Earlier, I had a sad. Just a little one, but a sad all the same. Sometimes, you seriously just need to have one. Need it. Like, the same way you need air.
I think that the cultural emphasis on being happy and fulfilled and fixing all the problems ever has, in fact, created one of its own: now, something feels wrong about being sad. Because, think about it for a moment. If you hear that your friend is upset, the first thing you want to do is make them feel better, right? Cheer them up? Get their mind off it?
But fucking why?
Because, see, here’s the problem with that: some things just are sad. Case in point: I lost my mom almost two years ago. And even though I’m dealing pretty well with that — at least, I think so, most days — there are still times when it hits me and it hurts all over again. Moments where I realize that she’s never going to teach me to drive. That she won’t see me graduate university. That she will never offer her musical opinion on which song I sing better, ever again.
And no matter what anyone says or does in those moments, they cannot take away that hurt. And I don’t want them to. Taking away the pain of that moment invalidates the loss, the grief I feel. Part of being human is hurting, and growing, and feeling sad. There is nothing inherently wrong with those feelings, and the first time I encountered that notion — that there is nothing shameful or wrong about feeling bad — it changed my life. It was something that I read in a book, and I was immediately floored that no one had ever said that to me before. Instead, whenever I’d been upset, the standard reaction was to get me to stop crying.
But that ignores the fact that sometimes, things are worth crying for. Some things need to be cried for. And the weird thing is, when I give myself free reign to feel the less-pleasant emotions on the human spectrum, I always end up feeling better faster. Maybe it’s because I’m not wasting time and energy fighting back an emotion. Maybe it’s because, in giving myself permission that way, I am refusing to feel ashamed or guilty for not being happy all the time. Maybe it’s because, in acknowledging the validity of the hurts and sads and feel-bads, I am taking control.
And, yeah, okay. I’m not going to bullshit anyone — having a sad isn’t an amazing thing. It’s not exactly a thing to celebrate. But it’s definitely not something to feel guilty about, either. Quite frankly, I worry about the people who never have a sad, because it means they are probably a psychopath, and that means it is time to run.
So, yeah. I had a sad today, because I am human, and it’s a thing I do sometimes. I’m okay, though. And I’m here if someone wants some company if/when they are having a sad.
I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery, please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.