To be totally honest with you, I wanted to skip this topic; it has been difficult to write. Yet, it is one of the emotions described in the book, so here we go.
Sorrow is an emotion you might feel in response to regret or remorse of actions, grief from loss, or disappointment. It may be sorrow over the cruel treatment of beings.
Whatever leads one to sorrow, what I am referring to that I experienced was intense mental agony, anguish – a searing, burning feeling. It was something I didn’t want to feel because it was so painful.
While still drinking, the alcohol worked to numb my feelings for a bit. But after a point, it fueled my sorrow. In sobriety, I started to feel my feelings without numbing them and sorrow became a major part of my recovery until I was about five years sober. I spent a great deal of time obsessing about my losses… mostly of relationships, but also of things I missed out on that could never be, and of great disappointments. I didn’t know how to handle any of these things.
When entrenched in my obsessing, my self-doubt increased dramatically. This led me to great remorse of things I had said or done. The net result was sorrow and the obsessing spiraled out of control. As a result of my self-doubt and remorse, soon my confidence was shaken and my self-esteem was in the toilet. I was unable to pass through the stages of grief.
In the best case scenario, sorrow runs its course and the stages of grief are experienced. A person is able to put closure on the issue which led to sorrow in the first place. As my friend Geoff puts it, “We cry. We mourn. We turn a new page. We start a new chapter. We reinvent ourselves. We replace loss with closure. We move on. We have an epiphany.” We heal and can see the good gained from a situation or relationship.
That is what eventually happened to me. In recovery, I slowly healed my wounds because I allowed myself first, to feel my sorrow and second, to grieve. I got counseling to help me with all of this, to help with my low self-esteem and self-worth. I have not felt sorrow for about two years now. Certainly, I still feel great sadness, disappointment and discouragement, but they do not develop into sorrow.
Have you experienced sorrow? What was it like for you? How did you resolve it?