself. I saw a headline that the left the man she met in the book and now is in a lesbian relationship with her best friend. So she’ll probably have another book coming out soon….. If you enjoyed “Eat, Pray, Love”, you could read that — ah! Plan D! I think I could come up with a whole alphabet of plans for you — pick a letter, any letter…..

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    • I also couldn’t read Eat, Pray, Love. Maybe I can write a memoir called Eat, Netflix, Sleep. That sounds more up my alley! And I think it would gain wide popularity based on the fact that everyone does it. Thanks for the thoughts! I’ll work on plans A-D and let you know when I get around to needing E-G. Hope your posterior vitreous detaches quickly…I think?

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  2. Read, binge watch Netflix, get super into a crochet project, sleep a lot. Look at cats up for adoption (sometimes just makes me more sad if I want to take them home, though, so that one’s tricky…). Plan something. I’ve recently realized how much it helps my overall mood and outlook if there’s something, anything on the calendar for me to look forward to. A weekend with zero plans, or a trip to Duluth, or a family gathering, or a trip to Hawaii. Just something to dream about and make plans for and get excited about!

    Where are you moving?? I can help carry some boxes. 🙂

    I’ve been working insane amounts of overtime (like, 4 check-in conference calls a day including on the weekends insane), but I would really, really like to see you! Maybe a night next week? Lunch tomorrow? Next weekend?

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    • I would really, really like to see you too! We close on Oct 28 and are moving some things that weekend. We are busy for the 1,000th weekend in a row this weekend, but I could do dinner or happy hour sometime this week. The official move is November 12, and if you really think you might be available, we are accepting all the help we can get!

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