Let a journal prompt take you on a journey, here’s mine:
“What is your relationship with sadness? Do you see it as a necessary component to life or try to avoid it at all costs? Do you find sadness beautiful or as a moment of happiness you’ll never get back?”
Sadness finds me quite well, although I do not seek its attention. There are many levels and variations to sadness. Sadness, to me, has a purpose. You know why you are sad. Whereas with depression, you don’t always know. It’s not to say the two aren’t similar, but I can distinguish between the two quite well. The coexistence of depression & sadness are quite often, although depression seems to rule my life, whereas sadness is just in the background.
To feel is a privilege.
Not many people understand that but I was one of the unfortunate ones that had to learn the hard way. Although sadness is not great, it’s an emotion. Emotions are beautiful. To be able to feel is such a gift. I know you may be like, “why in the fuck would sadness be a gift?”. To be quite frank, it wasn’t until I felt nothing at all that taught me this lesson.
I was a sophomore in college when this occurred. This is the first time I truly experienced how deep and dark my depression could be. I’m not sure exactly what triggered it, but I vividly remember the misery of emptiness.
Nothing I did could stimulate my mind.
Absolutely nothing. Not even sex or working out. I spent almost a week not sleeping. I shit you not, a total week of no REM sleep. I was delusional and sick. One of my professors actually questioned if I was using drugs. It was awful. During that time and for quite awhile after, I felt absolutely nothing. I was not happy nor was I sad. I had nothing to say but at the same time wanted to tell someone everything; but, I just didn’t know where or how to start. It’s like I was constantly brain locked. It almost felt as though a literal element of myself was missing.
Not feeling is very powerful.
To have nothing stimulate your mind is very disturbing in ways I can’t even put into words. I remember the only thing I could feel was physical pain, but because I was not moving much there wasn’t much pain to follow. Until one day. My bones began just aching. Every part of me aching, almost as though I was ran over by a truck. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I hurt so fucking bad. After hours of laying in bed and dwelling, I finally had the energy to take a shower.
I could barely move my bones ached so bad.
I remember thinking, “this is the first thing I’ve felt in awhile”. I finally made it to the restroom, undressed and got into the shower. I turned the shower to almost scorching and I let it run on my head down onto my back. I was standing facing the drain. I could see the water, in detail, swirling down into the drain. At that exact moment, I felt as though I was the water. That this was an actual representation of how my life was about to go. For some very very very odd reason, I felt a deep connection to that swirling down the shower drain water.
I stood there with the water running on my head for about 30 minutes. It felt like a movie scene where the girl gets her heart broken and just stands in the shower all sad and shit. Except I was numb. I was unbelievably numb my bones ached all the way from my teeth to my toes.
I hadn’t cried in weeks.
I just couldn’t, I could feel nothing. There was absolutely nothing that made me cry. I remember my great aunt passed away during this time and I barely shed a tear. I was just numb. Not even death could make me feel something again, and that scared the shit out of me.
After over a year of complete numbness I got on medication.
Although I was not happy about getting on medication, it saved my life. Absolutely nothing I did would change that numbness and to help bring my head out my ass, a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor was definitely needed. I can remember the day the medications started working. A few weeks after taking them consistently, out of nowhere it felt like the seas had parted and my head had been pulled out of my ass. I could feel little bits and pieces of life again.
It did not make me “normal”, it made life doable.
That night that I felt the meds begin working I collapsed to my floor and cried my heart out. This is the first time in over a year I had felt so many emotions, especially all at once. I was happy, I was tired, I was sad, I was emotional, I was just about every emotion there was.
So, to answer the question;
Yes, I find as though sadness is a very necessary component to life. Going without feeling over a year will change you for good. It will make you realize the beauty in sadness and the necessity to feel to emotions. Sadness to me is beautiful. We would not know happiness without sadness or sadness without happiness. We would not know gratitude if sadness didn’t sweep us off of our feet some days or another. Sadness, in a way, sharpens our senses. It makes us aware of what we do and do not want. Sadness brings us deeper within ourselves than we would ever want to go, and that alone is necessary.