There is comfort in sadness, trust me I know. It often becomes familiar, an old lover’s arms wrapping around you like a worn-out blanket smelling of better times, a mother’s all-engulfing embrace lacing threads of warmth into your soul. A kiss on the forehead, a moment’s silence amidst the deafening, the sadness becomes a drug you can’t stop indulging in, it sprouts roots into your being and it grows, it grows into you, out of you, everywhere around you until it forms into a home, the only home you remember having, the only home you know. You find your place between its walls and using your blocks of melancholy you start building your room of solitude, piece by piece, slowly, instinctively stacking them one by one into intricate structures of darkness.
It’s simple, isn’t it? Effortless, so natural to be surrounded by the colourless, so calm and easy to rest in the bleak serenity and just… float. That’s enough, that’s all it takes. All you have to do is float and it’ll be alright.
Sometimes it is.
Sometimes it isn’t.
Sometimes something will come along to disturb the waters, a trigger, an unforeseen prod there to frighten your solace of pain. The stir will ripple, it will spread, one ring, two, a million, it will grow into a wave, small, foamy at first, something to tickle your senses into comprehension. And if you don’t act, if you don’t start swimming shorewards, that little newborn bother will blossom, it will spread wide and high into a fearsome sway that curls around you, pushing you down, pulling you in.
The easy and the effortless journey onto those serene waters of your despondency, it suddenly becomes a mighty struggle of mind and body as you find yourself sinking in scalding hot agony as thick as molasses, deeper and deeper and deeper until you can no longer move, until you can no longer breathe and the cogs between the confines of your skull become so corroded they give up trying to spin with their swan song being one last whisper of awareness delivered straight into the most primitive part of your brain.
“It’s too late.”
Don’t let it get to that point.
It might be an illness you’re contending with, loss of any kind, family drama, money problems. It might just be the forced cheerfulness of Christmas nudging your gloom to the forefront of your mind — it doesn’t make a difference. To the person who found out they have cancer. To the one whose partner is in the hospital. The one who misses their family, the one who’s lost a dear. The heartbroken, the anxious, the fearful one. The one who’s thinking they’re overreacting, that they’re feelings are unimportant, ill-timed and insignificant.
Find and indulge in whatever makes you feel good; that stupid movie from your childhood, that inexplicably delectable weird food combo, that dreadful song that you wouldn’t be caught singing in public but you belt out when you’re alone.
Find a bead of happiness, that’s all you need, a droplet of it, and let it sink into your lake of grief. One drop is enough to dilute it and then something marvelous might happen. The waters will clear that much more, the struggle will become one drop easier. There’s power in that tear of a smile, steam that has the potential to guide your flailing arms into structured movements and suddenly… you might find yourself swimming onwards, upwards, forward to the bank of the heartache.
And if you just keep with it, if you just keep committed to discovering your happiness shred by shred, you can use it, decorate with it, a patched wallpaper, maybe a little mismatched, maybe a little ugly, but enough, enough to stop your walls from closing in for one moment, a moment that will allow for you to build a ladder with those blocks, march yourself right to its top, stick your head out of that window that you thought unreachable and fucking… breathe.
You are not alone.
Outside of that window, you won’t be faced with a wasteland, I promise. Whether you want to talk about it, address your problems in any way, shape or form, that is completely up to you. If you want to discuss movies, crack a joke, share a random fact, something interesting, something silly, reach out and just… hang out, we’re here. We are here and we have time for you, poke us if you know us, poke us if you don’t — sometimes chilling out with a stranger is easier.
Both Robin and me have our very own struggles and fears to work through. But we also have eyes to read, ears to listen, fingers to type and mouths to converse with, and we are here, available to you, and you, and you, and we have a lot of interesting facts to share, a lot more silliness to spread, and a truckload of attention to offer for when you just need to vent.
You’re here and you matter.
And so are we. We’re here. Christmas, before and after, we’re here, we’re reaching out, please take our hand. Use the contact form, use us.
We sure know we could use you.
And to round this off nicely and with a smile, here, look at me for I wear my shame like a badge. My not-so-secret-anymore happy place. Go ahead. Mock me. I deserve it.
Bonus, for your eyes only, Robin’s despicable disgrace. Yes, I’m married to this person.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
International Association for Suicide Prevention