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You can find joy in sad times

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Anne Mukei | October 17th 2021

Portrait of a happy young woman. [Getty Images]

We were then laughing at our very unhappy selves. The laughter came from deep inside, and it went on for a long time. We were so unhappy then, yet we had so much going for us. The guffaws were so loud they made our ribs ache. Those around us must have thought we were so happy.

She thought it ironic to be unhappy when her car had a tank full of fuel and she could eat whatever she wanted.

Of course, she appreciated the goodies in her life. She had a good family, money in the bank... We agreed that sometimes depression just creeps in on us. Then she went on to confess about her frail moments. Those moments when she would be seen walking majestically in the office, dressed to the nines, with a charming smile on her face. Anyone who saw her saw nothing but perfection — a woman eating life with a big spoon. Yet the reverse was true. Her life was falling apart. Her heart was bleeding and for no particular reason.

That period is now long gone. She says it is always painful to remember, and she has chosen to bury it in the archives of her mind. Even though there is no guarantee that it will never reoccur, she looks for ways to stifle it.

Looks can be deceiving and that is why they say that the prettiest smile hides the deepest secrets. Hush-hush that is only known to the deep confines of your heart. Top secrets that even you, the owner, are afraid to confront.  Anyone can be depressed. There are no particular candidates for depression. It just creeps upon us and one day we realise that we are caught up in its deadly jaws. The hardest bit is always how to shake it off, for it clings like a parasite. Who would have thought that someone so funny would be depressed and opt to commit suicide? Many were shocked when Robin Williams died in August 2014. His life was such a tragicomedy. He was battling depression for years even as he made people laugh. Who would have guessed that his near-perfect life had such low moments? For a man who literally had everything, his life ends on such a sad note. There must be more to where true joy comes from, and all the trappings of life cannot always save one from tragedies.

Life does not guarantee everyday joy and laughter. But you can work hard at cultivating it. Learn to laugh. Become comedic, see the funny side in your life. Once in a while, be ready to be hurt, because you will anyway.

Do not be too hard on yourself, and note that you are only human. Even though you want to stay on top of the game, it is fine to have those dark days because when the sun finally comes, it will appear much brighter. 

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