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Healing Is Not Getting Over Your Sadness – It’s Learning To Live With It

you can't just get over pain

“Hey, you’ll get over it.”

We’ve all heard that line at some point in our lives, haven’t we?

The truth is, these words are so deeply ingrained in our minds and souls that they are the only thing that we believe in. We constantly say it to ourselves. You’ll get through it. The bad part is, it is not a piece of advice. If anything, it sounds more like an order. And the worst thing about it? We force ourselves to actually get over whatever it is that we are going through as soon as possible. As if there is a button that we can push to make all our problems go away.

We believe that sadness is something that shouldn’t last for so long. We believe that “getting over something is the hallmark of a feeling perfectly okay. And so we lie to ourselves. We convince ourselves that if we say that we’ll get over it, we’ll really get over it.

Why? Tell me why?

Is this the way? Are we really ever perfectly okay after we say that we’ve gotten over something?

Is there even such thing as getting over something?

More importantly, is there a person out there who doesn’t have sadness and grief buried deep down inside, even if they cover with the happiness on their face? Is there someone out there who has gotten over their sadness and loss?

I don’t think so. If you ask me, this is the greatest lie that people have been telling themselves. The greatest lie that society has forced us to believe. There is no getting over sadness and loss. I am aware that I sound like an angry, miserable pessimist, but I swear to you that I am not. I am just a person who has been through a lot in life to understand that ultimately, no matter what you do to get over your sadness and grief, you cannot delete it from your system. You can deal with it, you can work on it, you can find a way to block it, but there is no way to get rid yourself of it.

I get it. As humans, we are raised to move towards things that make us feel better and stay away from things or feelings that bring us down. That’s one of our basic human instincts. Find happiness, live a great life and don’t you for a second let your mind drown in negativity and sadness… For sadness is bad. It is not a place you want to spend your life in…

Of course, sadness isn’t a fun experience. It is a negative emotion. But that doesn’t mean that we should ignore it. Especially not when we are healing from loss and going through a grieving period. In difficult moments like these, resisting our sadness and ignoring our bad emotions will not help. Quite on the contrary, it will only affect us even worse, influencing our thoughts, our lives, and our everyday routines.

In my opinion, one of the biggest issues with the notion of getting over is the expectations that we all set regarding the lifespan of our sadness. That’s why we do what we know best. Ignoring our bad feelings instead of trying hard to understand them and eventually process them.

It is a less convenient truth, but here it is. Grief and sadness don’t have an expiration date.

They are non-linear, or in other words, there is no pattern that you need to follow to get through them.

You can’t fix your sadness. You cannot wake up one day and decide that you’re no longer going to be sad. That way of thinking only leads to suppressing more and more unresolved issues and as a result condemning yourself to a life of misery and helplessness.

So, please, try to find a way to understand it. Being sad is not the same as being sick. You cannot take an antibiotic for your sadness and call it a day. Sadness is a perfectly normal response to loss and pain. Yes, it is the opposite of happiness. It’s suffering, struggling, fighting, aching… But it is an essential part of our healing process. It is what helps us connect with ourselves, learn, experience life, embrace changes and ultimately change ourselves as well…

You, don’t need to overcome your sadness in order to find your happiness. That does not define healing.

The real measure of healing lies in the way you perceive your sadness. The way you deal with it. The way you connect with it. The way you feel about it.

So, let go of the need to get rid of your sadness. Instead, embrace it, invite it for dinner and learn everything there is to know about her. Let her live with you and teach you the things you need to know…

Let her help you heal.

Stephanie Reeds