Wednesday, October 9, 2013

the smile

I don't often get angry enough to rant.  The occasional outburst, 140 characters of blast and then it's all over.  But then there are other things that deserve a more elloquant approach.

Do you know anyone who's a bit sad today?  Someone who's feeling down?  A little miserable?  Bet you've said to them, with a grin, "Cheer up, it might never happen".  I'd bet you've said that a dozen times this year, maybe in two years but you've said it, haven't you?

What if it has happened?  What if the unthinkable is happening in their life, right now, and you've just stamped all over it in your size 10 boots (or even in your expensive designer heels) and made their grief, their sadness, their misery, into nothing?

Why do you presume to believe that being sad is a choice?  What if they're not actually sad, what if they're suffering from a deep, lifelong depression that they're too proud to go to the GP to ask for help with?  You firmly believe that they have a choice as to whether they wake up in the morning full of the joys of spring or whether they want to roll over and die?

Believe me, they want that choice.  They want to choose to smile, laugh, guffaw even, at your ridiculous jokes and stories.  But it's just not funny in their miserable life.  In their deep felt sadness, a one legged Leprechaun could come dancing out from behind the car with a kazoo and a bottle of tequila and it would barely raise a grin.

Misery is a heavy burden to carry.  It's an uneven load and it makes our gait uneven and our lives less like yours and more like a struggle, even to get out of bed when this weight is continuously upon us.  It doesn't go away with coffee.  It doesn't go away with alcohol or sleep or wakefulness.  It remains.  It hovers, a constant in our lives that throws a shadow over everything we do. 

And, of course, if feeds from our sadness; grows bigger and stronger when we turn away from your jokes and feed it our grim reality.  Then, it smiles back at us and says thank you.

And the only way to make it go away, the only way for it to stop, is when we do.