Why are you choosing to be sad?

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Why are you choosing to be sad?

Hi, it's me. I'm the problem, it's me! Taylor Swift sang it right.

I've spent most of my adult life as a worried, overwhelmed, sad mess. It was all I knew. In my defense, there were reasons to be this person, or so I thought. I justified my sadness by blaming past events that all but broke me. 

Then one day, my significant other asked me, "Why are you choosing to be sad? When you feel that way, you have to force yourself to do something else.” I remember thinking, that's impossible. Sadness is not a choice. It's just who I am. Too much has happened and there's been too much pain to be anything but. 

My go to for bad days has always been... bubble baths, sad songs, and tears. One, all too familiar, sad day, I went to the bathroom to sulk in my sadness, when I remembered what my boyfriend said. At this moment, I was mad. I was determined to prove him wrong. Sadness isn't a choice and I can't change it just because he wants me to. 

I grabbed my phone and switched from my current "heartbroken" playlist to the Trolls soundtrack. My bonus baby loves the movie, so I know the music is upbeat and NOT... SAD. The lyrics in the first song said "do the dance.” So, I did the dance or a dance. I moved my body. I felt anything but happy. However, at some point during my solo performance, I realized I was smiling, then singing, and then laughing.

Aw, shoot!! He was right.

At first, choosing to do the opposite of what your mind is telling you will be hard.  It will take practice. Then, eventually it becomes a habit, and then a lifestyle. You'll still have sad days. The difference is  that now, you have the control. Your mind follows your lead.

Something magical happens when your mind realizes you are not giving in today. Today, you are fighting. Don't cry in the bathtub, dance in the shower. Don't choose sadness, choose joy. Most of all, love the people that are the light in your darkness. 

Be consistent. Be strong. Be happy. 

Has 2 years experience.

Many factors can contribute to sadness, including genetics, life experiences, and brain chemistry. While some people may be able to manage their emotions better than others, no one actively chooses to be sad.

allnurses Guide

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

4 Articles; 4,776 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 21 years experience.
Aliceroye said:

Many factors can contribute to sadness, including genetics, life experiences, and brain chemistry. While some people may be able to manage their emotions better than others, no one actively chooses to be sad.

Ypu make a good point but even figuring in all of the above emotions like sadness, anger, dispair and yes happiness are chpoice we have to make every day. We may not have been able to prevent the cause of these feelings but we do make a choice to stay stuck there. Clinical Depression is a treatable condition as is situational depression. I spent many years stuck  in a pattern of PTSD fueled depression sadness and anger. I have been on any number of medications and had years of therapy and yet it was not until I made a conscious choice to live joyfully that I started to get better. 

Today I am medication free and mostly loving life. There a bad days for sure and even after choosing joy it was a terribly difficult journey but so worth the trip..


Tenebrae, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,849 Posts

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative. Has 11 years experience.

I've eaten an icecream and chilled out and allowed my initial reaction of wanting to scream and rage to dull somewhat. 

OP I think your article has the potential to be excellent. I think its important to make some clarifications though. 

Sad is very different to clinical depression and you need to clarify, are you using 'sad' as an umbrella term for all mood disorders or are you referring to some one feeling just a bit blah

As someone with a recent relapse of major depression who had to put reminders into her phone TDS to ensure she ate something and even then would only end up having an ensure because I knew the only way I might get better was to maintain some modicum of nutrition. I was sleeping 10-16 hours a day and still going back to sleep and sleeping more the next day. And I still was fighting the strong desire to not take my life.

The title inadvertently trivialises what people with mood disorders go through which I am sure was not your intention.