How to deal with disappointment

How to deal with disappointment

I used to think  that if something walked like a duck, and quacked like a duck, then it was a duck. But now I’m not so sure. Appearances are deceiving, and often enough, when something seems inevitable, it ends up morphing into an unpredicted outcome. It just hits you out of the blue, suddenly, like a sinking feeling in the stomach. It’s like you’ve just ingested the world’s largest problem, and it’s just sitting there for the next four years.

There will be calls to action. There will be an attempt to rationalize and understand what has happened. There will be many prayers said. Lots of questions and studies, research conducted. But let’s talk practical, less drastic forms of disappointment.

In terms of any disappointment, there are two things at play: expectations and reality. When expectations don’t meet reality, inevitably, disappointment will result. Disappointment can linger and manifest, turn into sorrow and anger. Or numbness, just pure numbness. And that doesn’t really do anything for anyone. Disappointment is a dangerous feeling. It sucks you dry and can change you into the ugly stepsister of disappointment, the one with brittle hair and too much mascara.

I don’t think there’s a cure for disappointment. I don’t think there’s a cure for most things, actually. But there are coping mechanisms to ease the transition. Perspective (with a capital P) helps immensely. It eases the pain when a broader picture is painted. When expectations are too high, the disappointment that results is much more taxing, causing a very lowly digression into sadness.

There’s one sense of relief that I rely on: the fact that time continues to move. Know that other things will happen, too. If found that time gives enough space to heal some wounds. Not indefinitely. But it at least provides some perspective.

There’s always the alternative. You can just absolutely fall apart when an unexpected outcome arises. Just take it really hard and, instead of “˜moving on’ like the general public encourages, you can revolt by doing absolutely no moving whatsoever. Just lay down and muse. For days, weeks, months, years. Soak up the dissatisfaction and eat a few bon bons. Watch the days escape you.

Sometimes, when I’m deeply dissatisfied with the events of life, I believe that life and time has ultimately stopped. Life has ended because I’m unhappy, when really, that’s not the case at all. It continues onward, with or without me, and hopefully I’d make the decision to not let it slip away.

Joy Lazarus is a senior art and communication double major.