Addicted to Sadness

“You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end”

This is a line from a new song rising to the top of the pop charts, called “Somebody that I Used to Know” by Gotye.  I heard this song a few months before it became popular, and it resonated strongly with me.  I know that in the past, I actually found myself addicted to sadness.  Of course, I did not see it, or care to see it, at the time — however, for some reason I found myself drawn to the drama of despairing relationships and then the resignation that would finally come after everything was said and done.

It was no way to live — I know this now.

Interestingly enough, it took 17 years of going through similar relationships to realize what I was unconsciously doing to myself. Perhaps I was “addicted” to my sadness because it let me feel real — pain, as much as we say we hate it, is often preferable to apathy for many of us. In a strange, crazy sort of way, it reminds us that we are alive and a part of something. However, it is ironic that despite the fact that we may be the ones choosing the addiction, we still blame the external — whether it be another person or a circumstance — as the reason for our pain. It is often too much to look within and see where the true problem lies.

Harry Emerson Fosdick wisely said, “Whatever the situation and however disheartening it may be, it is a great hour when a man ceases adopting difficulties as an excuse for despondency and tackles himself as the real problem. No mood need be his master. ”

We may feel alive and important because we experience pain, but a greater joy and greater sense of being comes from developing self-awareness and responsibility for our own happiness. When we learn that we truly are the captains of our own ships, the wonderful rush of being alive and being real finally becomes ours.


One Response to “Addicted to Sadness”

  1. Joan Says:

    I’ve not heard the song you referenced but I do know from my own experience that one can become comfortable with or addicted to sadness. It can feel “untruthful” or dishonest to be happy. That is a nasty trick of the brain. I love the name of this site: choosing joy. It is a choice. We do have a choice. When we start choosing joy consistently, we find (at least I did) that sadness is the dishonest emotion.