Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker BellsBromeliad: "What do you do when you're just so fucking sad all the time? When you can't stop crying? How do you get through the day when you're overwhelmed by all the bad?"

For me, it depends on the cause of the So Fucking Sad.

If it's something situational that I know will eventually pass, I do what I can to try to resolve the problem, and distract myself when the pieces I can't control start to overwhelm me. My key distractions are music and comedy, whether it's stand-up, films, or TV shows.

If it's something that won't change, for example the death of a loved one, I just allow myself to feel bad as long as I need to, and I give myself permission to say out loud that I'm sad and why, knowing that time is the only thing that will bring a space in which I feel better again.

If it's external stuff, like the work I do every day, some of which impacts me directly and personally and some of which makes me profoundly sad even if it doesn't touch my life intimately, I tend to dig in harder and try to find ways to engage in harm mitigation for other people, even if it's nothing bigger than validating what they're feeling. Trying to make other people feel better is an important way, for me, of coping.

I've only ever had one episode of can't-get-out-of-bed-for-weeks depression, my last semester of college. I dealt with it then by not dealing with it at all. I hid. I stayed in bed. I cried. I felt ashamed of myself. I nearly flunked out of school (and would have, if my ex hadn't been talking to my professors and bringing my papers to them). Nothing helped, because I didn't seek help. I just stayed in bed until one day I got out again. If that were to happen now, I would deal with it very differently (I hope), seeking out professional assistance.

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