taro shosuke sunny cover manga sadness beach anime cartoon drawing depression

On Negative Emotions

I realized recently that as I grow older, my tolerance for bullshit and noise, literal and otherwise, has constantly diminished. Impressing others and pretending to care are two things that are so low on my list of priorities at the moment. These past few months, I have also been feeling more depressed than I would like to admit. Okay, maybe I do still care. I don’t want to hurt or cause worry to the people who care for me. I mean, it’s not something that they could help me with anyway, so what’s the point of contributing more negativity to anyone, right?

Because the fact is, showing your weaknesses–e.g. that you are depressed–is something of a taboo, a faux pas, for as long as I can remember. That’s just the society we live in. We shirk away from anything that’s uncomfortable, and that includes exposure to the “negative” feelings of others; be it a family member, friend, social acquaintance, or (god forbid!) a coworker. It’s just an unavoidably awkward situation to be in.

Nobody really knows how to deal when shit like that comes up.

If anybody I care about tells me from out of the blue, “I’m actually depressed“, my first response would probably be to assume that they’re joking and ask if they mean it (or laugh at their face, depending on who’s asking and how they said it).

And how often does this scenario happen anyway? I don’t know about your social circle, but it doesn’t happen that often to me at all. Not that I didn’t suspect it. It’s because people have been wired to put up a strong act for the world to see.

In this age where everybody knows where everybody is and who they’re socializing with, most people do not want to embarrass themselves or have the people in their social circle feel pity towards them. We don’t want to be looked down upon. Expressing your feelings of loneliness and constantly throwing a pity party gets you exactly that reaction. If you’re doing it enough, you’ll even get ridiculed–whether they let you know it or not. This is human nature. This is how people react, including me (if this isn’t how you react then your level of morality is off the charts, and you’re a fucking saint I commend you for that). Those with enough common sense are aware of this fact. And so their gut instinct would be to hide anything not Facebook-worthy, only showing the good stuff in their social media newsfeed to avoid being a laughingstock.

Most likely (depending on how comfortable we are of ourselves), only a couple few, those who are most intimate to us, get to know exactly how we are. They are our confidants. People who actually care, and listen, and accept that you’re not just a bundle of sunshine but a blenderized concoction of all the possible emotions that have ever been identified. If you have at least one, count yourself lucky. Sometimes, that’s all you need to get through each day.

Perhaps when I’m 50 (if I even reach that) I’d be more comfortable in my own skin, enough to not care how others would feel on my expressing emotions considered to be “negative”. Or perhaps not. As long as I have that one confidant, there’s always a chance for a sunny day.

taro shosuke sunny cover manga sadness beach anime cartoon drawing depression
“Taro, Shosuke, and Sunny” (watercolor), inspired from my new favorite manga, “Sunny”

 

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