Our society values HAPPY! As a grief counselor, I am constantly struck by how little support is given to those of us grieving. When I lost my dad I heard TOO MANY TIMES,
‘well, he had a rich full life’. I didn’t care about that…….I missed my sweet dad! It feels like a slap in the face to be feeling sad and have those around us push us to be happy.
I imagine this is part of what drove Robin Williams to an apparent suicide. He was ‘the funny guy’, right? No space for him to be a tortured soul. Add to that his apparent problems with substances and he must have felt there was no way out. We are all grief stricken. This is yet another reminder of how the pressure we Americans feel to be happy, healthy, busy, successful and, did I say, happy????? We just aren’t always going to be ‘up’! I challenge my clients to find people in their lives (besides me) who will allow them to be authentic! I have great friends who ‘get it’ but I’ve had to work hard to find and develop those relationships! They are as good as gold!
Some tips for surviving in our ‘Must be Happy’ society:
~ Be honest when people ask you how you are doing? If you are sad, say that.
~ Take time to honor your needs! Find time with friends who will let you be who/how you are.
~ Think about developing a meditation practice.
~ Develop a relationship with your ‘inner child’. Listen for cues that tell you when there are pains that need to be addressed. Overeating? Overeating? Over-shopping? Might be an indication that you need some quiet time with a box of tissues.
Wish someone had been able to comfort Robin Williams……….he will be sadly missed.