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  • Writer's pictureLouise Carnachan

Mad or Sad?


I’m tired of having my wings clipped. I’m out of sorts—and then I get mad at myself for being so selfish. Then I get sad about the numbers and such terrible loss.

Sadness is another stage of grief. The sensations of mourning don’t line up in linear fashion, nor are they mutually exclusive. We can bounce around the cycle or play several feelings at once like a chord. Personally, I toggle between sad and mad (a surrogate for fear): how long will this go on, will I get it, will I lose people I love, will my retirement savings be sufficient, will life ever be the same? The answers: “Who knows” times four, and “Probably not.”

No thinking person is immune to the emotions of this time. There’s the comparison to 9/11, an event that defined an entire generation. For those who were adults in 2000, there’s current familiarity with unrelenting news cycles, uncertainty, quiet streets, and less air traffic. We shared grief (then and now) over lost lives, and a sense of a violated security we didn’t even know we had. This time, though, it’s happening to the entire human family. Borders are meaningless to COVID-19; we really do belong to each other.

Many of us admit that personal, social, and environmental change was overdue. But dang, we resent having our backs up against the wall, even though extreme discomfort leads to transformation. (You know the analogy regarding change that talks about the caterpillar becoming a butterfly? We’re in the goo stage.) Fortunately, we’re a particularly resilient species. We’ve already begun to adapt to a new normal.

I was heartened to read a story from the futurist, Brian David Johnson, about speaking with one of his eighteen-year-old college students. They were discussing the terrible, deadly years of the AIDS epidemic. Shocked, the young man said, “You can die from AIDS?” Not in the US during his lifetime. Things do improve. Look for those stories of hope.

How do you think we’ll be better as a result of this pandemic? Please comment in the box below.

Sending you appropriately physically distanced encouragement—and the wish that you get a surprise treat!

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2 Comments


jdereder46
Jun 25, 2020

I am sad today that all my travel plans are going right out the window. I had high hopes of seeing new places once I retired, but now here I am at home. Every day! I have indoor hobbies like writing and sewing, and a small yard area to garden; but I am tired of staying home and Netflix. All the appointments on my calendar are now doctor visits. It's disgusting especially when I am quite able to get out and go...Makes me Sad and Mad that this virus has grounded me, as I won't take chances with the life I have.

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Susan M Hennessy
Susan M Hennessy
Apr 30, 2020

We will be better when we get a new President and restore competence and trust in government. On a more individual plane, I am hopeful that we will actively address the health disparities that have been exposed and that we will remember that being KIND and being treated kindly is important to everyone. I also hope that we will get serious about building a mental health system that acknowledges the breadth and depth of need to have a mentally healthy community and get after it.

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