I am sad. In the old-fashioned sense of the word. Not as in the modern sense of being slightly pathetic, or getting excited at knitting patterns. Actually I am that kind of sad as well. But tonight, I am old-school sad. Described in a dictionary as feelings of helplessness, despair or sorrow.
Sad is one of the American psychologists six basic emotions Happy, Sad, Angry, Surprised, Afraid, Disgusted. It is a quiet emotion. I don’t want to cry and weep. In a way, if I did, perhaps I would feel less empty. I am sad because my daughter is ill. I am sad because she isn’t better yet. I am sad because there is no sign of her getting better. I am sad because it feels as if there is nothing I can do. I am sad because every day is a loss of a day she should have lived as a healthy young woman, not as an anorexic. I am sad because I miss her. I can still remember what life was like before she was ill. When sometimes we were happy. Or sad, but for reasons which seemed manageable. The loss of my father. A falling out with a friend.
I know that there are bigger sadnesses than this. If L died, I imagine being sad would seem like a walk in the park. I really don’t feel sorry for myself. I know that sadness will pass and it will be replaced by a weary determination to getting on with it all over again. If she is discharged, there will be stricter rules at home. Life will stop until she eats. No trips to friends unless she eats. There will be no prom dress until she reaches a certain weight. Just writing that seems so harsh, but what else am I to do?
Please don’t read and worry. Actually, it is perfectly normal to be sad. In terms of Ekmans emotions, tomorrow, I may be angry at anorexia, or surprised at its tenacity. Possibly afraid at the thought of her being lost for years to anorexia. Or perhaps we will have a day when things seem ok and we laugh about nothing and feel happy.