Comforting Words Are Not Always the Best Medicine
Have you ever had the shittiest day, month or even year? In our family we call it the “Howell luck.” Call us pessimistic, but when crap happens, a part of us always knew it was destined to be.
There are times when comforting words from friends and family are needed. In moments of great sorrow and loss. When our pain is collectively felt, then condolences are appropriate.
Then again, there are times in the trivial and mundane trials of life when empty comfort is just salt in an open wound.
Self-pity. Can’t we allow ourselves a minute to think WHY ME? Just a few seconds to dwell on our hurt feelings and broken pride before we are required to pick up the pieces of our lives.
“Be grateful…” they tell us, “This too shall pass…” they chide in.
Sometimes, misery just wants company.
Tell me your broken dreams and let’s compare miseries like battle scars of ancient vikings. Don’t rub your perfect life in my face as a sign of better things to come.
Share in my pain, wallow with me in the mud of grumblings and complaints just for a moment. Then when the time is right, when I am ready to heal, then… only then will I accept comforting words.
Sometimes we need a friend who will just agree, “Yeah, your life is shit right now! Feel free to gripe and whine with me.”
I know it’s not healthy to linger in a state of self-pity for too long. Nor is it pleasant for those near me. Yet, I am not alone in my fascination with the idea that misery loves company.
“Psychologists have long pondered whether couples and close friends are depressed in tandem because one person’s mood poisons the well, or because people gravitate toward significant others with the same traits.” –Kaja Perina
I don’t want to poison your mood and completely understand if you flee from my current mental state. However, if you should stay, just know that the reverse is true as well:
“Couples were as matched on positive affect as on negative affect. Happy people seek out happy people, and those who are down and out seek the same.” – Chris Segrin
If you find yourself in a moody swamp as of late and detest shallow “comforting” phrases, you are not alone. Let’s take a moment to be miserable together, swallow the bitter pill life sometimes offers, and climb out of the well together. One miserable soul accompanying another, however long that takes.
~This piece is dedicated to a person near and dear to me. I hope we can find your happiness together. When and if you read this, you’ll know it’s possible.