“Getting over it” is a paradox


Stella Fetherston, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Sadness is a vicious cycle. I can’t possibly stay sad, I tell myself. I know the root, I know the solution, so it’s fine. Why would I tell myself that if it wasn’t true? Inevitably, I stop it. As soon as that moment hits, I’m free to go. I’m better now. Clearly, it wasn’t that bad, and who am I kidding? I got over it. 

But that’s what sucks about the cycle: it continues. Something else happens, something else breaks in the machine, and I’m back. I’ve accepted that I just have to wait it out, like the tide. This curling, leviathan wave will wash over me, then rush back to the ocean. I know what to expect. The problem with this thought process is that I have no plan if, let’s say, the tide comes in when I don’t expect it. See, I’ve got my tide tables, so why is the water back up to my neck?

To my disappointment, sadness doesn’t adhere to the rules of gravitational pull.

The other annoying thing about sadness is that it’s exhausting. Believe me, I want to get my schoolwork done, be proactive and take initiative. Instead, on sad days, I have to fight for what I can carry. That can end up being very little. Things get dropped, and you might not even realize it until you come out of the cycle and think, “That was so important to me and I dropped it?!”

Even then, I have this handled. If it was really a problem, all this sadness, I would get the help I need. I’d utilize one of the many resources I have the privilege of accessing. But that’s for people who need it, when I know that if I just wait it out, it’ll go away. 

I don’t even want help. I don’t even know what I’d do with it. Because then it’s just another thing, and I need to get caught up on work from the last time I was sad and if I wait too long then it’ll be too late and bang! Sadness comes back around like an old friend. But that’s alright, because nothing lasts forever, and I will get over it.

I’m really alright with being sad. I believe that sadness is vital to the human experience. But there’s a caveat to my tried-and-true method of getting over it. It’s like kicking a piece of machinery until it starts — it’s a temporary fix. What if I’m not even fixing it, I’m just breaking it more?

My words of advice (which I can’t seem to take) are to stop kicking it and go to a mechanic.