How Sad Is Too Sad?
Health and Wellness

How Sad Is Too Sad?

Impromptu thoughts during a summer storm

Rachel Andrews

I've always liked taking walks. They clear my head, and they're a pretty good excuse to go outside when I realize that I've been watching Netflix all day. Yesterday, I thought I would get my walk in early because of a big line of thunderstorms coming our way. Well, when I got close to home, I had the sudden urge to sit in the storm. To just enjoy the skies and swirling breeze for as long as I could until the sky opened up. It was strangely calming, sitting in the middle of all that. And it really got me thinking about where my life has been since I started college. The world is a big, overwhelming place. And it took sitting in the middle of a thunderstorm for me to figure out just how small I am.

The last few months of my life haven't exactly been easy. At this point, the bulk of the rough stuff has ended. You could say that right now I'm in the long, arduous recovery phase. Most days I'm either tired, stressed, worried, or some weird concoction of the three. I know that I'm probably depressed and I know that I have anxiety on top of that. The only thing I'm missing right now is a formal, official diagnosis. I've had the info for a therapist sitting in my room for months, and I still haven't been able to call. A part of me knows that I need help, and I'm not afraid to admit that. But the rest of me is so undeniably scared that after that first hour, the therapist is going to suggest medication.

I know a good many people who have been on anxiety and depression meds, and I just don't like what I see. What one pill fixes, messes up something else, and soon you're taking more pills than you can keep track of. I know someone very close to me who went from almost manic to damn-near suicidal as soon as their medication wore off. That is a place in my life that I never - under any circumstances - want to be in. I've already come to the point where I've put my pride aside and admitted that I need help. But - no matter how bad things may get - you'll never see me taking pills to stop it. Because I'd rather be sad and feel like myself, than be happy and not recognize the person in the mirror looking back at me.

Just how sad is too sad? I've always wondered that. And I've always tried to ask myself if I really am sad enough to need drugs to make it all go away. I like to think that I'm on pretty good terms with myself right now. There is of course the usual metric crap ton of things that I would love to change, but it took me a pretty long time realize that it's not the end of the world if I can't change them. Sitting in the middle of that storm, I asked myself, "Am I that far gone?" And - almost instinctively - my answer was no. Sometimes I seem to forget that I'm a lot more okay than I think I am. The world was literally crashing everywhere around me and - ironically - it was then that I really started believing that I would be okay.

When things get bad, it's pretty easy to forget just how good everything else in life is. Writing about my experiences as much as I have has really been a huge outlet for me. But my biggest problem is that I let a few bad days from a couple months ago completely overtake my life and make me forget any good that might have come out of them. In February I got dumped, but it was by a complete waste of space that I'm better off without. I went to the hospital in April and learned that it was only because of anxiety. And anxiety is always fixable. Also in April, I got in two separate car accidents. And while I still fear driving, I know that one day that will go away, and I'll be a better person because of it. And again in April, another relationship ended for me. But it at least showed me that decent guys exist. That's a lot to handle in a few months, but it's a lot more to learn. Everyday I'm learning, and I'm learning that things could have been a lot worse for me.

It's pretty ironic, the fact that I seemed to figure all of this out while sitting in the middle of a very rapidly brewing thunderstorm. But I realized that the world is capable of a lot of very big things, and I am only a very small part of it. And it's not necessarily a bad thing to feel small. There's a certain level of selfishness that comes naturally with being sad. Everyone likes to think that they're the only ones in the world going through the things that they are. That in some way their problems make them unique. But it's pretty humbling, realizing just how small you are. It helps you remember that you're not alone.

The world is big and overwhelming and scary, but I'm not drowning in it. I'm not saying that I lied about my problems or exaggerated them to get attention. I'm still very much going through stuff right now, but sometimes I think that my head likes to morph them into something that they're not. I know that I'm sad, just not that sad yet. And I think I figured that out by the massive fear that I have of the drugs that would supposedly help me. Thunderstorms are strangely calming things. I guess you could call them humbling. If you take a good, long look at the chaos going on around you, you kind of realize that the chaos going on inside really isn't so bad. Trees topple over and shit flies everywhere and it's freaky, but you realize that - strangely enough - you're a lot safer than you think.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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