Disappointment . . .

dis·ap·point·ment

/ˌdisəˈpointmənt/

noun

  1. sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.
  2. a person, event, or thing that causes disappointment.

A full out rollercoaster of emotion around my circumstances that left me in bed, for days, not wanting to do anything. Disappointment is more than sadness. It’s an offshoot, a complex emotion that stems from sadness. It is much more powerful. It’s what we feel when our expectations for a desired outcome are taken away. The feelings of anger and being let down, of frustration and sadness collide when we thought what we deserved didn’t happen.

I was sitting in a comfy chair having my pedicure when the call came. It was my pulmonologist. Yes, I had been expecting his call with results from a broncoscopy that had performed the week before, but I had not been prepared for his words. As I choked back tears (I didn’t want the lovely Korean woman worrying too much) I listened, wiped, made a few noises, listened some more and then asked the question I didn’t want to ask…..

DOES THIS MEAN I SHOULD NOT GO ON MY TIRP TOMORROW? please say not problem please!

Well, Mrs. Austen, it would be in your best interest to cancel your trip and I will see to getting you an appointment with an infectious disease doctor as soon as possible. This is beyond asthma and pulmonology at this point. … DISAPPOINTMENT BEGINS

I had been planning to study abroad to learn a new language and immerse myself in the culture for a long time! This is a big bucket list item and a lifelong dream and it was crushed like an ant under my foot in a minute flat. What did I do you ask? Well, first, breathe. Then, upon leaving the nail salon I hunched over the steering wheel and bawled my eyes out. I drove home and began to unravel all the plans I made one by painful one.

I am on medication to help my lungs right now and will see the doctor later this week. The medication does not make me feel very good – in fact, it is messing with my vision terribly (not great being a photographer and loving to read and study) so I spend too much time with my eyes closed. I would not have been at 100% for this trip and would have had a good time but maybe not the BEST time so I will reschedule when I can. But, last week! Last week was a bear. The feelings of disappointment, sadness, frustration, lack of control, and hopelessness was overwhelming to me. My friends were amazing. Calling, texting, sending flowers and things to cheer me up. (I have the BEST friends in the world) Even still, it was hard to get up this time.

Today, I still feel a small amount of disappointment but nothing like the ride of last week. Family and friends telling me to list my blessings, look for the good, all the things I know and do and teach but boy was it hard. I didn’t WANT to. Not just then – not yet anyway. I needed to allow myself to move through the feelings as awful as they were.

5 Stages of Grief, Change, Disappointment

  • Denial.
  • Anger.
  • Bargaining.
  • Depression.
  • Acceptance.

I felt them. All of them. And now I am at acceptance. So let me share the good news now.

Disappointment means passion for something. Every cause has an effect. Think of disappointment as an effect, where the cause is your love for the thing in question.

Disappointment means an opportunity for growth. Every time we feel disappointed, it means there is an error in our framework of reality. Disappointment comes from the mismatch between reality and your expectation. Yet, the reality has been this way all along — reality did not change in that one second leading to your discovery of the truth. The world did not conspire to bring you down. The reason you feel disappointed is because you discovered the truth — and this truth is not what you thought it would be.

Disappointment means you are stronger for going through it. When you go through a harsh emotion like that, you become tougher. You learn to process and work through your emotions. You become more resilient to life’s hardships.

I hope the next time you find yourself disappointed (I know I will) that you allow the emotions to move through you, to feel them and release them so you can move to all the benefits that come in the end! They are there. PASSION, TRUTH, GROWTH, STRENGTH

One thought on “Disappointment . . .

  1. Sweet Lea, you had and have every right to feel downhearted, angry, disappointed, etc. etc. You have every right to bawl your eyes out. Those are natural reactions to unexpected and devastating news. As with anything, time is a great healer, so give yourself the time to move away from the dark and into the light. It will happen, and with you especially, because you are under normal conditions a bright light bringing smiles and positive vibes to those around you. I don’t know why this hit me this morning, maybe because I have been thinking about plays that I have enjoyed over the years, but a vision of you popped into my head when you were in Fiddler on the Roof. I think that was your very first play. I also remember bringing the “little girls” to NY to see you in Candide. I could have made a better choice, but I laugh about it now. All of this has me wondering about your singing, the beautiful voice I have not heard in years. It was your specialist at Yale that suggested singing lessons to help your breathing. Perhaps now is the time to try some vocal exercises, nothing much, nothing strenuous, and probably a little croaky at first, but it might be the “medicine” that helped so many years ago. I recall Lou Negri saying he had never been used as a medicine before, but he’d give you a “shot,” i.e. lessons, but had to hear you sing first. His eyes popped the minute you began. He knew he had been gifted a gem.

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