Photo by Nick Kenrick

I am sad.

There I said it.

I don’t like to be the sad one. Not that there’s anything wrong with being sad: we all feel like this sometimes, and some more than others. In fact, I’d argue that if you don’t feel sad sometimes then your skin is probably too thick, and you might well be walking around wounding others.

There is something about sadness that is linked to compassion. A sad person is someone who empathises. A sad person feels keenly. Nobody wants a rock for a friend; someone hard and unfeeling. Sadness is a badge of honour, it’s a chink that shows you’re beautiful.

Some of my favourite books are sad. I like laughing, but there’s an aching resonance to sadness I appreciate. I can feel the edges of it and know that I’m not alone, that we all have aches and caverns, even when we are surrounded by love.

Still, people avoid those who are sad. Or maybe we don’t show our sadness because we are scared others will run away, or not like us if they know the truth. We’re expected to always be cheerful, to cover up the cracks with make up and plasters, and a mega-watt smile.

Sadness is catchy. It brings everyone down.

Or maybe it brings people together. Sadness is not a raincloud. It is a hug-in-waiting. It isn’t the creep of blue ink on blotting paper. It is the tide, cleansing and freeing.

Sadness can be triggered by someone unkind or it can attack out of the blue, attached to a memory or thing, or attached to nothing at all, just floating in and finding a home in you. And then just like that, it can disappear.

It’s a funny old thing.

Sometimes we need help to pierce sadness, and without that help it festers, settling over us, seeping out in pockets of rage and miles of gloom.

Everything passes, I promise. If today you are sad, you can take my words and hug them to you, and know that you’re not alone.

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