This Side of Happy

by Sherry Riter in Lessons of Life,Memory

Inside, the pain is so intense you want to die.

You are hurting so bad that you are sure the world is going to just stop spinning and everything will end.

And yet…

    The sun still rises in the morning.

      People are still laughing.

        Children frolic.

          Then the sun sets into the distant horizon.

It can’t be true!

It is still there…deep, hollow, gut-wrenching

Have you ever felt that much pain?

Think back to the day your heart was completely broken. The day when the person of your affections was gone…

It doesn’t matter why or how, the pain is still the same.


You bury your head in your pillow in the middle of the night and sob so hard that you can’t breathe. Nothing matters. The pain fills your body, mind and soul.

Rational thought disappears.

All you know is pain, personal loneliness and sorrow.

The future can not enter your psyche…it is an impossibility.

    There is no future.

      There is no happiness.

        There is only pain and sadness…unbelievable sadness.

          Excruciating sadness.

When you move, everything about your body feels heavy. It is almost impossible to lift one foot up after another to walk. The mouth muscles refuse to even fake a smile. The salt from your tears has made the skin under your eyes tender and raw. Breathing is labored. You want to scream, but it would take too much energy. Your heart aches.

The depth of pain is past all that you have ever experienced.

Not everyone has this experience.

I have felt this depth of pain.

I know the dark abyss of drowning in sorrow.

When I love someone…it is completely…with everything that is me. I look past their faults, I forgive their flaws and I enjoy their goodness.

I give everything. I give too much and expect too little of others. Unfortunately, this sets me up for heartbreak.

I have loved…then lost the person…not the love. I picture “love” as a tangible object. It is here and you are able to touch it like a flower in full bloom. Then, for whatever reason, the “relationship” ends. The “love” is put into a box in the far depths of the heart. Depending on who, what, when, and why, you add a lock or many locks on the box. Sometimes you look at the box. Sometimes you touch it. Other times you dare to unlock and open it. Sometimes, by no choice of our own, the box is opened by someone else or something else, like a sound, a place, a smell or even a circumstance.

It is during those “open box” moments, that you discover how far along you’ve traveled away from the pain. You’ve healed or maybe you haven’t healed.

Love is pure. Love is right. Loving is not wrong. How far we act on the love may be wrong, but loving itself is always right.

“Falling in love” is different than “loving”. When you love, it is an affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests. Taking that love further…Falling in love is to suddenly and passively feel an attraction based on sexual desire and tenderness of affection.

You can love or fall in love with someone not suited to be a friend or companion in your life. When we force that type of relationship, it often leads to the pain spoken of earlier. Being on this side of happy, life is not creative, peaceful, exciting or hopeful.

There isn’t an easy way to catch your breath while sobbing into the pillow. The pain is too tangible, complicated and personal.

Having friends and family will help when navigating your soul through this experience. They can actually buoy you up and point you towards the light of a promising future. They are not always right nor do they always say and do the right things. It doesn’t feel helpful and appears to be more intrusive, however, they can clearly see the horizon. Take advantage of their vision.

Lean on them for support.


      Then grieve some more.

        Forgive others and yourself.

          Have peace become your goal.

Unclutter your life by turning off the radio…turning off the television…stay home…read books of motivation and self-help…hold your family…cry on the shoulders of your friends…find accomplishment in doing the dishes and cleaning the bathroom.

The pain will lessen.

The love will start walking towards the box where it will remain…forever.

One day you will wake up and find that the journey was painful.

You are a better person.

You have much to offer and receive.

You do not stare at the phone that doesn’t ring, pace the floor, or sob into your pillow any more.

    You can continue…

      And flourish…

        Without the pain…

Where the birds sing, food has a taste and you can feel appreciation for the past, the present and the future because

You have crossed the line and are on the other side of happy.

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This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Supercool Hotmama July 20, 2009 at 4:34 am

Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Love the thoughts about turning off the t.v. and finding joy in the little things.


2 Navyvet July 20, 2009 at 4:35 am

This is mom, the worst hurt is reading your childs blog on how painful she has hurt. This is the greatest of all pain, I would die to protect you four girls from this kind of pain. I am sorry my beautiful child, so sorry. I have traveled that road many times.


