Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Be the good

After last Friday, I stopped checking twitter too much. I started scrolling through facebook really, really fast - past photos of black ribbons, or angels, or of the kids being led from a school in CT. I've remained my usual trivial and sarcastic self. 

I haven't posted any articles, or shared any of the "prayer chains." I haven't "liked" any of the memorial pages. I haven't even mentioned the event on a post, or really discussed it with anyone. According to Facebook, that means I don't care; that I'm selfish and self-absorbed (and probably materialistic).

The thing is...I do care. I probably care way too much. Once you identify that you have depression, one of the things you have to do is learn the triggers. What makes you emotional? What spins you out of control?

The idea of someone just randomly walking into a school and ending innocent lives? Definitely not something I can handle.

When I heard the news, I cried at my desk and then said a small prayer. Then I went about my day. That is what I can handle. The rest is just too much. Surrounding myself with all that sadness and indescribable pain gives it way too much power over me. I'm the sort of person who absorbs all that grief and anger and makes it my own. If I let it, something like this can make me sad about everything.

So for anyone who thinks that people who are not posting about CT must not care - stop. I mean - sure, you might know people who just don't care. But more likely, you know people who simply can't handle the profound sadness or the weight of the whole thing.

We all show sorrow, respect, and honor in our own way. Some people post it all over facebook. Some write letters to newspapers, or sign a petition to make guns illegal. Others might go out and buy a gun.

Some of us just try to live every day bringing as many smiles to as many people as we can reach. Some of us feel that the best way to honor those victims (and anyone else) is to live a life full of positive change and action; to bring as much good into the world as possible.

It isn't helpful to simply complain that there's no good left in the world. You have to be willing to be that good, and then bring it into the world. Those silent friends you have? They may be doing that very thing.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


  1. Oh I hear you Sue. I haven't said much but I find myself randomly breaking out into tears over everything since it happened. I cried in urgent care today because I'm sick! I know it's not really because I'm sick, it's because our emotions are so close to the surface right now.

    When you already suffer from depression and something like this happens, it's so hard to feel hopeful.

  2. I feel the same way - I posted prayers on the day it happened, and haven't since. I feel the same way as you - I can't handle it and I make it my own. Yesterday morning, I made the mistake of watching the local news - flashing pics and talking about funerals, I cried the whole way to work and had trouble shaking the sadness. I have chosen to handle it my way with silent prayer, some tears, and trying to find ways to promote good. It's all I have to offer. Great post, you nailed it.

  3. I took a media break and am only tentatively coming back now. Like you, I know that to much would send me into a funk and maybe more. Right now I have too much on my plate to let myself go there. I also feel that some of the coverage and what not was wholly disrespectful for the families who are experiencing this tragedy first hand.

    I haven't shared or liked anything either, but I continue to put good out into the world in case anyone I run into needs it more than I do.

  4. Ladies - A smile for all of you. :-)

  5. So very true and so well said!