Feeling sad is OK.

Hello there friends, it’s been a while hasn’t it? I’m not going to lie, I haven’t missed this all that much. I think I’ve found some better outlets for my feelings and that’s what I want to write about today: feelings.

This Sunday I was having a talk with my parents about all of the things I’ve been worried, upset, frustrated, excited, and scared about and my dad just looked at me and said:

You know it’s OK to just be sad sometimes, right?

To which I just responded “yea, I suppose so.” I guess this wasn’t a good enough answer for my dad so he took me to go see Inside Out (which, if you have not seen I would highly recommend doing so,) because he said it will help me talk about my feelings. I’ll admit it, he was right.

I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone but essentially the main theme was that, in order to be a healthy and functional human being, you need to allow yourself to feel Sadness. Things can’t always be happy and perfect and sometimes you need to just be sad. In theory, this is a concept I understand very well and am very familiar with. Sometimes I get sad because of fluorescent lights! I know about sad. But I think what my dad wanted me to recognize was that I’m not very good at being openly sad.

My first reaction to feeling sad is to get angry about it. I’m angry that I’m crying, I’m angry that I’m upset about something that probably isn’t that important, I’m angry that I can’t keep it together. And this is just multiplied if I’m sad around someone else. If I’ve ever cried in front of you it means that either I really trust you, I’m really upset, or we’re watching an Anne Hathaway movie together. To me, crying has always felt like a sign of weakness. It’s something I do frequently enough that I feel comfortable joking about it (here,) but I’m always mildly frustrated with myself when I cry in public (which I do frequently as well.) Joking about it is really the only way I know to make myself feel less stupid about it. I’ve also always been the “fun” friend, so being openly sad feels like I’m failing this role that I have.

I’ve been trying to find ways to deal with my sadness on my own: writing poetry, writing in my journal, playing the same sad song over and over until I pass out, etc. And some of those things have been really beneficial for me, but there is value to sharing openly with real people. It’s hard, I’m currently way too many miles away from the people who I am most likely to share my sadness with and I don’t always want to share with the people right around me. But I’ve been getting a lot out of talking with my mom and dad about my feelings; the good ones, the bad ones, and all the stupid ones in between. And I’m starting to understand that even though I’m trying to look like I’ve got it all together, the more I cover up my sadness the more I hurt myself.

NOTE: all of this makes it sound like I’m perpetually sad, don’t worry, I’m not. My life is good and full of wonderful things and I am really happy a lot of the time. I’m just really poor at dealing with sadness in the times when it does come.

So what was the point of writing all of this?
1. This is my encouragement to you to share your sadness with people in your life instead of just feeling things silently and alone.
2. I’ve been thinking about this for four days straight and needed to put all of my thoughts in some sort of order.
3. I want to know how you deal with your sadness.

I make no promises to write consistently, but I’ve had a bunch of time to think this summer and I think there are some things I would like to share with you.

Love you!

Abby

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