Please tell me I’m not alone in this.

It hits me out of nowhere.  Maybe I’m cooking dinner and I suddenly can’t see what I’m doing.  Maybe it’s when I first wake up and have a sudden realization that it wasn’t all a dream.  Maybe it’s sitting with my family, watching mindless TV and I have to leave the room for a minute.

I’ve coined this phenomenon as Sudden Onset Sadness.  Or SOS.

Show of hands for those who know exactly what I’m talking about?

This is not the familiar Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) of cold, bleak winters.  This is not the anxiety of motherhood (No, I’m WAY familiar with that).

No, this is a new and unfamiliar territory.  Honestly, it feels a lot like PTSD symptoms.  You’re going about your day, feeling productive.  E-learning is chugging along, house is clean(ish), you’re dressed – maybe not in jeans or dress pants, but you’re clean and not wearing PJs, so there’s that.  You have managed to stay away from conspiracy theories and Negative Nancys on social media most of the day and you’re feeling grateful for the time you’re getting to spend with your family.

Then…BAM!

Tears.

Completely out of nowhere.  You wonder, “where is this coming from?” or “why are my eyes leaking?”

I wish I had an answer, sweets.

What I can say is, I guarantee you and I aren’t the only ones experiencing this.

I decided to do a little digging to see if this kind of thing has been recorded for posterity’s sake.  I mean, this isn’t the first global pandemic the human race has experienced, right?

Here’s what I’ve learned:  there isn’t much on record.

Granted, during the “Spanish Flu” of 1918-1920, there were other things going on additionally like a World War, for example.  One article did describe the mental toll the pandemic took on the psyche of the public.  Basically, everyone experienced some form of anxiety and/or depression.  For lots of reasons – fear, grief, anger, helplessness.

So, what we’re feeling is not new.

That isn’t much help, is it?  The good news is, today there are more resources than ever to look at this phenomenon and to offer help. 

The American Psychological Association has a page dedicated to articles, podcasts and information all related to the current pandemic, the effects on mental health and how to manage those effects.  Check out their website.  It’s golden.

I guess the point of this is that I want you to remember that you’re not alone, you’re not weird or broken for having moments where you don’t know what is going on in your brain or your heart.

This is new territory for all of us.

I’ve seen lots of memes and posts about showing grace to others; remembering what others are suffering and having to face each new day.  I couldn’t agree with this more.

Remember that you’re part of the “others”, OK?  Show yourself some grace.  Let those tears roll.  Take a moment for yourself whenever you need to.  Then, keep going.

#SOS – Sudden Onset Sadness.  I’m making it a thing.

Post it.  Tweet it.  Meme it.

Tell me about it below.