Counselor’s Corner: Coping with Disappointment
by Gail Schuster, LICSW, ACSW
My client, Joan, was excited about joining her sister Nan to celebrate the wedding of Nan’s son in Washington, D.C. Joan, who lives alone, was especially looking forward to some special “sister time” after the wedding at Nan’s home nearby.
But those plans were dashed by COVID-19. The wedding, ultimately, was a tiny affair, and after speaking with her doctor, Joan cancelled her trip.
Joan felt emotionally crushed. Instead of enjoying special time with a beloved sibling, she remained at home, largely isolated from friends, colleagues and relatives by the pandemic.
In her disappointment, Joan was not alone. Around the world, the pandemic has forced millions of people to forego long-awaited reunions, vacations and other occasions. We are experiencing, if you will, a pandemic of disappointments.
When something we’re anticipating doesn’t go the way we’d hoped, disappointment is a normal response. Disappointment affects each person differently, but it is usually associated with feelings of loss or sadness. When we’re disappointed, we may try to assign blame and grow angry with ourselves or others. Some people might have trouble sleeping. Some might withdraw from friends, loved ones and enjoyable activities. If you are finding it difficult to let go of a deeply felt disappointment, here are some strategies that can help:
CJFS offers individual and group therapy for people of all ages — in person, by phone or via video apps such as FaceTime and Zoom. Insurance is accepted. To learn more, contact Clinical Director Marcy Morgenbesser, email@example.com or 205.879.3438.