Sadness, My Friend

I ran from sadness like you would run from a burning house. It was perilous and could kill me from its intensity. Anger and fear were the guardians of my ragged heart, and they worked for much of my life to keep me from being consumed by the sadness that threatened to choke me. 

Each time sadness attempted to rise to the surface, I fought it as if it would drown me, which only pulled me further into its depths. As it loomed, tears were so deeply hidden that they became stuck inside of me. Although I yearned to weep outwardly, those moments were few and far between, and my internal tears often turned into fear and panic. 

As I began the process of healing that is still taking place to this day, I began slowly to understand that the emotion I had for so long treated like a mortal enemy was actually begging to be my friend. 

Sadness, along with its sometime companion, grief, threw its strange light at my eyes like sunshine in the rain, and I couldn’t run from it anymore, nor did I want to. The strength of it frightened me and still frightens me at times. But I’ve learned it’s ok to be frightened of sadness as long as you allow it to keep living with you anyway. And eventually, sadness begins to show me the depth and beauty of herself, and I keep walking next to her until she’s no longer my enemy, but an old familiar friend.

Melissa lives in Richmond, VA and is practicing vulnerability through writing.