10 Things Not to Say or Do When I am Sad
1. Don’t ask me to explain or reason my way out. When I am sad I have already evaluated everything ‘to death.’ I have looked at the pros and cons of my own life and my own suffering. I am no dummy. In fact, part of the problem I am so sad, is because I am so dang smart. I am my worst criticizer and have evaluated all the benefits of not being sad verses being happy a thousand times, and the worst part is that I cannot reason myself out of the sadness and feel happy.
2. Don’t tell me I need a pharmaceutical drug. Chances are, I’ve done my research or tried the drug before. My body is so very sensitive that any chemicals I put into my body cause adverse reactions. I get the so called ‘side effects.’ I am that less than 1%. I am the canary in the coalmine. I am the one you read about that gets the suicidal thoughts from anti-depressants and the one that has bizarre things happening to her body when I ingest foreign substances. I am already affected by the environmental pollutants, the toxins in our water and food, the hormones injected into products, and the chemicals that seep out of most homes. Truth is, I likely would be far happier if I lived in a world that didn’t reek of destruction.
3. Don’t tell me you know the reason for my sadness. More than likely, if it’s not my PMS or PMDD, or the result of an auto-immune disorder, or a variant enzyme, an allergic reaction, a virus or illness, or something or another that is deficient or out of whack, perhaps in my intestines or stomach, then it is situational. And not just the typical situations, like a bad day at work or a letdown. I have learned not to let ‘bad’ days affect me. I have ‘bad’ moments, each and every hour, I have ‘bad’ moments, and I choose to spend my day grasping onto the light and the goodness of the day. Only sometimes, I get tired of reaching and trying. My life is a struggle to fit in, to appear ‘normal,’ to follow the ‘rules,’ to even understand the ‘rules.’ I am exhausted. I am a warrior who wakes up every day with the past day erased, all the previous trials conquered gone, all the accomplishes vanished, and I have to start from square one to try to make sense of a world in which I do not feel I belong.
4. Don’t give me advice. You have no advice I have not heard, read, seen, felt, or experienced. One way or another I have studied what you will say. I have studied emotions and reactions in films, in music, in literature, even in nonsensical jokes and in animal behavior. I understand emotions and I understand my sadness. I read to understand myself and I even study you to understand myself. I know more than you think. I may not know the root cause, but I know that there isn’t an answer you have that I don’t have within myself. Your suggestions of correct verbiage, positive thoughts, rest, fresh air, exercise, meditation, visualization, diet, supplements, and the lot, do nothing more than boggle my brain and make me think you care more about your role as a want-to-be helper than you do about my pain. I can’t be the object of your fixing. I don’t want to be and refuse to take on that role. I am not less than you in my sadness and you do not have the secret key I need. I did not express I was sad because I look to you for answers. I told you of my sorrow because I just long to feel less alone.
5. Don’t tell me what I have to be grateful for. Don’t suggest I make a list. That is crap. To me I am grateful for the tiniest of thoughts, gifts, and actions that most people take advantage of. The near site of the dew of the grass, the soft smell of the fire-painted lily, the brilliance of a child’s laugh, the comfort of my favorite blanket, or favorite song..all these lift me. So much of the world lifts me. Many moments I travel in a world so extraordinary and filled with magic that I thank life for just my essence, to just to be in the midst of such glory. My list of gratefulness is not divided by good things or bad things. I stopped judging the right from wrong, and the just from the unjust, a long time ago. I live in the space in between the extremes of yes and no, and laugh at the ones who think their view is the only view. I can’t see making a list of all that is good without classifying at the same time in invisible ink what is bad, or worse, what others are lacking. I am no less and no more grateful than the homeless man on the street. If he is happy, I am happy. If he is sad, I am sad. To even make a list seems to me pompous and unjust, to single out how lucky I am in such a world of misfortune makes no sense, unless I hold greed as a virtue. Unless I see myself as dutifully worthy based on my profiting and others’ lacking. Unless I single out what is entirely missing from another to satisfy my own growing need for satisfaction. And anything of material I would attempt to scribe as benefit, I would rather break apart into a thousand pieces and feed the world. I don’t believe I can classify what happens in my life as good, bad, tragic, ugly, or beautiful. I only know it happens, and is happening. And for what reason is still to be seen. I know to let go and let my higher source lead. But when I am very, very sad, sometimes I forget how to release; I forget how to let go of the clinging of suffering. I forget I am not alone onto myself.
