• Charles R. Butts Jr.

Sadness Behind The Smile

For some people, the joy, cheer, and merriment the holiday season brings won't be enough to lift their spirits and overall emotional state of being. Try as they might, their constant cloud of anxiety, depression, and sadness won't allow them to. When one has fallen hopelessly into that deep, dark hole of the murkiest quicksand, finding a way out is nearly impossible. No amount of shopping, partying, or listening to carols can uplift their dark mood. Even when surrounded by their family and closest loved ones, they'd rather be isolated. For those battling severe anxiety and depression, something as routine as getting out of bed and using the bathroom takes immense effort.

Each day they awaken, get dressed, put on a mask of hope, and force a smile on their faces. They desperately want to fit in and be like everyone else. They secretly wonder why this appears to be their lot in life and why they're forced to bear such a burden. They long for the kind of happiness and joy everyone else appears to experience--something far beyond the faint, quick glimpses of it they sometimes feel. To them, their sadness is a curse, an unfortunate scourge they're forced to bear. Sadly, they feel everyone they come in contact with should notice their disposition, but most never do. Maybe they unconsciously do such a great job of masking it that no one ever seems to notice. I'm sure there are people you may encounter daily who are sad during the holiday season. Take a little time and carefully observe everyone you regularly encounter. Spend a little time trying to lift their spirit and mood. It will mean more to them than you could ever imagine. They just want to know someone cares and is there for them.

Please be mindfully aware that the holiday season isn't a happy time for everyone. Some are mourning painful losses and some live with sadness every day. The holiday season only heightens the agony and malaise. Genuinely show care and concern and treat everyone the way you'd like to be treated because there are some people dealing with serious issues internally that don't physically show on the outside.

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