Sadness Is My Excuse

Sadness is my excuse

I began to write this article with the following words:

“As I begin to write this piece, I am sat on a stone seat overlooking the small Cornish village of Coverack. I am feeling somewhat content as my husband plays with the dog on the beach below me. I am taking this opportunity to write as I have chosen not to accompany them on to the sand.”

Hmm. Here’s the thing; that was in September 2016 when I was holidaying in Cornwall, England and it is now January 2017. Four months on I am only completing this and how things have already changed from what I originally wanted to say.

My beautiful, darling Rough Collie, Farley passed away unexpectedly and without warning on the night of Christmas Eve. I do not therefore need to inform you, dear reader, of the wretchedness of the Christmas period that we have just gone through. If you are a dog owner/lover, you will fully appreciate my sentiment.

My dog will not be playing on the beach again and my heart is burdened that I missed that precious opportunity. My muscles were aching on that particular day; we had been holidaying for a little over a week and we had been walking more than I was perhaps used to doing. My body was hurting. Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in the spring of 2015 (I am still unconvinced that this is the true nature of my pain) I found that on this holiday, I was using muscles that had long lain dormant. I fear that they were being given a most indecent wake-up call.

I had planned (in my head), upon my return home, to address this lack of physical fitness, for having come to understand that my weight gain was hampering my ability to not only carry out my daily activities, but also to fully take enjoyment whilst on the holiday, it was now time for me to alter the course of my life, which hitherto for the last decade had been stagnant and poor of purpose. Did I, in fact, address this when I returned? of course not. The fact that it is four months hence and I am still in the same position, attests to the notion that I am either, lazy, depressed, and using excuses.

I am now writing the rest of this article in January. I look at that word – ‘decade’; it is a small amount of time, a mere speck in the passage of all that has gone before or will come in the future of planet Earth. In the course of a person’s journey though, it is a great deal of time. For, depending upon how long our allotted time may be, it could indeed be a large proportion. I will not gain this decade back. The hopes in which I may have had for that last decade are gone and no amount of wishing them will bring them to fruition now.

I know not how long the time I have in front of me will be. What I do know is that if the later years replicate those that have gone before, there would be so little meaning in being alive. I can-not face another future in which I replicate the past. All of this brings sadness to my heart.

Then I believe that I am angry; to be sad is to be aggrieved, to be burdened in mind, body and soul. It is to be oppressed and to be in mental anguish. Is there small wonder then that I once suffered from a depressive breakdown?

I am angry with myself. My anger is directed at those whom I feel have wronged me. I am angry at feeling this way and allowing myself to sink into this sadness.

I think that I may be using these feelings of sadness as excuses though; an excuse for not letting go of those events that may or may not have shaped my existence. I have used them as a crutch to move me through my days and yet a crutch and its purpose are as a temporary support. If one were to always use a crutch, one would find that that weak part of you would atrophy further. In that a person with defect of limb, either through broken bones or replacement can-not use their crutches permanently or they would find their gait doing peculiar things and their reliance on the crutch would not strengthen their surrounding ligaments. In the same way my mental resolve has weakened due to the use of my crutch; sadness.

No, sadness as a crutch in the oppressed is an inappropriate use of the feeling. It is better that sadness be used when its purpose is required; for the death of a loved one, the grief of a lost marriage etc.

Sadness is a terrible thing to feel all of the time. I have written a previous article about happiness, which can be found here:

There are several writers, who, at present, are telling us how to achieve happiness, even directly by the life-changing magic of tidying-up, but as I have written before, happiness; joy; sadness etc. these are feelings and states of being that are all temporary. I can-not think that a person can be in a perpetual state of even one of these for all time, and yet I feel sad a great deal. Dear reader, I can honestly attest that I am singularly and heartily sick of it and so I am saying “enough”. I will be sad when it is called for, as in the current situation that I find myself in; for my beautiful collie has departed this life and I am utterly bereft. I will be happy when happiness is the right and appropriate emotion; I will be angry and so forth.

I am throwing my crutch away; I feel that I still need a crutch for I am all of a wobble, but I need a better support. And food also, is not a useful crutch. It loses its ability to support anyway, once it is eaten. It is time for a fresh way of getting through the sad times. I have realised that it will assist me in the business of living, but the ability to rely on my inner self as my future support is a more useful resource than food.

For me, I shall remember this; my given name of Lesley is the Celtic words for “garden of hollies”, hence the name of my blog. It is the name of the Celtic people for strength and protection. Therefore, dear reader, if I am to be of any comfort and support to you, then I must first be protective of myself.

Remember the demonstration during the flight safety on board a ‘plane? In the event of an emergency, first put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you.

To alleviate others who are oppressed, one must alleviate oneself of the sadness crutch. It may have once served a purpose, although this is doubtful, I feel, but it is most definitely time to hand these crutches back.

Your friend,

Lesley Rennie

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