Don't Understand Sadness

To The Person That Doesn't Understand The Sadness

While this random sadness seems to take over your life, you can fight back.

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Have you ever felt an unexplainable sadness that just seems to consume you? You aren't alone. Here's to you and to push through, no matter how hard it gets.

I know you think there's something wrong with you, that you're "messed up" or that you just don't seem to have the ability to smile, but none of that is true. Nothing is wrong with you. Sometimes, as humans, we experience these things and they don't quite make sense to us or the people around us.

While this random sadness seems to take over your life, you can fight back. Keep living as if the sadness was never there. When you don't feel like getting out of bed, don't feel bad. Don't feel like a burden on society. Sometimes we all just need a break from everything going on in our lives.

You can't seem to wrap your head around the idea that people have been happy since birth or that sometimes people don't ever experience this feeling of being sad unless they have a reason to. It's a concept a lot of people struggle with, myself included. But that doesn't mean that you aren't meant to be happy.

The sadness comes and goes in waves, right? One second you'll be having an amazing time with your friends or family, and the next you'll be wishing you were curled up in bed, blasting sad music and ignoring the world. Don't let it take over. Enjoy those moments as much as you can. We have to push ourselves to live like we're happy all the time.

Don't be discouraged when someone doesn't understand what you're going through. It's not something everyone will be able to understand, but don't be afraid to stand up for yourself if they try to invalidate your feelings.

You feel like nobody wants to listen or help you because they've got their own demons they're dealing with. Don't feel that way. I promise that someone out there is willing to listen, whether it's a friend, a family member, or even a therapist. Someone out there wants to listen. They want to help you get better. As humans, it's programmed into us to help one another in times of need.

I know that sometimes the sadness gets overwhelming. It takes control of your everyday life. It hurts your performance in school, it causes rifts in your social life, it manifests itself and takes over your body and you feel like you can't stop it. Sometimes you cant, but sometimes you have that tiny bit of motivation to get up and face the day. Don't let that go to waste. Speaking from personal experience, whatever you decide to do that day will be infinitely better than just laying in bed.

It's hard trying to pretend everything is okay, just to make sure nobody worries about you. Let them worry. Tell them you're not okay and talk about it. Keeping it all in isn't going to help you get better. It's going to weigh you down more and more until eventually, you break. Breaking is the worst part about this all because once you break the feeling grows bigger and bigger.

You aren't alone in how you feel. None of us are. We just need to realize that and come together to conquer it. I believe in you.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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A Beginner's Guide To Understanding Depression

What your friends might want you to know.

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Disclaimer: This article is a guide to handling people with depression. But mental illness is a dice roll, not an equation, so this isn't a comprehensive guide to handling everyone's depression. Chronic sadness looks different for every one of the people it effects. If this guide doesn't help you, just try treating your friend with depression like you would treat anyone else--with patience and understanding.

Anyways.

Understand that your friend is as frustrated with their depression as you are.

Depression makes people feel heavy for no reason. Some mornings are okay, I wake up and take my medication and drink my coffee and feel what I think I'm supposed to.

Other days it feels like my heart is made of every inconvenience: every paper cut and burned out hallway lightbulb. Try to be gentle, because even basic tasks seem hard and frustrating. Getting out of bed feels like throwing myself to the sharks when I'm already bleeding.

Be considerate with how you phrase things.

Try not to say "that gives me anxiety" or "that makes me depressed." It's a small thing, but chronic mental illnesses are very real for people. It's a little frustrating when someone minimizes it into a feeling instead of something that constantly perpetuates your mind, body, and soul.

Learn how to talk without words and "listen" to their body language.

Just saying "I get sad too" and "it's going to be okay" is helpful, but not always what we want to hear. We've heard that before. I'm sure it's going to be okay, but right now what I need is something else.

It's helpful to understand when we can keep up a conversation and when we just want silence and a hug, or to be left alone, or just to sit together and just be together. Depression does a lot to try to isolate its victims, and sometimes that is what they need. But it says a lot being present, even if you aren't doing anything extensive.

Just because I'm not obviously and openly sad, it doesn't mean my depression is invalid.

It isn't every day that I want to pull every thread from my body and unravel myself until I turn into nothing. Sometimes I feel the sunshine on my shoulders, see the first few blooms of spring, feel the promise of summer in the atmosphere and remember why I still wake up every morning. I have the ability to feel happy, to feel content.

But even when the day is filled with good friends and decent coffee and warm weather, there's always an inner struggle. There's always something telling me I'm not good enough, I will never amount to anything, and I might as well stop trying. My mind will always be trying to sabotage me, but sometimes I can ignore it long enough to feel some semblance of contentedness.

The most important thing to know: There is no easy solution.

There is no magical serotonin pill, no amount of therapy or yoga that will make the weight in your stomach disappear. Some people don't need meds, some people really, really do. Therapy doesn't work for everyone. The question "are you okay?" is a tough thing to answer. Yes, no, not right now.

Understand that your friend might not even be sure what they need to feel better, so try not to prescribe them exercise or more water. We know it's important, but when your chest feels like it's constantly filled with ice water, it's difficult to think about working out and drinking detox tea.

These are just 5 surface level examples of how you can communicate with your friends that have depression. It doesn't always have to be a big, dramatic action. If you are unsure, your friend is most likely going to be more than happy to explain how they prefer to be treated when their depression is especially difficult.

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