A Brief Guide To Being Sad
I just ended a relationship with a woman who I love dearly.
Loving her was like drinking fresh water after a lifetime of drinking saltwater. Being with her was like bathing in light.
Time spent together moved at quarter speed. A week together felt like a month. Nothing else mattered in the world when we were together in our love bubble.
In reality we only spent less than a couple weeks together over the course of the past six months, but I feel like I’ve known her forever.
Despite the mind-blowing intimacy and connection we had, she wanted more than a couple days or a week every month.
But I’m not ready for more. Yet.
I’m allergic to lying now.
It’s a drastic difference from the man I used to be a decade ago. He lied a lot. To everyone, including himself.
He worked jobs that he didn’t like. He dated women who he knew he didn’t have a future with. And he lied to people to make them like him more.
But now I just tell the truth. All the time.
And I told this woman who I love times a billion that when I really, really tap into what’s true, I’m not interested in a relationship that’s 1. Monogamous or 2. In Arizona. They both feel constrictive to me. At least in this moment.
I’m not done traveling. I’m not done living in a 24/7 TED talk. And I’m not done being young and wild and free. Yet.
So I walked out of her apartment and back out into the world. The world where I have no home, no office, and no schedule.
And today I sit on my friend’s couch in Venice, CA, a block from the ocean, and I’m sad.
“Holy shit am I going to die?” sad.
The pain has taken over my chest cavity. Most of the time it’s dull, but sometimes it’s sharp. Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe. It’s been with me since I saw her last a couple days ago. It gets worse when I’m alone and quiet. The moment before I go to bed and the moment when I first wake up are the worst.
In the past I would immediately mask this pain with another woman, an alcoholic beverage, drugs, or any other distraction. But today I’m just sitting with it.
Because in reality the only way out is through. And sometimes it’s ok to just be sad as hell.
Which is what I’ll be doing for the next couple of days. Oh joy.
As men we’re taught to hide our emotions. So instead of feeling them, we stuff them back into our bodies and carry them around with us.
Maybe the only time we cry is when we get drunk. Maybe we cover the pain with getting high, eating bags of Doritos, or losing ourselves into a video game.
Either way, it’s unhealthy.
Emotions are just a neurological response to the stimuli in your life. They aren’t good or bad. They are just part of being human.
Not giving yourself permission to feel your emotions is like not pooping. Ever.
It’s not natural and it’s hurting you.
I want you to follow these three steps.
1. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now in this moment?”
2. Then ask, “If I gave myself permission to fully feel this emotion, would it kill me?”
I almost quit writing this post at least a dozen times.
I don’t even know why I’m hitting publish. I’m kind of an idiot.
But if it helps one guy feel again for the first time, it’s worth it to me.
PS – Uggggggh, this sucks.
PPS – But yaaaaay, at least I know I’m alive.