I read a comment on Instagram in response to Kate Spade’s suicide that said, “How could someone who made so many people so happy be so sad?” The comment didn’t sit quite right with me, so I read it to a friend who was with me. She quickly said something like, it’s easy and not surprising. And that’s when it hit me, it really is not surprising that someone could be sad regardless of how happy she seemed.
I have personally stood in the dark places of life that feel hopeless. I have suffered with depression. There were times when I thought my pain would swallow me whole. I thought that if I really went there in dealing with my pain that I might never come out of it, so I would run from it, numb it, or get busy. Not surprisingly, I didn’t really talk to anyone else about it. I carried shame with not being able to just snap out of it because (you know what’s coming) “look at how blessed you are.” It’s true, I was and still am tremendously blessed, but that didn’t take away the pain. Frankly, it just made me feel more ashamed for not being happy all the time.
I tell you all of this for a reason- it is not surprising to me at all that someone who made so many people so happy was so sad. It’s not surprising that people are sad, because life is hard. It’s not surprising that a lot of people who look happy are not. Don’t believe that lie. That lie is what takes us down. The shame that says everyone else is happy… just look at their Instagram, what’s wrong with me? I’m so alone. Don’t believe it. I wrote and posted a countless number of pretty posts with pretty clothes in pretty scenes with happy, beautiful words, and I WAS SAD. If you find yourself in one of these places, please know that you are not alone. Don’t shame yourself for being sad. Don’t tell yourself you should be happy. For whatever reason, you are in a dark spot, but there is hope.
There are times when I still have dark days, but it’s not every day (Amen!). And on my sad days, I still have to tell myself that it’s ok to not be happy every day. I refuse to believe that lie. I refuse to be ashamed. Instead, I pray and cling to God’s promises of hope and joy. I sit in my chair and read about His love for me. I seek help from my counselor, or I call a friend. I believe if we all could talk about our hard times, we could bring healing to so many. Giving voice to my pain helped me step out of the dark and into the light.
I shared this on my Instastories this morning…
This is from one of my favorite books, The Rest of the Gospel.