The joy of being sad…hmm , am sure some of you must be thinking “Poor girl, now she has completely lost her mind. She is confused between joy and sadness !”.Well, let me elaborate and explain the title.
In my last post ( found here ) I spoke about a special day in my life, my bestest friend’s birthday . He would have turned 39 if he had been around. Instead I will have to always remember him as the 20 year old I met last.In short, it’s a day I always dedicate to him and sit with old letters and cards and friendship tokens,remember all our days together , speak to some old friends/family who knew him , sometimes bake a birthday cake etc. The whole idea is to allow myself to remember that lost part of my life. And the clear output every time is sadness, a sentiment I allow myself to indulge in for a couple of days in a year. I genuinely believe that this helps me stay connected – a feeling that I never want to let go of.
This year however, everything was different . No, I wasn’t happy or partying or doing anything remotely positive.Instead, I was a prisoner of depression. So I spent the whole day feeling anxious and scared and crying – for no reason at all. I didn’t even get a chance to pull myself together and devote time to the past memories or speak to anyone. I knew it was September 19 but I could not do any of the things that I usually do. I am not sure if I am able to communicate it clearly to you – I was depressed ( without any reason, apart from my brain deciding I don’t want happy hormones) but not sad ( which is my heart deciding I need to mourn for a reason) .
The next day I was feeling relatively better and that’s when it stuck me : Sad or happy is a choice. It has nothing to do with what is happening in your life, it is just YOU deciding how to respond . The same set of events ( example : living in Bombay) can make me very happy ( example : I love the sea, the Bombay monsoons, the kind of people around you in Bombay ) while making someone very sad (example : many of my friends detest the crowd and the rain and the small houses and slums of Bombay). So it is not about the actual event, it is about our response to that event. This brings me to something the spiritual books have been telling us all along : happiness is in our hands as it is a choice anyone can make any time!
That is where depression is a killer – it has taken away that choice from me this year. When I am going through one of the phases, I cannot be happy or sad and have no choice – I just feel what depression wants me to feel.
Now the optimist in me is loving this realisation – when I am not under the big black cloud of depression ( I know it will soon go away permanently), I can actually CHOOSE to be happy in all circumstances. I have the choice of being calm even in the face of a storm because I can choose that perspective ! Isn’t it wonderful?
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or if you know anyone who might be feeling even 10% of what I have been going through , please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I will be more than happy to help.