The Sadness That Lingers


You’re lying in bed, contemplating your options or your excuses. You could call in sick which would seem the most plausible to justify. You don’t look sick, not in the physical sense of the word. Your sickness can’t be seen as cuts or wounds. It can’t be measured by a thermometer or felt by a hand to the forehead. Your sickness lingers in your head or your heart or maybe even your soul. You don’t really know where but it lingers like a heavy overcast in the sky.

Your alarm goes off again and you let it. You’re too tired to shut it off. You are unfathomed by its perpetual shrieks. It rings as background noise in comparison to your running thoughts. Thoughts of school, of work, of people and of life run rampant in your head, weighing you down into defeat. You just want to lay in bed, in the predictable warmth of sheets and blankets.

You’ll get up though, eventually because today is some irrelevant midweek day, not the weekend. You once knew the days of the week, when they were significant enough to be distinct from each other. Now, they just mesh into a single blur of existing and surviving. Life isn’t hard though, not in the ways the news tells you it could be. You don’t have it that bad, you tell yourself as you slowly get out of bed. Your morning pep talks are more guilt driven than motivation.

You should be okay; you might even have everything whatever everything is. An objective outsider could analyze your life and conclude there is nothing wrong, but your feelings are in direct conflict and you loathe that. You agree with the objective
outsider. You are well aware of how lucky you are. You have things that most of the world doesn’t. You should be happy, but you aren’t.

Your sickness is your sadness. There is no substantive reason for your sadness though, unlike others. You’ve never experienced anything traumatic, lost anyone significant or faced some other life-altering event. You’re just as average as they come with enough fortune to deem an acceptable good life.

You try to fight it. You count your blessings as the cliché dictates. You even start a gratitude journal and write listicles of your good life. But gratitude isn’t the antidote to sadness. People like you are immune to any of its remedying effects. You read the lists of blessings and only see more reasons to feel guilty, immersing back into the trap.

You might see a doctor and he’ll ask for your symptoms but you don’t really have any that match his list. You linger in bed sure, but you eventually get up. Your thoughts are weighting but nothing equating to harm. You might be a bit reserved but you still have friends and family you see regularly. You aren’t the poster child of sadness and the doctor sees this. He’ll dismiss you in ignorance; tell you it’s nothing abnormal from the norm. If you insist, he might appease you with some prescriptions. You might try them initially but eventually throw them out too.

Maybe their side effects were too strong or your illness really wasn’t that severe medically. Regardless, you give up and your attempts to fix yourself cease.

Your sadness remains unexplained and that’s what makes you feel worse. It’s the morning dread that extends into an all day affair. It’s how your feet drag, how you head lays low and how your eyes avoid contact or stare into abyss. It’s listening to people talk but not understanding a word because your thoughts are louder. It’s the façade of being a yes person, accepting social invitations you always regret when you would rather be in bed. It’s the tiresome effort to keep up with life’s charade that eats at you slowly. It’s seeing irrelevancy in everything and everyone and never knowing emotions of the contrary.