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I was one that believed that sadness is a wasteful emotion. I was wrong. Sadness is an emotion as powerful as love. Sadness is like fire; if left unattended it will destroy everything in its path. However when controlled, it heals, purifies and fosters love.

Recently a reader, Justina Gustafson, pointed out how my work was very sad; beautiful but sad. This made me start thinking. Yes I suffer from depression, and yes most days are bad, but that is not what makes up my entire reality. I do have good days, some days are even great. And I was ashamed to find out that I had never shared them before. Ashamed that as one that wants to advocate for less stigma against mental illness, I have failed to show those that suffer from it that life is not always shades of black and blue. Our lives can also contain a magnitude  of colours as those that don’t have to rely on Welbutrin or Cymbalta.

This happiness that seems to elude us constantly is hiding in the simplest of places; knowing that we are often afraid to take even the smallest risk. Why try right? Not trying means you don’t get disappointed. However not trying means that you deprive yourself of new experiences that have the ability to propel you out of a depressive episode. It reminds me of something the shepherd said in The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho. It reads: “Imagine a new story of your life, and believe in it. Concentrate on those moments in which you achieve what you desired, and this strength will help you to accomplish what you want.”

So the anger that we feel, the frustration and sadness; that should be used to propel us into the life we imagine for ourselves. If it’s one thing depressives do best, it’s imagine. So instead of creating scenarios that drown us further into our sea of sorrow, let us create an oasis for our souls to rest. This image should be solidified by the realisation that in the same way bad things occur, great things also exist. We should take that image and tattoo it on our hearts, and engrave it on our mind’s eye. Let it be the first thing we see when we wake up,  and the last thing we think about as we sleep.

So let the frustration of wanting to be happy drive you to happiness. And let the fear of disappointment burn in the flames caused by passion.

Here is a link to my first attempt at fear conquering.

PS: To those I work with, please do not misquote my words. It causes an unnecessary fuss. Such peremptory behaviour is uncalled for. Thanks:)

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Ros Limbo
mulemwa.limbo@gmail.com

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One thought on “Using Sadness

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