There’s a meme where someone says “I have a sad.” And then they talk about how their companion can help.
I, too, have a sad. I feel it. I poke at it. I curse it and I wonder at it. It’s like when I skinned my knee badly and I was endlessly fascinated by the wound. So gross, but such a suddenly crucial part of me. It had scabs and oozing and it was hard not to poke at it. The wound made me distracted from everything else – the wondering at how and when it would heal, even the philosophical implications of being broken.
And so I poke and prod the sad as well. I can feel it living on my chest, or in it. I’m getting divorced so that is maybe reason enough though it was a long time coming and has the process has last forever with no real end in sight. When I stretch out the sinuous sticky fibers of the sad, I sense in there many aspects of that happening – memories that are unprocessed or being reprocessed, fears, so many fears. There’s a lot in there, and not just the divorce, but also all the things that life throws at us that we as small mammals are just not ready to absorb.
The problem with the sad is it just sort of clings there all the time – when I’m trying to work, or relax, or have fun, or focus, there it is, pulling and pulling at me. It’s irritating. After you feel like you’re done thinking about it, it is still there, pulling. Like the creatures in the Star Trek TNG episode “Phantasms” that were on a different invisible dimension but eating away at the crew – detectable in subtle, symbolic ways but not overtly (like this glorious straw gif).
So then you consider how to deal with the sad. Medication? Been there, doing that, but is there a need for more or different? Cognitive behavior therapy – shall you consider the best and healthiest thought processes about the sad, assuring yourself that it won’t last forever and keeping it perspective? Maybe. But that’s not that helpful. Do you process it in some way, put that raw meat in the mental crock pot until it turns into something digestible? Or, like the skinned knee, do you just try to keep it from getting infected and give it lots of time? But as that time goes on and on, and you begin to forget what it was like to have a regular knee, what do you do then?
In the Star Trek episode, Data emits a kind of scream that kills the creatures. I fear there is no such simple cure for this sad. So I will keep on picking at it, and hope that eventually all that remains is a scar.