There are times in everyone’s lives when they feel deeply sad. There are great overwhelming moments of grief and loss. There is the dark, seemingly endless tunnel of depression.
These are the times when it feels that there is no bright side.
Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
When you are really down, the biggest step can simply be allowing someone in to help. If you are feeling anything like that, then take that small step. Make a phone call. See your doctor. Talk to someone.
The difference between feeling sad, and being depressed is that sadness is a state that passes. When we say we are depressed we define ourselves somehow. It is a known fact that depression has increased dramatically in recent times, as our modern world changes and the things that connected us together – family, community and society – are breaking down.
When I was a child people simply looked about them and were moderately happy; today they peer beyond the seven seas, bury themselves waist deep in tidings, and by and large what they see and hear makes them unutterably sad.E. B. White
So if you are suffering from depressive symptoms, seek out some help from a professional. Make an appointment with your doctor or contact an expert.
What if I just want to feel sad?
For those other times, when we just feel a little sad. You know what? That is allowed. Sometimes we like to listen to sad songs, watch weepies, have the occasional wallow in self pity.
Other times sadness chooses us, but we accept it and allow it for a time because it is the right way to feel. Others try to lift us out of it and we can even resent them a little for doing so.
Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.Carl Jung
Where some people perhaps go wrong is in deciding that because we choose one emotion over another in the moment, somehow that decides what kind of a person you are. It decides the kind of life you have lived. Just because you have times of sadness does not mean you have a sad life.
What we want to help children with is, just because you feel sad or happy or depressed doesn’t mean that is who you are. We want them to know, ‘I am really sad right now, but I am not a sad person.’Goldie Hawn
Consciously or unconsciously, we choose how to feel about the things that we experience. There is usually so much going on in our lives on a day-to-day level that we can’t possibly process it all, so we choose what to focus on. We are living a news-feed. The first item of the day may make us weep uncontrollably and by the end of the day we may laugh at something completely unconnected to that, or even the same thing over again!
And in real life endings aren’t always neat, whether they’re happy endings, or whether they’re sad endings.Stephen King
We have to allow a certain amount of all emotion in. We don’t need to assume that because this happens, and that happens, we are going to be unhappy for the rest of our days. We don’t have to make decisions based on the least risk to our happiness, because it is okay to feel unhappy sometimes.
Tove Jansson, Moominland Midwinter
All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured.”