Have you ever asked yourself the question, “If I made the right decision, then why am I still sad?”
A few months ago my husband and I decided to press pause on trying to conceive. We struggle with infertility, and I had just gone through a procedure that left me questioning my motives for pushing to have a baby. After taking time to process with one another, weigh out the pros and cons, and talk with our therapists, we finally decided to put getting pregnant on hold.
We both knew that this was the wisest choice for us and our future child, but the next morning I woke up with more sadness than I had felt in a long time. The sadness continued every morning that week. I began to wonder if I had mad the right choice or not.
“Why don’t I feel happy?” I thought to myself, “If I did the right thing, I should be happy! But since, I’m sad, I must’ve messed something up again…right?”
Wrong. I didn’t understand one extremely important truth: that it is okay to be sad after making the right decision. Sadness doesn’t mean that something you did is wrong. Sadness might feel unpleasant, but it is not your enemy.
Living with BPD, I often see and feel things in only black or white. My brain tells me that if something is right, then I should be happy about it, and if I’m still sad, then I need to fix something because I must have screwed something up. Anyone out there feel me on this? My brain needs a little help seeing the truth…
In my case of waiting on “baby-making,” I’m feeling sad not because our choice was a mistake, but because I’m grieving. My body and mind are sad because they know they have to wait even longer for a baby. And that is a valid loss: the loss of time. It makes sense, and is perfectly okay for me to feel sad. In fact, grieving is a healthy process, even if it feels uncomfortable.
And friends, it is perfectly okay for you to feel sad too. Sadness isn’t out to get you. I promise.
Here’s my goal: when faced with something like this, I want to be able to recognize the negative emotions and accept them. Allowing them to serve their part in the growth process without jumping to conclusions or judgments about myself. It won’t be easy, but at least we can help one another see that it’s okay.