I read an anecdote a little while ago about Eeyore and how his friends were accepting of him, never asking him to cheer up, not expecting him to be anything but himself- gloomy as he is, that they love him just the way he is. This really resonated with me and reminded me of times in my past… however accurate this may or may not be in regards to Eeyore’s stories (I also read his friends were a bit shitty to him at times…), it still struck a chord. I distinctly remember being told I was hard work to be around, because I was unhappy and pessimistic (amongst other traits that I could’ve listed as the things I hate most about myself). Truth is, it was in all likelihood depression. But ever since then, and this was about a decade ago, I have always felt more prominently than before that even if I feel like things are not going so great, or if I’m sad about something, that I have to hide these feelings and just plaster on a fake smile and summon all my dwindling energy to pretend life is going great guns. So that they won’t think I’m a burden, or don’t want to be around me, or that I’m a ‘Debbie downer’. Things are always ‘fine’ or ‘great’, even if they’re not. Even now though I just cannot get on board with the constant, constant #blessed, #grateful epidemic. I just can’t. I AM grateful for a lot of things, I DO realise how lucky I am in so many ways. But sometimes I AM sad, or angry, or anxious. And I like to think that this is ok, because we are not built to be in a state of one constant emotion. If you don’t experience pain how can you know what pleasure is? And all those other antonyms. I don’t think it is a bad thing to, if you need it, allow yourself to be sad for a while. Or a little bit of any of those other ‘negative’ emotions. Sometimes, life is like that, it is just a bit shit. It just is, for whatever reason. And there’s no amount of throwing glitter on it that’s going to dress it up to be a glamourous VIP event. As long as we keep it all in perspective, we pick ourselves back up (hopefully with a little help from our friends, who won’t shun us for periods of melancholy) I don’t think we should feel like we have to hide it, or be ashamed of feeling this way. Life isn’t all a contrived, curated facebook feed. And if it’s MORE than just a period of sadness, if it is actual depression, illness, even more reason for them to be supportive and not so judgemental.
I myself am an ’overcarer’- I’m too bothered by things, which leads to anxiety. I know that mindful practises point you towards focussing on the positive and when there is a negative feeling creeping in you can use breathing and various techniques to block it and get back to the happy. I’m on board with this, certainly. I think it is more the shoving it in your face, look how brilliant everything is, I am NEVER unhappy, I am ALWAYS grateful for everything ever ever EVER facades that get on my wick. Because I don’t believe it, I think it is a false projection of what you want people to see. I guess that is social media all over though. They’re just platforms, ones we weren’t used to; we used to just get on with it and not document every living second of our day, weren’t competing with 200+ odd ‘friends’ to show just how wonderful our lives are, or thrusting our opinions on a daily basis on such a large captive audience. I sound old- ‘it wasn’t like that in my day… things were better in the good old days…’. Perhaps they were though, simpler times. Maybe, like most overhauls, some of the changes are great and some we might actually be better off without.