You're Not Always Going To Be Happy, And That's Okay.

The mental health community is pretty vast, and you hear a variety of complaints regarding poor mental state, from anxiety to trauma and institutions that don't accommodate those with mental health conditions. One of the most common talking points of the community, however, are those regarding depression.

“You're not depressed, you're just sad” is a term often slung at people who are expressing their feelings of despondency. Many times, this retort feels abrasive, because it's more often than not hurled without the appropriate concern or thought. However, there is some truth here, if it applies to your situation.

On both TV and social media, we're typically sold an image of happiness as being the normal, default state of human existence. Most people are happy, even if the world is crumbling around them. However, this is far from what the real-life human experience is like. Movies, television shows, and even to a certain extent social media, all tend to portray what is more like a cartoon-like, cotton-candy-coated fantasy of what life is like, or can be like. These are, unironically, largely works of fiction; pleasant and appealing stories, perhaps, but by no means a valid basis to be used to measure your own status in life.

Being sad kinda sucks. That's probably why the majority of visual media tends to avoid realistic depictions of human sadness. However, it's important to realize that it is normal to be sad, and you don't need any greater need to fear sadness than to fear happiness. Ecclesiastes 3 reinforces this sentiment, stating “To everything there is a season...A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance.”

Life isn't a playground of pleasantries, but more often than not is a training ground filled with trials that we can use to learn and grow. Pain tends to be a pretty good teacher. Few learn more from the best times of their lives than the worst times of their lives, after all. We all have a choice to either avoid sadness at all costs, or embrace it when it arrives and learn what you can from your current circumstance.

This by no means diminishes true depression, which is something that is increasingly common. However, we should all realize and accept that being sad doesn't mean there is something wrong with you that needs to be fixed, it just means that you're a human being.