6. Don’t tell me how wonderful I am. I know who I am. I know through and through. I know I am kind, gentle, sweet, generous, forgiving, genuine, giving, smart, keen, and many other positive attributes. I am not sad because I have lost sight of why I am enough. I know I am enough. I am sad because the world has lost sight of me. Because I long to reach out and connect but when I do, I often feel nothing reaching back. To touch another fully, is all I want. To touch in full extreme, without pretention, want, need, expectation, goal, or outcome. To just touch. I, as I wait in my own self-created exile, as I wait without the sense of feeling another, grow in sadness.
7. Don’t tell me ‘this too shall pass.’ I know the sayings and tons of other random words collected to form reprieve. I am an avid reader and collector of quotes. I am a philosopher, an artist, a creator. I have the heart of a lover, the mind of a composer, and the spirit of a warrior. I am brilliant in my creation, and I understand the ebbs and flows of life. I move like the sea with the moon. I move like the willow with the wind. I am affected by the give and take of the world, by nature, by weather, by other people, events, and tragedy. I dream things. I see things. I experience emotions in extremes, and sometimes cannot tell if I am carrying my own pain or the pain of another. People find me. I don’t know how, but they do. And I am a vessel of sorts, harboring the lonely through the storm. They crawl in with their tears and woes, and their aches leak through me, crushing me to the core. I know everything will pass. And I know still that life is a cycle, and like the seasons, my sorrow will come again. Do not attempt to help me to look forward to the end of my pain, help me to go through my pain.
8. Don’t criticize or mock me. I cannot help how I am. Do not call me ‘overboard,’ ‘too much,’ ‘too intense,’ or the like. I cannot help that I am the way I am. I can often control my behaviors and be the best person I can be, and I do this daily. But my emotions sometimes take over. I don’t know how or why, beyond conjecture, but they do. And the more I fight the wave of pain, the more the pain comes. Sometimes I need to submit. To be in the turmoil, so that the tunnel evaporates and the light comes again. I fret over the tiniest of perceived imperfections in the way I treat others. I judge myself for not being caring enough, attentive enough, or loving enough. I cannot lie without deep remorse. I cannot have enemies. I cannot even hate. I know not this emotion hate beyond the emotion of anger turned deep sadness. All is huge to me. There isn’t a small suffering. I hurt for the tiny spider as much as the buffalo. I long for the rescue of the persecuted innocent as much as the child without parent. I feel and take in such extreme happenings, and know not where to lay my burden down. Just as I spend all day, moment to moment, contemplating how to maneuver in a world that remains unfamiliar, I spend my inches of time trying to figure out how to again release my burden, where this time to bury my woe. Shall it be in words, in rhythm, in rhyme, in the deep wilderness real or the serenity of my imaginations? Will I get lost again in my escaping? Where shall I take this misery and when will I have my fill? Do not criticize me and do not tease me. Do not laugh or giggle your way into a stream of mockery aimed at me. I do not do what I do for attention or purpose. I do not do what I do because I want to. I do not do what I do because I am confused or made wrong. I am perfect in my being. I am just sad. I am sad. I am sad.
9. Don’t abandon me. Do not leave my side, if I need you there. Do not hang up the phone, if I am crying. Do not say you will return, and then not call. Don’t say something, and not mean it. Don’t lie to try to make me feel better. Tell me straight what you think. You covering up only makes things worse. The world is already unsafe with its lies and trickery. I need you to be safe. I need your word to be strong. I need your integrity, your honesty, your truth. I need you to be that light that I am, to prove to me again you are here and I am not alone. If you do this, if you are loyal and true, when my sadness goes, when it is lifted, I shall be at your side with the beauty I am, pleasing you in your times of suffering, and holding your hand in your deepest need.
10. Don’t perceive me as something I am not. Try not to label me. To find the answer that brings you closure. It is not my job in life to fit neatly in a box for your comfort. My moods are my moods, my pain, my pain. My emotion is not a reflection of you, nor a product of you, any more than my happiness. I don’t expect anything of you in your pain and sorrow, so please don’t expect anything of me. Don’t make me your martyr, your angel, or your giving-spirit. Don’t make me the melancholic one or the hopeless creature. I am what I am, and what you create of me is neither here nor there, no less truth than what I create. I need you to try to not see me through the eyes of fear, but through the eyes of love. To bathe me in acceptance and forgiveness. To love me enough in my completion that you in turn love yourself in completion. If you can do that, if you can look past my ‘flaws,’ past the definition and existence of ‘flaws,’ and see into my suffering the very spirit reborn into darkness, soon to be sprung into light, then I shall have hope. If I can see me as hope, I will be hope. If you can hold me as hope, I shall be the very essence that you perceive in your grasp. And we can meet there, in that space between the suffering and hope, and merge, per chance, in that shimmer of a second, as one.