When I’m sad, I generally want to sadly rip the head off anyone who tries to cheer me up. A well-meaning impulse often feels like an attempt to invalidate a well-earned emotion.
Sometimes life is unbearably sad. Sometimes sitting in bed with a tub of chocolate ice cream listening to Sarah McLachlan and imagining abused puppies is the only appropriate response. Grief isn’t linear, and because I don’t walk around crying all day doesn’t mean I’m over it. I’ll never be “over it.” Part of me is missing, forever.
But since my goal isn’t to be lifted out of my apartment by crane, or turn into a permanent puddle of misery, or make friends and acquaintances flee from me by saying things like “part of me is missing forever,” cheering myself up is crucial until the loss becomes more bearable.
I know what some of my happy places are — nature, travel, learning new things, an understanding friend, stories, friends who tell me stories. I’ve discovered new ones and rediscovered old ones.
New and old combine in Ze Frank’s Chase That Happy video. I’d forgotten how much I love Frank’s humour; I never knew the joy of happy typing, and the word “interestingly” now brings me an unusual joy. Maybe he can remind you to chase your happy too. As long as your happy doesn’t include trying to cheer me up.