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Sadness is bittersweet. Not in the sense of bittersweet happiness, like recalling nostalgic childhood memories or tasting a ripe strawberry, but the bittersweet feeling knowing that even the most sorrowful moments can elicit happiness—in the long run. A couple of days ago, I was in a lot of pain—emotional pain; sadness. I was sad because I developed an attachment to someone I was very attracted to, and then my closest friend started dating him. . . I almost lost the person most important in my life. I was scared, confused, upset, and most of all—sad. I cried. It's crazy and unreal to think about now. But what I've learned from this, is that I'm happier now than I was before I was sad and before the event occurred. This perfectly demonstrates the healing powers grief has.

Sadness crashes into your heart in waves, but each wave is successively smaller than the last. As you peer out onto the horizon towards the salty blue ocean, each wave appears smaller, until you fixate upon the seems of the sky where the horizon and ocean collide, bursting with the tranquil blues of calm water painted against a backdrop of the streaky oranges and reds of the sunset. This calm water is the healing process of grieving and sadness, in its final stage: distancing yourself from the problems at your feet.

Letting loose in anger, frustration, or utter sorrow is the most premature form of sadness. A couple of months ago I just wanted to curl up under the covers of my pillow and cry my eyes out the entire night. While at other times, I was so upset I wanted to punch a hole through the wall. These are both blunt effects from the direct aftermath of a terrible event. If you attempt to overlook all the aforementioned feelings, then it is impossible to obtain closure. If you are the “forgive and forget” type of person, then you will always have these feelings building up inside of you, and all the remnants of unreleased emotion will linger around you, until they are overshadowed by even more soul-crushing occurrences.

The second phase of sadness is a reality-check. During this phase you may come to terms with the reality of your dispair. You may realize a couple different things. First, you may realize the source of your sadness is either: petty, unimportant, or unworthy of extended periods of grieving. Another possible reality you may be faced with is the necessity to go on with life. Often, after having one of these two realizations, the sadness will always be partially healed by your ability to put it behind yourself. You're on your way to recovery.

The third wave of sadness is not sadness at all. It's happiness. You will end up better off if you focus on the positives. I hate to say it, because it's cliché, but what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. If you can make it through the first wave of relentless tears and emotional distress, then you will be a stronger person for it—in the end, but only if you look forward.

Whether a loved-one passes away, a boy-friend dumps you, or you've lost the respect of your friends, sadness is the agent of comfort for those in distress. It heals the soul through it's methodical ways, but it necessitates the desire to lose yourself in your emotions, to recognize the reality of the situation, and be able to look all the way to the horizon—where the waves of sadness are seemingly nonexistent. For happiness is not tangible, but merely a measure of how well you can overlook the bad things in life.




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