Am I Scared or Is It Grief? – Uncovering the Sad Feeling

woman with soft purple brunette curls looks with sorrow at camera in selfie with pink flowers in the background

I used to feel this sad and heavy pain in my gut all the time. At times I could name it, pinpoint where the sad feeling started. Most of the time it just felt bad, at best a sign that something was off. Maybe a warning to tell me a memory was trying to be processed, that a trauma was triggered, that my feelings were hurt.

Over the last few days I’ve been having a sad feeling arise in my stomach. It’s been lurking through the day and night. I can’t shake the emotional heaviness. Where did this one come from?

When asked, “What’s wrong?” I replied, “I don’t know. I just feel down.”

I tried to distract myself with makeup, sitcoms, and naps. I tried to make plans with friends but I couldn’t keep them. I reached out and claimed the sadness, but I couldn’t figure it out.

Had this been two months ago I wouldn’t be surprised by inability to keep up, because I’ve been chronically ill for so long. Not keeping up was the norm. Following through was the exception and falling through was the rule. As I move through a health treatment that seems to have some of the diagnoses correct, finally, I’m feeling better. I still have bad days, but this “down” feeling wasn’t that. It isn’t that.

I thought maybe I was overwhelmed. So much is about to happen in my life, and there are so many tasks I’m trying to complete before life gets chaotic. I thought maybe I was afraid of having surgery. Surgery is less than a month away, and as I attempted to use logic to dismiss my feelings, it made sense I would be scared.

Today I was asking for suggestions on how to fix a leaky door. As I got off the phone after getting some great tips from my mom’s boyfriend, it hit me. The sadness is grief.

I miss my dad. Asking for advice about fixing a door is what I’ll never be able to ask him. He had surgery and he died afterwards. It’s not that I’m scared I won’t survive, it’s that he didn’t.

I still feel it. It’s big. It’s coloring my view of everything I do today. I tried to do a photo shoot for my web design freelancing but the grief is so apparent to me in all the photos.

I don’t know when it will lift. I guess that’s not the point, it’s here. One of the challenges of healing is feeling. I hide from my emotions less and there is less to hide from. Grief though, today it feels as real as ever. Maybe I’ll watch a movie and cry. Cry for the loss, cry for the time that was stolen from us. It might be 10 years on but I miss him as much as I ever have. And it’s ok to grieve. It’s ok to grieve for decades, forever. I don’t grieve all the time, but right now I feel it deeply.

I miss you, Dad.

you might also be interested in

Depression / Inside Depression

Depression Is My Monster

December 1, 2019
Finding Healing / Personal / Self-Advocacy

I Deserve Respect

Inside Depression / Mental Illness Stigma / Symptomatic Sensations

Sometimes I Feel Ashamed of My Mental Health

Finding Healing / India / Memories / Personal Discovery / Travel Moments

Counting the Hours to Counter the Fear

Argentina / Travel Moments

Christmas in Summer

Leave a Comment

Join the mailing list.

No spam and we will never share your information.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call your local emergency number. The numbers listed here are the commonly used numbers for the stated region, the numbers can vary greatly depending on where you live. If you don't know your country's equivalent to 911, this wiki page and The Lifeline Foundation have comprehensive listings.



The Americas





112 & 999



112, 999, 110



112, 911, 999, 111, & 000


Find help for a crisis by texting, calling, or chatting online with these free crisis organizations. Looking for one outside of the USA? Check out our support listings.

Crisis Text Line
Text: “HOME” to 741741

Suicide Lifeline
Text: “ANSWER” to 839863
Call: 1-800-273-8255

Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Child Abuse Hotline

The Trevor Project
Text “START” to 678678

These online and international resources may help you anywhere you are located. Looking for local support outside of the USA? Check out our support listings.

DV Support Abroad
Call toll-free worldwide

I'm Alive Virtual Crisis Center
Live chat with trained volunteers

Crisis Connections
24/7 crisis support with interpretation in 155+ languages