Coming to Terms with the Light and the Gloom.

-by Bia Plake

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” – Carl Jung

When I was 5 years old, my parents had a terrible car accident that made my dad stay in bed for over a year. And after that going to surgery over and over to fix his femur that was broken in many places. 

Being so young, I had no idea how much he was struggling. I used to play horse on this leg as a way for him to do some physiotherapy. Those years didn’t really affect my childhood. I couldn’t actually understand what was going on. Eventually, my dad got better, and we carried on with our lives.

Growing up, I never had to struggle for anything. Everything seemed to come to me easily. I used to say that “I was born to be happy”. I grew up in a fairly normal family. My parents loved each other, we had a very comfortable life and money wasn’t an issue.

My only problem back then was my sister (the middle child). She was the “trouble maker” of the family. So I prided myself in not letting my parents know about my mischiefs.

I don’t recall having  any problem that would keep me from sleeping. I felt that there was a beaming light inside me. Despite any negative situation, I would see the bright side of it.

I have always been a cheerful (the cup-half-full type) person. But lately something had changed, and once in a while, I feel some sadness and a sense of hopelessness

I know… these damn hormone changes…. they are terrible… and, I notice that happens always around my period. 

And…also to blame is Mercury, which is in retrograde right now! 

Some days I get very emotional and I can cry over the most mundane thing in the world. Even looking at my beautiful daughter and thinking about her growing up so fast makes my eyes water. 

Normally, I am very optimistic and energetic. But when I am in my gloomy days, all the things that make me happy to wake up for in the morning seem to be soooo hard, even pointless. 

Bear with me… today has been one of those days that I could just crawl up in bed and sleep all day.

Instead, I got up, took my daughter to her swimming class, had to deal with a coworker drama over the phone, and now am here writing this.

The beautiful, warm and sunny day today, through my eyes, looks cold and cloudy. Everything seems difficult and unachievable. I look around me everything seems to disagree with me.

Right now I am exhausted and it is only 11:30 in the morning.

Why is this happening? I don’t know. But I am sure now that it will go away and I will be myself again. I have learned to trust that I will be fine, and I remind myself to not be so hard on myself.

One thing that I’ve learned from Bill (my husband) is that, first, we have to acknowledge our feelings and accept them, actually make room for them, and then move on.

When Julia (our daughter) gets sad over little things, I tend to be harsh with her. I tell her that she should not be feeling that way, as there are lots of worse things in the world.

Bill always reminds me to not dismiss her feelings. Even if there is not a “good” reason for her to feel that way, we should never invalidate her feelings.  Otherwise, she will feel ashamed, and will think that something is wrong with her.

He would tell her, “It is okay to feel sad. There is nothing wrong with that”.

So if you are sad now, feel it, experience it. But keep in mind that this cloud will pass and you will feel like your old self again. 

Until this happens, allow yourself to embrace your sorrow. Cry if you feel like it. Eat that cupcake you love. Ask for cuddles and love. Write to purge your feelings. Stay in bed and read a book, or watch a movie (even if your house is a mess). At the end, gently laugh at your “indulgences”, and pull your self together. 

After a long, dark night, there is always another fresh and bright day.

Enjoy your gloomy day,

Love,

Bia

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