Today was shitty. There was nothing particularly epic or eventful– no real moment that defined it, but there was a low, gray cloud that hung firmly over the whole thing. I worked out for the first time in <unspeakable period of time> yesterday and then you decided to grow some molars, so we were up at the crack of ass this morning. I was tired and work was boring and the FedEx lady was unspeakably awful (and had ankles like a pregnant elephant) and traffic was unreasonable and then dinner never happened. I just wanted the whole thing to be over from about 8AM on.
And then there was this article on my Facebook page. It was a beautiful young girl and she killed herself. And there was no amount of click-baiting that could get me to read it. Because I didn’t want to. I don’t ever want to. I don’t want to read about the ones who don’t make it, the ones whose sad becomes the only thing they know. Especially when they are young. So, so young.
And then your dad told me this story about an 18-month-old who survived a tornado because her parents laid their bodies on top of her. They both died. It was meant to be a sad story with a happy ending, but he trailed off from the telling because we’d both just started watching you and imagining a world where we saved you, but we’d never see you again.
So, like I was saying, today was shitty. Just because.
Today was also shitty because I was depressed. I hope that you see sunshine in every dark corner of the world, sweet boy, but I am also realistic. You come from a long line of world-class crazies, sads, and worriers, and the chances that you will emerge unscathed are not stoutly in your favor. I hope they are, but hope is a frivolity… But even if you do escape with a clear mind and a light heart, I still want for you to understand what it can be like. Because your compassion will fight the good fight. It might even save a friend one day.
For some of us, your Mups among them, the sun doesn’t always brighten the sky. We feel sad for reasons unknown or unseen, hopeless because we believe something the rest of the world cannot understand– maybe something that doesn’t even exist. There are days when–to me–there is no purpose, no reason, no motivation. My mind tells me things that I have no choice but to believe. I sometimes feel scared and sad. I sometimes forget which way is the sky. I forget that things pass, that the winds will shift the the seas will calm. In those moments, I am overwhelmed by the permanence of my darkness. I am convinced I have failed. I am nothing.
But I am always something. Though it may seem like a tiny pinprick of light, an illusion or trick of the mind, the belief that I am something– whether it be to me or someone– is enough to keep me walking forward. The feelings will pass. The darkness will subside. Nothing is permanent. Always remember, nothing is permanent.
If you every find yourself sad, remember that you are something. Visualize the tiniest point of light shining in the distant nothing and do not lose sight of it. Keep walking and waking until that tiny light becomes something– a new day, a friend, a hand, a doctor– something. Please, do not ever stop walking.
More importantly, remember that being sad is okay. Say something. Tell someone. There is no shame in being sad, scared, worried, or anxious. Always, always tell someone. And if someone tells you they are sad, make eye contact with them and then tell them how wonderful they are. Show them compassion and understanding. Imagine that you are their tiny pinprick of light. They are walking; walk with them.
I’ve learned something very valuable by writing things down here on this blog: all the people you think are sane, all the people you think are perfect, all the people you think have it all together– they are scared too. We’re all trying to figure it out– the optimists, the pessimists, the hopeful ones, and the depressed ones. Even the Republicans.
If you one day find yourself depressed, whether it’s for a moment, a few days, or a battle that you fight always, I hope you find the courage to open up. I hope you find a reason to find a person (or a pill) to help you. The path doesn’t always get easier and there are times that the sun stays hidden for longer than you think you can hold on, but if we are only here this one time, and we only have this one chance, you deserve your turn. The world should be so lucky as to have you for as long as possible.
Be kind. Be happy.
Because I love you and I will always be your light. Walk towards me.
6 thoughts on “In case you’re sad…”
Beautifully said Caroline, and every word of it true. You may never know when your kindness is someone else’s light. I was just in Mexico, there watching a Mayan dance performed for our group, which showcased the Mayan veneration of fire, and how they shared it, one with the other, spreading its value around. It struck me now as apt symbolism for what you write about, because sharing that light, and that warmth, did not diminish the original gift, it only amplified what was available, spread it to many, and made the world a better place for everyone: for those who had no light, but were given some freely; for those who had light and could be glad with what they had, knowing that their having need not mean denial of someone else. Life is often dark, and cold, but within it are many rooms lit warm and bright with with the fire of life, love and caring. So if you have fire, share it unfailingly, and if you need fire, please, just ask.
Thank you. This made me inappropriately cry in the office.
and never forget to call your Mama 🙂
Thanks for having the bravery once again to share your experiences. It’s hard to put into words what it feels like struggling with depression. Not giving up is the most important part. Hugs to you Caroline!
Beautiful!!!! Thank you for sharing this with us, because I needed to read this. I will probably read this several times over. MANY MANY MANY THANKS!!!!!
You’re a great momma Caroline, and will be an amazing support for Aut should he ever feel sad/low (for a day or a month or a year).