You know, I wonder how many people actually have that real friend who they can call when they are despairing - when everything is going to hell in a hand basket and when they feel like they have no one to turn to. I know some people have that person for sure, but I do find myself wondering if such a friend is an urban legend.
I have always taught my kids (like other parents do) that life isn't fair and that there is absolutely no point in wishing it otherwise. I have never tried to parent them "fairly," because they each have very different personalities and very different needs. For some of my kids, I can see that lesson paying off. Therese suffered an injustice last week. There's no point in going into it, but she got screwed. She was really upset for a few days. Then she picked herself up, enumerated the good aspects of the situation, realized that it was the way it was and she wasn't going to be able to change it, and she got on with her life. She's fine now.
I don't have SAD, in fact, I love the winter. I love short days and long, cold nights. I do get SAD to the extent that getting back into the swing of not being home always brings me down, though (introvert problems!). The solution to that problem is just not to wallow in it. I know that depression is a clinical condition. With my family history, how could I not? I also know, though, that so much related to feelings is a *decision*. That's one reason I get so irritated when people say things like, "I just wasn't in love with him anymore" as a rationale for divorce. Love may start out as a feeling, but its continuation is a decision. Similarly, sadness is a legitimate feeling. Deciding whether or not to indulge it is just that - a decision. We are not ruled by our feelings. That's why I don't buy the argument (regarding sex) that kids are going to do it anyway - let's give them all the condoms they can carry and wish them well. We have mastery over our feelings. We decide when and how much to indulge them. We can (and should) acknowledge them, but we should never allow them mastery over our lives. If they *are* taking over our lives (any feelings), we need professional help.
I realize I'm probably babbling - it's just that last week was a hard one with a few things happening both to Therese and me that made us, well, sad. We both realized independently, though, that we don't have time to be sad. Life marches on. We acknowledge our sadness and then ask ourselves what we are going to do about it. In many cases, you can sit around thinking and talking and writing poetry about how sad you are, or you can get up and join the human race and live your life proactively. Make things happen. Offer up your sadness and get over yourself. I only wish I had enough time to sit around thinking about how sad I am! I barely have enough time to write this blog post!
N.B., I'm not talking about people who are sad because of a legitimate life event, like the death of a loved one. I'm talking about people who give into that impulse that nags at your brain that says, "you're sad - aren't you sad? Do you realize you feel sad?" Really, I'm talking to melancholics like myself. We have to fight that impulse all the time, but fight it we really must, or we will become absolutely insufferable to live with. I can't even stand myself when I succumb to that voice.
Funnily enough, another thing I always tell my kids is that nothing good ever comes of being angry. I say that because, well, I have a bad temper! I should listen to myself. I lost my temper (which is rarer these days, thanks be to God) and screamed at Nicholas. I scratched my throat in the process (or did something that makes it hard to talk without needing to drink constantly). Too bad I have to give a 20-30 minute talk tonight. Joke's on me...
Back to our regularly scheduled day...