When You're Sad

First, remember, it won't last. Emotions, whether intensely happy or deeply sad, come and go quickly. Most people have the same level of hapiness throughout their life, whether they win the lottery or loose their legs. (see Stumbling on Happiness). Second, your life isn't over. In fact, you have a whole, unimagined life ahead of you, with many wonderful memories to come. You can't see them now, because they haven't happened yet, but the probabilities are on your side. Third, escape. Think about what makes you happy and do it. For me it's bicycling and books. Splurge. Treat yourself to something you've wanted, but haven't gotten around to buying. Fourth, call a friend. That's what friends are for. Fifth, do something nice for someone. That will lift your spirit as well as theirs. Now you're spreading happiness instead of sadness.

Other Perspectives

Mark Twain once said, "We're about as happy as we make up our minds to be." There's a lot of truth to that. Why have you let someone else make you sad? How can they be the cause? They only used words, right? Words are sounds, and sound is just the motion of the air. How can the wind be the cause your sadness?

Yes, I know. Words do hurt. Your mom and I have hurt each other many times with words alone. My old professor warned me, when I asked him about what he learned from his divorce, "Be careful what you say, because some things can't be taken back." But remember they are just words, and you allow those words to hurt you. They aren't the cause. Something inside you is the cause.

So what is the cause? The Buddists say the cause of unhappiness is desire. When a child wants a toy but is told he can't have it, what happens? If he hadn't seen that toy, then he wouldn't be unhappy now. If he had seen the toy, but hadn't been interested in it, then he wouldn't be unhappy either. Therefore, say the Buddists, if you remove desire, you remove unhappiness.

The Taoists have another perspective. To know happiness means to know sadness. They are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other. If a child has a toy that makes him happy, then when the toy is taken away or breaks, he will be sad. Following the Tao means to accept what happens as a part of life. Do not try to control life (you can't), just experience it (and don't let it control you). Let it happen. Sadness is part of life, go with it, and move on.

Evolutionary theory offers another view. Sadness and anger happen because they had survival value. They are negative emotions that you want to get rid of. So think about what caused them, what to do about them, and then do something different so they won't happen again. That will allow you to improve yourself and become a better person. (Or, in the case of anger, kill the person who made you angry, so they won't cause you any more problems :-)

What's the Cause?


In your teenage years, boys will cause most of your sadness. Come to think of it, they'll cause most of your sadness in your 20's, too. And after you're married, guess who will be causing problems for you then?

So what's the trouble? The boy you like doesn't like you? The boy you like has broken up with you? You've just learned the boy you like has another girlfriend and hasn't told you? The boy you like doesn't ask you to the dance? Those problems have happened to everyone. It's universal. Call up a friend, and commiserate. Tell her what a rotten scum he is, and how much better off you are without him. (If she doesn't agree with you, watch out! She's after him! :-)

Not Making the Cut

What if you try out for a team, but don't qualify? What happens if they're choosing sides and nobody wants you? What if you aren't accepted into the group you want? The solutions are obvious, but the won't take away the pain right now.

Continue working toward the goal you want. Make a plan. People don't usually succeed the first time they try something. That's why there's homework. Take a look at Abraham Lincoln or Snopes.com to see one person's story of repeated failure and eventual success. (Well, I don't know about the success part. If he hadn't become president, he would have lived a longer life!)

Missing School

Getting sick before a dance or a date

Bad Grades

The Death of Someone You Love

Mom’s point of view :

Girls tend to be more “moody” than boys. That’s a fact. We have very distinct hormonal cycles and there are days that we are just more “emotional”, “weepy” and “melodramatic”. Your dad doesn’t get this point even though he says he “understands” it intellectually. He certainly doesn’t know how to “handle” it and often makes it even worse. But the bottom line is, you will have days when you just feel as if you woke up from the wrong side of the bed and you just can’t figure out why. I still have a hard time and certainly your grandmother (my mom) has them even in her 60s. We can’t blame dad for not understanding this because grandma (his mom) never showed any outward emotions, (not good or bad) so daddy has no idea what “emotions” really are. He can “think” about them but he doesn’t really understand them at all. But that’s what make us all human instead of robots. We all have wants, needs and desires. There are many things in life that will make us disappointed, sad, angry and frustrated. But there are also lots of things that are wonderful, comforting, joyful and rewarding.

Written: Sunday, August 13, 2006

My experiences

Breaking Up

When my fiance called to tell me it was over, I rode all over the cornfields

Suicide Lots of things can cause unhappiness. When I wasn't admitted to the college I wanted, I held my dad's revolver in my hand and contemplated suicide. My mother walked in and said, "If you're going to shoot yourself, then shoot me first." I told her it was just an intellectual exercise. I was just thinking about the pros and cons of killing myself.

Since you don't know what the future holds, that's the best reason to live I didn't know what the future

Stuck in the hospital Joyce Packwood, couldn't commit suicide

My Mother's Murder