3 Alicia July 20, 2009 at 8:57 am

they say charity never faileth and that charity suffereth long… just think of the blessings that come out of these times of adversity!


4 Tammy Howard July 20, 2009 at 9:46 am

Mama posted above me! And I was just thinking – I have indeed traveled that road – and you have captured an ugly time perfectly with beautiful words. I am on the other side, and thankful for it (although sometimes that box still gets opened when I'm least expecting it…)but my baby, my treasure, my daughter, my best thing – she still feels these things in their raw state. And my heart breaks all over again.


5 Paulette July 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm

wow you are very good. i can almost feel the emotions in your blog.


6 Brooke July 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm

as trite as it may be – i really am a better person for it!

its just hard getting there isn't it?


7 Amethyst Moon July 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Why is it when I read your blog, I often find tears in my eyes? Many times for laughter, and often for fond memories, and in this case a moment of sorrow for through your beautifully descriptive words, I felt your pain. Thanks for your ever artful writings.


8 Jennifer Juniper July 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm

You put it beautifully 🙂


9 Always a Southern Girl July 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Hi, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog. I love your blog. I have felt pain like you described here.

Also, I love your picture you have on your profile. I have a 5th grade pic with the same hairdo. Too funny. I'll have to find it and post it. 🙂


10 Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby July 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Very well said. You captured many emotions beautifully. I am sorry for (and know) your pain…the Other Side of Happy is a wonderful place to be!

Thanks for stopping by yesterday 🙂


11 Courtney D July 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm


and, it's always nice to type a letter to you as well 🙂


12 I am Harriet July 20, 2009 at 7:01 pm

That was really wonderful!
It's nice to see that you are still counting comments too 🙂

Thanks for your nice messages.


13 Clare July 20, 2009 at 7:54 pm

I have felt pain like this 7 years ago when we lost our child. My grief will never go away. This was a beautiful, well written post.


14 Jen July 20, 2009 at 8:11 pm

I am at a loss for words. This was a very beautiful post.


15 PictureGirl July 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Very good post.
I guess we've all been there at some point in our lives.


16 Anonymous July 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I am a red head also and in my 50s. My paternal Grandma was a red head.
Not too many of us around
are there? Only about 2%
of the worlds pop. I think.

Pamela in NE Ohio


17 ~*~ Melissa ~*~ July 20, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Great post and pictures! Have a great Monday as well 🙂


18 Amanda @ Serenity Now July 21, 2009 at 12:37 am

Beautifully written.


19 Carrie July 21, 2009 at 1:54 am

well wrote!


20 Kimberly July 21, 2009 at 2:50 am

So true. The pain often seems that is will kill you, but on the other side, God always uses it for His glory. That's not a trite saying, that is proof in my life.


21 Sugar Boogers & Tantrums July 21, 2009 at 3:10 am

Your writing is awesome!! thanks for stopping by!


22 Kristen Andrews July 21, 2009 at 3:31 am

yes I have felt it to, many times beautiful post.


23 allycupe July 21, 2009 at 3:45 am

Thanks for the comment, enjoyed reading your blog!


24 Moms Fighting Fat July 21, 2009 at 11:33 am

This post really touched my heart because I've had my heart broken to such an extent. I've reached the other side of happy, thankfully, but not without going through the deep trenches of pain first.

Thank you for this beautiful and thoughtful post.

Hugs ~ Sandy


25 Jennifer Suarez July 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I know this pain all to well. Reading this has reminded me how far I've travelled from it. Thank you for that reminder.

Your writing is beautiful, eloquent, and touching.


26 Gibby July 21, 2009 at 2:41 pm

This is so beautifully written. I think maybe we've all been there, but can't put it into the heartfelt words you did.


27 Galit November 8, 2009 at 1:36 am

I love this post. It is very inspiring and I love the way you wrote it. We all love someone and sometimes as women we tend to be the givers and don't always recieve as much as we give and than it makes us sad very sad. With time I learned not to have any expectations and life always surprises me when I least expect it to. The good thing about sadness and pain is that our most creative self comes alive. It is so amazing.


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