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And God said, Let there be light and there was light upon the face of the deep. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Sadness that won’t go away is one of the first transformative experiences. Kids are often sad. They’re sad when you take away their toys, when they can’t see their mom or dad, when their siblings won’t play with them because they have to do homework, when they themselves eventually have to turn off the television and do homework. But what you figure out slowly as a kid, it sinks in, is that sadness is mostly temporary. You get sad when you don’t have immediate gratification, but you get better. When you wake up in the morning, you don’t care any more. The giant lollipop you missed, the bear, the blanket, the game your friends were attending, the party, the sleepover, the fact that you were sad about it sometimes seems trivial. You look back on yesterday’s self swaddled in grief and you want to pat that person on the back and say, “What a baby,” but kindly, and you want to remember how much different you are now that you aren’t in the throes of that sadness.

And then something comes along that’s bigger and that bigger thing STILL makes you sad even when you wake up in the morning. When you wake, it doesn’t go away like the sadness over not getting to play with the fire engine or not getting to have pizza for dinner. It’s still there, waiting by your bedside like a huge hand waiting to strike. As a child, I remember the big sadness of knowing I was in trouble and would be for days.

Oddly, the really sad things—knowing I would never see my father, knowing that I wouldn’t see my mother for many months, I managed to not think about those things at all, they were too big and there was no way for my mind to walk around them properly.

I think we teach ourselves as children to be sad about the manageable and to ignore the massive, the catastrophic until we can wrap them with our brain. Divorces, alcoholism, infidelity, illnesses, we wait until they aren’t looming. That’s why you see people ignoring problems you think they should be facing. Probably, they aren’t ready yet.

Big sadness that you can’t get away from becomes depression—a sadness that lasts weeks and stays with you like sticky glue in your hair and on your skin. You feel it when you walk.

I haven’t been depressed but I’ve seen it with friends. And I’ve been sad. And had trouble figuring things out. And I say to myself, Sadness is good. It’s an emotion like anger or grief or fear. Walk through it. While you’re still in it, you’ll start to realize there’s another side, that you won’t be in it forever. Close your eyes, reach out, feel the edges of it and say to yourself, “I can see beyond it. I can see beyond it.”

Published in: on May 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would
    never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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