It can be such a lonely experience to feel sad. And so unhelpful when others say ‘come on, cheer up’ or ‘pull yourself together.’ Of course the people who love and care about us find it hard to deal with if we’re struggling. However, telling someone to ‘pull yourself together’ is not really understanding how the other person is feeling. Not only that, it assumes that they can pull themselves together.
In my experience the most helpful way to help someone who is feeling sad is to try and understand what it must feel like for them. We all have sad experiences that we can draw on because our lives are characterised by loss. Throughout our lives we are continually saying goodbye to people we love or care about. Every new chapter in our lives creates an ending. Goodbye to the old. It is normal to feel sad if we are grieving. To be accepted can be healing in itself. To be allowed to be who we are and to be allowed to do what we need to do.
Sometimes though it can be hard to move on from feeling sad and the feelings may persist. If this is the case we may withdraw, not wanting to burden our families and friends. If this happens maybe counselling can help you to find a way forward. To process your feelings and to come to a place of acceptance.