Sadness is not the same thing as depression, although they certainly can intermingle, particularly if you are a sufferer from chronic depression, as am I. Today I’m feeling rather sad, and instead of ignoring it and hoping it will get better, I decided to examine the feelings and share them in this blog.
What caused the sadness? Good question, and one that needs careful consideration. The weather was gray this morning before the sun came out. My son called last night to share his frustrations with several aspects of his life. I received a check in the mail for a little more than half of what I expected, and the tree service hasn’t yet arrived to clean up my yard. All those things added up to a general down mood for me, even though I’m a coach.
So what can I do about it? I’ve already started by examining where the feelings came from, and now I have to look at what use that information may be. The weather changed, so it isn’t really an issue. I can work around the drop in revenue by planning and budgeting carefully. The tree service has other clients who had wind damage to deal with on an emergency basis. They’ll get here eventually, and they always do a good job at a reasonable price. So what I’m left with is my own mood being affected by my son’s issues. I was a mother long before I became a coach, so it’s not surprising that I wish I could be more helpful to him. I recognize both my wishes and my limitations in that respect, so could that be the source of the sadness? The answer is a qualified yes.
I’m sure every loving parent wishes they could wave a magic wand and fix their children’s problems, no matter how old the child may be, so what I’m feeling is understandable. But I’m a coach, so I hold myself to higher standards. I think that I shouldn’t feel this way, and I’m disappointed in myself when I do, which just proves that I’m as human as my clients. I know better than to judge myself like that, and that’s the reason I’m feeling a mild sadness instead of a huge overwhelming one. My rational mind, my “inner coach”, understands what’s going on and keeps me from getting in too deep. I’m not actually worrying about my son, merely hoping he’ll find ways to deal with the obstacles in his life, even those he places there himself, and feeling a bit sad because I can’t be certain that will happen any time soon and because there’s nothing I can do to change that.
Unsurprisingly, I feel like I can let go of the sadness now. I’ve turned it around and examined it closely, and I don’t need to keep cherishing it. The tree service has arrived, the weather is beautiful, and I have a budget to work on!