Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ask Alicia: A happy state of affairs


Email from ‘Awedowl’

‘warning : The following content is not from a cheese factory, so if you feel inclined to dismiss it as unreal, you can not. because you have to believe every word that I say :p

I have ordered from a lot of places, and always I have purchased objects. But from your beautiful store I ordered smiles and happiness, and Whoa! I got so much more than I ever wanted. You are an inspiration Alicia, and I admire you so much. 

Can I ask you something? I am stretching my limits as you have been so gregarious and warm. How do you deal with sadness? I really want to know. I am sure that there must have been moments when you just want to shut the World out and scream maybe. How do you come out of that zone? 

If I could I would've borrowed all the blessings the Planet has to offer and showered them on you :D'



Your email is the cutest ever! 

I loved your question because it’s so real. Like any human, I have a wealth of emotions. I don’t feel sadness as much as I get angry. I sometimes think my brain wires are a bit mixed up. Something bad happens in the world, someone passes away, horror stricken event, whatever the calamity, I tend to feel rage rather than melancholy. 

Having said that, I do have sad streaks. And unlike some artists and writers who can create beautiful works from those emotions, I don’t even remotely feel like drawing then. 

There are a few things I do when I get in this state: 

1) Do whatever I feel like doing- I would rarely feel like drawing but I truly enjoy just inking pencil sketches and would scout out drawings that are yet to be inked. This is my sort of ‘peace’ and ‘meditation’ that gets my brain almost still without thought. 

2) Play my favourite music- I ADORE country music and I sometimes listen to (wait for it…) old sappy country music when I feel crappy. I do admit that I also listen to country music when I’m happy but I think I don’t listen to upbeat ones when I’m sad because I just get annoyed. (I heard, or hope, this is normal. Almost like misery loves company, of sad songs) 

3) Confront the sadness- I don’t like leaving things in the air. If I had a tiff with the man, I would go back in there (in about five minutes) and clear it up. I also force-hug and force-kiss because that just makes things awkward and better. With people it’s easy to just take a deep breathe and confront the source of the sadness.

4) Time- And then there are things you don’t have control over that just need time to get better. Understand that things DO get better with time. (I have to throw in here that one of the most devastating moments in my life was when Cookie-brown, my dog, passed away suddenly. I thought I would never be able to get over her heart-wrenching loss, but time really did help. Nothing else, besides her being back here, would. Not even Richard Gere and I like to think he would make everything better.) 

5) A box of you- Another thing is knowing what you like and makes you happy. One of my dear friends watches horrid reality tv shows to make herself feel better. I sometimes like cleaning or baking. Maybe a box of fun photographs or mailing an old friend. Sometimes ‘Love Actually’ or just getting away for a while. Go for a pedicure.

5) Let yourself be- I think it’s ok to be sad sometimes. It’s even normal. Whether you need to shed a tear or two. Also, some situations call for it. It would be odd to NOT be sad at a funeral or when your friend moves away. Be nice to yourself and I think the worst thing would be to beat yourself up about being a little down. When you know it’s ok to be sad, you can let yourself be happy. 

PS: please note that sadness is very different from depression. I’m talking about general sadness that sneaks in every now and then. And that sometimes dutifully creeps in a few days before our periods. Thanks menstruation!


I forgot to mention, sometimes happiness is a sleep away. Literally, some days can just be a drag and understand that when you go to bed at night; so when you wake up the next day, the sun is shining brighter just for you! 

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