Susan posted an amazing and thought provoking post on Let The Words Flow yesterday that I want to chime in on. She opened up about depression, and how social media tends to cause us to hide when we're feeling sad. Nobody wants to read a whiny tweet, etc. And in the face of all the happy tweets and happy blog posts, maybe it even makes us feel inadequate.
But, you know what? Sometimes, people are sad. And sometimes, you need to talk about it.
I've been in the trenches of clinical depression before. It's a dark and lonely place. There was a time when I wasn't sure I'd ever make it out of that abyss. I did...eventually...after years of searching the depths of who I am.
The thing that pulled me out? Writing.
Know what can send me right back down that spiral? Anything. It's a daily battle I fight, and one I suspect I will fight for the rest of my life. And that's not something I need to feel ashamed of anymore.
I try very hard to always be positive and happy in the face of social media -- heck, even around my family and best friends. I never want to be the downer. But in my past, that kind of outlook has done nothing but hurt me. So maybe it's time to take the blinders off.
It's easy to beat yourself up over feeling sad. Being in the industry we are, and the necessity of having an online presence, only adds to those feelings.
So-and-so got an agent in only 24 hours, without querying! It's not fair! I'm one rejection away from the pill bottle. What am I thinking? I'll never be good enough. *
I shouldn't be jealous, I know my turn will come. Why am I so shallow? Gah, I hate myself for thinking that way! *
A vicious cycle, to say the least.
Then you read all the advice that says you should always be positive on your blog and Twitter! Always wear a shining, happy face! Be yourself, but only your happy self.
But it's not that simple.
Slapping on that happy face for the world is exhausting. Sometimes you need to say out loud, "I'm sad! I need someone to talk to!" And that's okay. Please, for the love, if you feel lonely and sad and like you can't reach out to someone, EMAIL ME! Because I've been there. Heck, I am there. I'm sad too. My life is not a perfect place to live. The grass is no greener here than there and, in fact, is looking quite brown today.
It's okay to admit that not everything is sunshine and daisies. Even if, on the outside, your life looks it. Because life isn't always bright and blooming. Sometimes the skies darken, and it's easier to cope with it if you know you're not alone.
So, lovelies, I'm taking a stand right next to Susan. It's okay to be sad, and it's okay to talk about it. It's not about whining or wanting attention. It's about our health, our feelings, and our needing support. No more pretending.
*These are dramatic examples, of course, but you guys get the point I'm making. Right? You're smart like that.