In our society, everyone is always focusing on the pursuit of happiness. We’re constantly told to cut out any negativity, people, activities, items, that make us anything less than happy. To chase our goals and dreams and do whatever it takes to find our inner happiness, no matter the cost. It’s been engrained in us our whole lives that we need to do what makes us happy, to the point that experiencing anything less than that make us feel like failures. You look around and see that everyone you know is blissfully happy and everything in their lives is going well for them. In turn, you reflect on your life and you feel like a failure. You feel like you’re not measuring up, like you’re doing something wrong. Society has conditioned us to put this bright fake façade on, to act like we’re completely happy and everything is going right for us, even when it’s not. There’s such a stigma around the feelings of sadness, so much so that admitting your sad feels like admitting you failed; like there’s something wrong with you.
In reality, we are all humans and no one is capable of being happy all the time. No one. If we we’re happy all the time, would we even have any real concept of what happiness was? You need to feel other emotions, especially sadness, to truly enjoy the feeling of being happy. To understand what makes you happy, and what well…doesn’t.
The truth is no matter how happy you are or how good things are going in your life, you’re still going to have hard days. Days where you can’t seem to make it out of bed, or where you sit in the shower, days where you just can’t stop crying and don’t know why. Days where you just can’t eat or sleep. Days where you’re just sad. And there’s no shame in that. You’re going to have those days where you just don’t get anything done, no matter how hard you try or how much you promised yourself you would. You have to accept that you’re only human. You’re going to fall off the wagon here and there, and that’s okay. It might take you a little longer some days to get back on track, and other times you can do it instantly. Neither one is better or worse than the other, it just is.
Too often in life, we judge ourselves too harshly, hold ourselves to too high of standards, too often we forget that we are only human. Humans are complex creatures, with complex emotions and actions, and sometimes we mess up and make mistakes. Sometimes we’re just sad, no matter how hard we try not to be. And that’s fine! It’s part of life. We can’t appreciate the days where we accomplish everything we wanted to and the days we feel good about ourselves, unless we know what it’s like to experience those hard bad days.
There is no time frame for how long a ‘bad day’ or period in our life is supposed to last. It’s all variable and individual and different for each experience, never mind each person. But what is always true: they can’t last forever. Eventually, you will have a good day, no matter how far off and unrealistic that may seem. You might not believe me, and that’s fine. It’s acceptable to be sad, pessimistic, and melodramatic at some points in life. We’ve all been there. Sometimes you just don’t have the energy in you to be optimistic and it’s easier to just feel the sadness and the negativity. I know, how dare I say something like that right? In a world where we are constantly told to rid ourselves of negativity and only surround ourselves in positivity. But the truth is you can’t have the good without the bad, and too often we are shamed for reveling in the bad. That stigma needs to change.
It is okay to be sad.
It doesn’t matter what you’re sad about or how long you’ve been sad. You are sad. Your feelings are valid, and exist, and are normal. You don’t need to hide your feelings with fake empty smiles and proud assurances that everything is fine. It’s okay to not be fine. It’s okay to admit that you’re not doing too well, that you’re sad, that you need someone to lean on, or that you need a little more support than usual. There is absolutely no shame in admitting that you need someone.
Our society has become so individualistic that admitting that you could need someone other than yourself is terrifyingly vulnerable and exposing. It goes against everything we’ve ever been taught. We’re afraid to reach out and ask for help, afraid to burden others with our own issues, afraid that we’ll be viewed as crazy or as failure, or worse be pitied. We see everyone around us doing well and being happy and we don’t want to bring anyone down. In reality, so many of us feel the same way. So many of us have our hard and sad days, unknowing to each other because we are too afraid to admit the truth, unable to reach out and ask for help. This has got to change.
People have hearts and are made to love. Your loved one’s care about you. They’re not going to judge you for being sad, they’re going to want to comfort you. They’re going to admire your honesty and bravery. You don’t have to bottle everything up like a pretty little package. You are allowed to be sad, and your loved ones will accept that. After all, Eeyore was always incredibly sad and yet that never stopped Pooh and his friends from continuing to invite Eeyore places, never judging him or forcing him to change. Being sad is just a part of life and the people that love you will accept that.
The hard part is accepting it for yourself. Teaching yourself that it’s okay to be sad, that you will have hard days and you can’t beat yourself up about it. You have to accept every part of yourself, even the difficult parts. And being sad is part of being you. You need to learn what makes you sad and how to deal with it. Just like you learn what makes you happy. You will have really great days where you feel happy, and you don’t feel guilty about that, so why feel guilty about being sad? Just let yourself be. Let yourself feel it. Wallow in the sadness no matter how hard it may be, or how much it goes against your nature.
Learn to accept that it’s okay to be sad, and realize that you are only human. You are trying, and that is always enough.