“How would your friends describe you in 5 words?”
Ah, the classic interview question.
My top answer is always ‘positive!’, usually followed by ‘optimistic!!’. Gotta get to five somehow, right? Lols
And yet, I have a great deal of sadness in my day-to-day life. Treatment memories make me sad, my leg, chronic pain, the list drones on…
But I am a very positive person, very (although cautiously) optimistic, and I would genuinely say people would describe me as such.
This is a coexistence that many people don’t understand. I can be sad and still be positive. Actually accepting my sadness about certain things helps me to be positive.
I know I can grow from sadness, and that is a positive thing.
Would I like to have less sadness in my life? Yup.
But here we are. Accepting my standpoint helps me. I’m looking at myself and seeing my sadness. Acknowledging it. Thinking about it logically and putting in practical steps to stop it from happening so often.
For example, my chronic pain is probs the thing I’m sad about most often. Pain literally sends stress messages to your brain – my brain is getting constant messages of pain, and therefore danger and my body is wanting to do less to protect itself from further pain.
So, last year, I decided to actually accept this situation and tried to think smart about what I could do to improve it. This was after yeeeeears of ignoring it, telling myself it might get better, that it’s all in my head, etc. etc.
So I went through the painstakingly long and difficult process of coming off opioids and starting to take Nortriptoline, which is a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat chronic nervous system pain.
And this has helped ease my pain, which in turn has reduced my daily sadness level. And all this came from me saying “shit, I should prob do something about this” after living in constant pain-induced sadness.
So what is my advise to y’all?
Think smart about your sadness. Can you change it somehow? Can you find help for it? Can you accept help for it?
If you’re anything like me, you’ll ignore it until breaking point and then be like “well, shit I wish I’d done something sooner…” please don’t be like me! Please try to sort things out before having an actual breakdown about it!!!
Discussing my sadness also helps me, and I used to be afraid it would tarnish my perfectly positive reputation, which is why I felt the need to explain how positivity and sadness can coexist.
Once again, we are not two-dimensional characters created for fictional TV! Our personalities are sooooo much deeper than we give ourselves credit for!
Are there any practical steps y’all have taken to reduce your sadness levels?