• eli

mapping sadness


(by Zorro Gris)

Hi everybody, this is Eli.


If you have been very sad recently, this post might be slightly triggering. Proceed with caution.


I have been back in Italy for three months now. Coming back was no easy task – I went back to my hometown where I have barely any connection, and all my Italian friends are in a city three hours from here. Not only that, I have had a very busy period in which I was alone for most of the time. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best position to be in for someone who has been in depressive states before.


Some days getting out of bed seemed an impossible task. When you don’t have to go to university or to work, a second can feel endless (not in a good way). All I had to do was to write and read, and as nice as that might sound it was becoming a nightmare for me since I had nothing else to look forward to.


Moreover, I was doing a very unhealthy thing – I kept blaming myself for being sad. I kept thinking that it was crazy to be this sad when I was living again with my beloved family after 5 years of living apart. They were showering me with love. Something must have been wrong with me.


With time I realized that embracing my sadness made me feel better. Maybe it might be rare to feel sadness as intensely as I do, but dark periods are not uncommon at all, and thinking of them as something normal that happens made everything seem lighter. Talking with friends and family helped me in understanding this.


Hearing the stories of the people around me opened my eyes to the fact that pain and hardship are a constant in everybody’s life. This might look like an ugly truth, but there is also something beautiful in it – pain can sometimes function as a bridge between people. Many have been by my side embracing my sadness and slowly dragging me out of it, and likewise I have been listening more closely to the tears of the people around me.


Mapping the sadness around me has got me thinking of how all these distressing feelings are deeply human. To me, darkness is much easier to accept in the people around me than in myself – maybe that’s why listening to other people’s difficulties is so strangely comforting. It makes me realize that if I have no problem loving my friends and accepting their darkness maybe my own pain is acceptable, too. Maybe I don’t have to repress it as if it were something monstrous.