I am sad; or, how my language sometimes says more or less than I feel.

Today, I am sad.

When I say I am sad, I mean that my depression has increased noticeably and maybe even a little bit alarmingly.

I have read people saying how they hate when depression is described as sadness, because it’s so much more than that, and sometimes sadness isn’t even really a part of it. And I suppose that’s true. I don’t begrudge them that frustration with language.

When I say I am sad, it’s because I don’t really have words to explain what’s happening. It’s because it’s easier for me to say, “I am sad” than it is to explain what I actually mean.

And, if I’m honest, it’s because saying “I am sad” is easier than owning to myself how bad things can get. Have gotten. Will get again. It’s my way of downplaying something that is all-encompassing and overwhelming and frightening and stifling and maddening and exhausting and devastating.

An acquaintance once described me as someone who always uses superlatives. I don’t like you, I adore you. I don’t dislike math, I abhor it with every fiber of my being. I am not happy, I am jubilant. I am not annoyed, I am frustrated beyond belief.

I am that person who has distorted language in the extreme, so that truly extreme things have no words left to define them. They’ve been all used up in my trivialities.

So when something extreme happens, even something that others cannot see because it is an indefinable but powerful and frightening shift within myself…I have no words. Only small words that someone who is not me might use to describe a non-happening in their life.

And so today, I am sad.

I don’t have any other way left to me to describe it.


Just a note: there is no need to be worried about me. Today is just another part of the cycle of depression for me. I am okay. Or rather, I’m not okay — but that’s okay.

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5 thoughts on “I am sad; or, how my language sometimes says more or less than I feel.

  1. I understand you mean well here, but this is pretty inappropriate for the level of relationship we have (that is to say, none at all outside of one interaction on Twitter).

  2. I have said before that at times it doesn’t feel like I have depression, but that depression has ME. It stinks, I know. Hoping for better days for you soon!! (hugs) if wanted

  3. I’m sorry, Dani. My husband and I both struggle with depression (I have PTSD, and he has a severe vitamin deficiency), and I know exactly what you mean when you say that you simply don’t have the words, so “sad” has to do. I pray that your days brighten and your burden lessens soon.

  4. Pingback: Because I can’t not: writing in community. | crooked neighbor, crooked heart.

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