It’s ok to be sad. And that makes me super happy.
I would have written sooner but I fell and I couldn’t get up. Or rather, I chose not to.
A lot of stuff has been going on over the past few months. Up until recently, I handled it well. I took the high road whenever possible, tried to think the best of others, and was there for those who needed me. But then I just broke.
I was tired. This being strong business takes a lot of energy and my supply was tapped dry. So dry that when I looked at the date of my last blog entry (October 15) and contemplated how overdue my next post was, I thought, screw it without even batting an eye.
My husband asked me what I needed; what might help me pick myself up off the floor. “A break from trying,” I said.
Sometimes you just need to feel life’s lows instead of trying to beat them. I was there. I had no fight left in me. “Bring it on, sorrow. Come and get me. I’ve got me some crying to do.”
I willed it and the floodgates opened.
Life is full of highs and lows. Being sad is part of the journey.
In fact, it’s important to feel – and I mean truly feel – sadness. You know how physical pain alerts us when we need medical attention? In a similar way, emotional pain alerts us when we need to take care of our spiritual selves.
To be clear, I’m not talking about depression. Depression is a whole different ball of wax. I’m talking about straightforward sadness brought on not by a sense of total despair but by shitty life events, like people cheating on you, saying mean stuff, or eating your last piece of chocolate without asking.
Acknowledging sadness isn’t easy though. Cries of positivity are everywhere. “Inspire courage.” “Born to win.” “Slaying it.” I have yet to come across a t-shirt, mug or poster that reads, “Let your guard down and have a good cry!”
Self-compassion. That’s what I’m talking about.
Before I acknowledged to myself what I was feeling, I went through at least two weeks of self-deprecation, zeroing in on my inability to write. I’d been writing regularly, but then a week went by and not a word. And then another. And another. I kept scolding myself, telling myself I needed to get through this block and write a damn post. And then the penny dropped.
Who was I kidding? Would my readers – at this point in my blogging journey, just a modest few – honestly miss me? Of course not. So I stopped telling myself to write and accepted that for the time being, I just didn’t want to. I decided that it’s ok to be sad.
It’s ok to be sad. You don’t always have to be the bigger person.
Sometimes it’s ok to replace pragmatic statements like, “It is what it is,” with things your own kids would say, like, “it’s not fair,” and “that’s so mean,” and “why are they taking his side?” Sometimes your spiritual self simply needs to say, “this sucks!”
And sometimes it’s ok to unapologetically pull away from people who aren’t serving your spirit. Those you feel are adding salt to your wound. In my case, I had to accept that my love for certain individuals and my need to distance myself from them were not mutually exclusive. Only once I’d let myself take a short breather was I able to come back to, “It is what it is,” and really mean it.
Sadness vs. depression. There’s a big difference.
While it’s important not to over-react when suffering a bout of the blues, it’s equally important not to under-react to a condition that actually requires treatment. Remember, ‘normal’ sadness is prompted by something specific. You can relate your sadness to an actual experience. And when that experience shifts, so do your emotions. Depression isn’t like that.
While depression may be prompted by a certain experience, even if that experience takes a turn for the better, the sadness remains – despite no longer having a cause. For lack of a better term, that’s ‘abnormal’ sadness and it should be treated. Trust me. I have first-hand experience.
If you think you may be suffering from depression, please know you don’t have to live this way. Contact a professional for help or at the very least, reach out to a friend for support.
Viv for today xo
Putting on a brave face when you’re feeling low is exhausting. That’s why I’m on board with what fellow-blogger Cathy has to say about being an unapologetic cryer.
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