I am, quite possibly, one of the most positive people I know. I maintain a gratitude journal. I practise the law of attraction. I'm the person you come to when you need a self-esteem boost. And I have this poster on my wall:
And I have to admit that I hadn't really had any 'bad days' since January, when I started my journey of positivity. By 'bad days', I mean days when you feel like your depression might be coming back for no reason whatsoever. And if you've ever been depressed, you probably understand how terrifying it can be to feel that way again.
At least, I hadn't had any 'bad days' up until this week, when I woke up feeling like my life had no purpose. I cried for hours without even knowing why I was crying. I'd have loved to think that it was just the after-effects of watching TFIOS for the hundredth time, but I knew that wasn't the case. I had been overworked and lonely and exhausted for weeks, and this was just my body's way of telling me to stop pretending like my life was full of rainbows and sunshine and unicorns.
I'm all for being happy and finding silver linings, but as it turns out, that's not how life works. Scientists say there are six major emotions in the human mind: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. So why are people hell-bent on trying to be only one emotion, all the time? Why am I so desperate to only be happy and not be anything else?
Have you seen Disney Pixar's latest movie, Inside Out? No spoilers, but the movie isn't just a kiddie entertainment flick talking about the voices inside your head. Inside Out teaches you an important lesson: all your emotions matter. Joy isn't the only thing you should feel. Sadness is just as important.
And that's what I've realised now, Geeks. If you're happy all the time, if you strive to find the silver lining even when the grey clouds are raining down on you, then aren't you simply ignoring your problems? Aren't you letting yourself get swept up in the thunderstorm?
Sometimes your sadness helps you understand that you need to change the way you're living your life. It tells you that you need to talk about what you're doing wrong instead of just pretending to be that optimistic, happy-go-lucky fool. Sometimes sadness becomes your path to happiness.
Like with me, a few days ago. I spend the first half of the day moping about in tears until I finally opened up to a friend about everything that had been bothering me. I didn't look on the bright side or count my blessings. I was just honest about the many ways in which life had disappointed me. And that helped. It helped so much.
Today, I'm not sad. I still know I have problems, and I still know that I'm not living my life the way I want to. But those feelings are out of my system. Instead of pushing them away, I let them take over for a short time, because all emotions - whether negative or positive - are a part of us. And we shouldn't deny them that right.
So the next time you're miserable, Geeks, stop searching for the silver lining and start looking inside yourself. Let your sorrow tell you what's wrong. Take a few days to explore your emotions. Let joy take the back seat for now, and just be sad.
And then, when you've found the courage to express your sadness, your positive attitude will come back. And it'll be stronger than ever.
When was the last time you let yourself be sad without feeling guilty or disappointed? When was the last time you faced your fears head-on instead of hiding behind the curtain of optimism? And when was the last time you saw Inside Out? Because if you haven't, I suggest you do immediately.
Always be true to your feelings, Geeks, whether they're good or bad. I'll see you next time. :)