The saddest feeling

Have you ever had someone tell you "live in the moment, and appreciate everything etc." I have tried to do that my whole life. I like to stop and really think about my life and take in my surroundings and try to appreciate everything in it. Except that isn't exactly what I seem to do. I can remember being very young and looking at my grandmother and trying to really take everything in and take a mental note about her hair, her perfume, her make up, her facial expressions etc, because I knew that I wouldn't have her in my life forever. I can actually think of all these "snapshots" in time that I have taken. In my mind they are like a short video. They are so sad to me. They remind me of things I have lost, better times in my life, and things I know will be gone in the near future. One of my "snapshots" is of my family farm. I am up on a hill across the valley and I can see my parents farm, my horses, the white fence and the big grey barns and it reminds me of my childhood and simpler times. Whenever my life feels out of my control or extremely stressful, these images come flooding back, all of them. I want to do two things, go to my childhood home or get in my car a drive away. Just keep driving until I can't anymore. I know ultimately I would find no comfort in either. I simultaneously want to go back in time and flee from my current life. Its nostalgia and existentialism all wrapped in one. And to me, its one of the saddest feelings.


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10 Replies

  • Hi evie15, nothing lasts forever...however always remember that no one can take away the happy memories of our past. They are stored in a special part of our mind that only we have access to. You are not alone in wishing you could go back to simpler times. When our lives get out of control, we need to find our way back. So, running away is not the answer. Believe me, many times I have felt like running, but where would we run to? It's true we live in the moment, we live for today since we are not guaranteed tomorrow. How lucky you are to have the "snapshots" in your mind to use as imagery on those down days. You seem to have a photographic memory that has taken in everything about your grandmother. That will always be with you. Instead of all of these memories producing sad feelings, try starting a new set of memories that you can rely on when you feel down. I am grateful everyday for all of the wonderful things life has given me in the past as well as the present. We cannot run from ourselves.

  • Bittersweet those old times are. Looking back is wonderful , but not when it makes us sad or keeps us from moving ahead and enjoying what is now.

    Try hard to identify what is troubling you today in your life. It's not easy being an adult. Times were simpler and better back then, but the next generation will be saying the same thing.

    Try extra hard to fins something that makes you happy and whole and go to that everyday. You if you have trouble finding something that makes you happy...create it. Smile and trust, times will get better.


  • I understand and I do the same . Aren't these memories meant to strengthen us within difficult times and take us back to our roots? Life is tough as one gets older and this is one way of giving us courage remembering there were times when things were simpler, even more secure. Then afterwards we have taken strength from this and can continue on the journey to our present lives. Xx

  • Oh those days!! I have similar feelings sometimes. For me it's like being wrapped in a warm blanket and being looked after. Not having to worry about anything and being free. What it really is about is not wanting to accept the responsibility for our own lives now. Your memories, lovely as they are, are not the ultimate truth. They are created by us as children because we feel safe. The truth is that there were difficulties then just like we have them now. You were just oblivious to them. Looking back and wishing is a lovely pastime, but it is not facing up to reality, our own reality now. We have a responsibility to own our own lives and make the best of what we have. That is what you parents did and your grandmother did in their time. I bet you are a dreamer like me. There is nothing wrong in dreaming but sooner or later we have to live in the real world and make something good out of it. The sadness you feel is about wishing that you could feel like you felt then, but remember you laughed and you cried and you had upsets then just like we all do. You just choose to remember in a rosy hue. :-)

  • I do the same. My mind sieves out the unhappy times and l end up a rosy view of how our world was. But on the other hand, the 50s 60s and 70s was a very upbeat and fun time in general. Music was great, tv was great, community relationships with neighbours was great, street partys were great. Our biggest downfall has been internet and globalisation. We have the whole world on our shoulders now.

  • Very thoughtful reply.

  • That is just the point! I can remember lots of good times when I was a lot more innocent in my look out. In amongst those good times were sad and anxiety provoking times as well.

    I find I look back when my present moment seem a little empty. But I also know that only I can change that.

  • I grew up in a very troubled place (Northern Ireland) so a lot of my memories are not of good times. But I do have a lot of good memories too and I do like to think of them, I am very happy that I have the good memories and that I was able to be a part of those memories.

    Things do change when we get older, I do live in the moment some of the time but I also plan ahead to the future, that way I have things to look forward to, things that I want to achieve.

    You want to flee from your current life, but you do have the chance to change things every single new day that you are alive. Why not plan ahead and work towards some goals, think of things that you might want to achieve and go for it.

    If your life isn't great now then its up to you to change it, you have to make yourself happy again.

  • I try to self correct and not be so pessimistic. I don't know why those things make me so sad. I feel the older I get, the heavier and more bogged down life gets. I do know that is a fact of life. People get old, they get sick, they die, things change, and people change. You lose things and gain things. I am definitely guilty of simultaneously living in the past (my nostalgia) and future (my anxiety.) I think possibly I am going through a very lonely time in my life. But just like a panic attack, I can't seem to snap myself out of this intense underlying sadness. I am taking care of my daughter 24/7 and it has sucked the life out of me. Some of the only alone time I have is when I put her in the carseat and drive around. I have no time to even start a hobby. I tried to find a nanny, but no luck as I am way out in the country and no one responded to my ad.

  • It sounds hard for you but keep going things get better with time if you want them too, I know I don't know your situation but always look forward and see that there is a chance for you to be happy. I hope I don't sound to optimistic but always think of the future as something good.

    If you ever need a chat just go for it, always someone here or you can message me anytime.

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