Experiencing Disappointment During COVID-19

Last updated: November 2020

In a previous article, I talked about the changes in support meetings through this pandemic. The topic of disappointment, I believe, goes hand in hand with this.

As I've shared previously, it has been a hard decision for many support group leaders to cancel in-person meetings. I'm sure many thought that it would just be a few months at most. I know some groups that have since canceled meetings for the remainder of 2020. All understandable disappointments. I think we all are able to cope with short-term disappointments, but at what point, do they turn into long-term, more challenging disappointments?

Experiencing a huge disappointment

A few weeks ago, I experienced a huge disappointment. One that, if I'm being honest, I actually saw coming. Still, I had really hoped that it wouldn't be the case.

I'm on the planning committee for a national conference that meets every other year. We'd begun to prepare for our conference for the summer of 2021 and were making great headway. It's my first time on the committee and I was just enjoying it and getting into the swing of things. I was not only looking forward to seeing friends next summer, I was looking forward to feeling out my role, making it my own, and helping to bring about improvements.

Missing the opportunity to travel

I enjoy traveling and don't have many opportunities to do so, and the conference was going to be in a city I haven't been to before. Friends were making plans to stick around the city longer than the conference to spend time together away from the structure of the conference. We were going to explore the area some. It was all really exciting and just beginning to take shape.

Canceling the event due to COVID-19

First came the text from my counterpart to call when I was able. I was at work, but I was guessing it wasn't good news as the topic of canceling had already been on the table. When I got home that evening, I returned the call. The Board of Directors had decided to cancel the August 2021 event due to COVID-19. My heart sank.

Missing out on seeing long-distance friends

Understandable, yes. Still thoroughly disappointing. I've been involved with non-profits since my youth. I know the 2 key factors behind the decision. Intellectually, I get it. Personally, it was a hard hit. Others I'm in contact with have been feeling the same way. It can be hard to have friends that you adore and enjoy spending time with that you only get to see every 2 years. When you get the news that it could be another year or even two before you see them, how do you deal with that?

Experiencing loss

Since the progression of COVID-19, many of us have experienced so much loss - local meetings, family events, national conferences, even simple dinners out. It is challenging, to say the least. After nearly 8 months, since the first lockdown in China at the end of January, there is still so much left up in the air.

There are so many unknowns

Despite so many advances in technology, there are still so many unknowns with this virus. Still no definite release date for a vaccine. Still shortages of essential and basic household and medical supplies. There is just no reliable way to determine when it will be safe to gather in large numbers again, especially for at-risk populations. Even if it were safe to gather by August 2021, there are so many other factors at play. Due to the lockdowns, many have experienced financial difficulties and loss of employment. Traveling has not been considered safe and even if it is by then, will people feel safe enough to travel?

When you have something so positive that you're greatly looking forward to and people with whom you have amazing, unexplainable connections with, it is hard to not know when you're going to get to experience those things again. At this point, I have no idea when I will see my friends next. I don't know if I'll have the luxury of giving them a big hug when I do see them. Will we be able to see each others' smiles through our laughter or will we all continue to be masked?

Having your support systems yanked out from under you

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone. As a single person in a high-risk category, it's especially challenging. It is disheartening to have your usual support systems, groups, and meetings yanked out from under you. It is challenging to only have connections through a video platform or telephone. I've been dealing with these challenges by offering more support to others and pouring myself into creative avenues. In some cases, I've reverted to good old fashioned snail mail - cards and letters - to reach out to others and brighten their day as well as giving myself something much more pleasant than isolation to focus on.

How have you been dealing with disappointments?

It's not the same, but it does help. I would love to hear how you've been dealing with the disappointments you've experienced throughout the pandemic. What are you doing to get through these unprecedented times?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The BladderCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Have you tried medical nutrition therapy?