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Bad-Sad-Mad: Feeling Sad When the World Thinks I Should be Happy

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After putting the last kids on the bus yesterday, I walked into the house and the radio in the kitchen was playing the song Happy. You know, you’re right Pharell, I should be happy. I’ve been waiting to get back to our routine since June and now it’s here, but I’m just not feeling the joy.

This week my brother’s family was trying to navigate the flooding down in Texas. They are safe, but I’m sure this is just the beginning for them and their friends/support network. So this was a week where the loss of my brother was felt in a very deep way. That makes me sad. I was talking about this to another family member who was also sad about something going on in her life. I asked her, “Do you think we can try to be in a sad mood together rather than a bad mood together?” She wasn’t so sure she could do it.

So many times when I’m hurting, that hurt is somehow transformed into anger. Hurt people, hurt people, right? Can I be mindful of the pain I’m feeling in my heart, for whatever reason I’m feeling it? Maybe it’s the loss of someone I care about, but maybe I’m sad because I had a tough day at work, or because I had to miss out on something I really wanted to do, or because Big Y is out of Honeycrisp apples again—MOTHER OF PEARL! There I go again.

The pattern I’m noticing is that one thing makes me sad but then consequently everything after that makes me mad. When I am in a bad mood, it’s important for me to link it back to some sadness that I’ve experienced. If I can just share with those around me that I’m hurting, maybe I’ll have a better chance of not hurting them as well.

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