Writing Challenge Day 21: What Makes Me Sad

Sadness is not an emotion I allow myself to experience frequently.

I do get sad. I have been sad. I was sad when my mother had a heart attack. I was sad when she was diagnosed with cancer a year later. I was sad the entire year she battled for her life, and I was devastated when she died.

Up until then, I’m not sure I really experienced sadness.

I was sad again ten years later when my dad didn’t recover from heart surgery, but I didn’t cry at his funeral. I didn’t cry at all, ever.

I don’t allow myself to feel sad for an extended period because I can’t do anything with it. It doesn’t motivate me to do things, change things, or think things. I just sit there being sad. Normally I have no problem sitting for long periods of time doing nothing because I’m actually very active. I’m planning. I’m pondering. I’m meditating. I’m fixing. I’m deciding. Sitting and doing nothing wears me out!

None of that happens when I’m sad. I stew on what makes me sad, and then I become even more sad, and then I stew some more. It’s a vicious cycle of nothingness, and I don’t like it. I am so adverse to sadness, I have no clue what to do when someone is crying. Most of the time, I just scream in my head “God help me!” when I have to console someone who is crying, even my kids. Most of the time, they just want someone to listen, and that I can do. Sadness just makes me uncomfortable. I can deal with it, and I do.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I’d much rather sit around and talk about my mother being obliviously funny (like the time during Thanksgiving game playing when she pronounced Grand Prix “grand pricks” or the time during an annual Christmas game of UNO when she said B. L. would have a better jump shot if she lost 20 pounds so she could actually jump) rather than the inequitability of her being plagued with both heart problems and cancer. I’d much rather sit around with my friend and talk about how her husband used to fish naked than how he so swiftly left this earth.

I know I sound callous and heartless, like I don’t care about those who are sad. I do care. I care very deeply about those hurting. Sadness is something I wish no one had to experience.

Even now, I struggle with closing this post with the usual restatement of the question to the reader because I don’t want to know what makes other’s sad. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s because I don’t want to feel sad, too.

So what makes you laugh?


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