For all the times you have been told:
“There are people that have it so much worse, so be thankful for what you have.”
“Well at least X, Y, or Z didn’t happen.”
“Why are you so upset? That’s nothing compared to what happened to me (or [insert name of mutual friend]).
“Everything happens for a reason, so cheer up.”
“You have such a pretty smile, why don’t you smile more often?”
“Be thankful that you’re alive.”
“You just have to choose to be happy.”
For those times when you just wanted to experience your sadness, experience your anger and frustration, your anxiety and depression without feeling completely alone. For the times when you didn’t need cheering up, you just wanted to be heard and seen, understood. For those times when you just don’t have the energy to smile or pick yourself up off the floor and wipe away the tears. For all the times you felt wrong for feeling what you feel…
You are not alone. Your feelings are valid. I hear you. I see you. I understand. Feel however you need and want to feel. Take as long as you need to work through those emotions. This is your life and however you experience it is just right for you. No one gets to tell you otherwise.
I know those phrases are meant to help, meant to make people feel better…but sometimes they hurt. Sometimes those phrases feel like being told “you’re wrong. The way you are reacting isn’t right.” Happy isn’t the only beautiful emotion. There is art in the shadows, too.