Is there anything more unattractive than a sad person?
Probably. When I was in high school I thought I might be more attractive if I was sad. It turns out I wasn't. But then I saw another guy who was really sad, and the girls seemed to eat that up. So the lesson learned was that sad people are really unattractive, when they were unattractive to start with, and sad people are pretty hot, when they're good-looking.
So I guess the real lesson learned was that there was no lesson learned.
I'm feeling pretty sad right now. "Why are you sad, Ben?" I hear you not ask, because seriously, you have your own lives to live. I often find myself thinking "nobody cares" but I think it with a sort of philosophical acceptance, because the fact that nobody cares is no reason to assume that anyone should. Sadness is a pretty first-world problem, I think. I'm writing a blog about it presumably because I crave attention and sympathy, but let us frankly admit that I don't deserve attention and sympathy. If you're giving me any, I've sort of conned you a little bit.
It's hard to say, when you're sad, whether it's sadness or depression. Saying you've got depression is dangerous, because it is a declaration that there is no good reason to be depressed. But there are lots of good reasons to be depressed. Read a newspaper. Or read a blog post about how soon you won't be able to read a newspaper. Or just think about your own life. See? Reasons galore.
I have plenty of reasons to be sad, ranging from the fact that the world is a huge horrible place full of death and injustice and misery, to the fact that I got unfriended on Facebook by someone I really like. So I'm running the gamut here, is what I'm saying.
But if I'm sad for genuine, real-world, external stimuli, then the obvious response is hey, count my blessins, cheer up, look on the bright side, come on, if you will, get happy. Sadness is not really a problem, per se, it's just an inconvenience, and half the time - or more - it's just me being melodramatic. Or, since you're probably just the same, it's YOU being melodramatic. So you know, snap out of it guys, stop being so much like me.
But if I'm sad because of the freaky chemicals in my head going weird for no reason, then that is depression, and it is an illness. Which means the solution is to go see a therapist and/or take my pills. So there's no call for me to go looking for that human touch, because I'm depressed, you see, and depression is a medical problem, so it needs to be treated, and it's really nobody's problem.
So if I'm sad, it's not really serious. And if I'm depressed, it's too serious for anyone to reasonably engage with.
So what I'm looking for is some kind of middle-ground between "count your blessings" and "take your pills", where the reaction is "let me tell you how much I love you, give you a hug, and come watch DVDs and eat cake with you".
Yeah, wanting people to hug you is a pretty first-world problem, but knowing that doesn't make hugs any less nice.
I guess what I'm saying is: being sad sucks and I don't know what to do about it besides write rubbish on the internet, but if you want to give someone a hug and buy some cake today, I say go for it.
Now here's a picture of baby tigers.