Sadness_A Reflection


I was thinking about sadness and thought to check in on the forum for a discussion on it. Only to see that @Blake was musing about it recently too!

I was walking home today and thought, “Wow, I have learned how to compress sadness into a tiny box inside of me. Mine is a compressed sadness. I have felt all the sadness there is to feel.”

I am going through a very trying time in my life. I should be sad. I think I am, but in a detached way. Not like I used to be. I wonder if I am so strong now that I will not crack under this pressure? Not even shed one tear? It is as if I am sad but I have taken this sadness and compressed it and stored it away deep inside of me. It doesn’t reside in my throat like it used to.

It is a different detachment than I have had in other times of great stress. A few years back I was so sad that I dissociated from my body. This time I have not dissociated. I am able to feel. I was listening to music earlier and I felt joy. I was talking with a friend and we were laughing and I felt joy. But my mind will not let me sit in my sadness like I used to. As soon as I feel it I compress it and store it away. The overarching and predominant emotion in me all things considered should be sadness but it is not.

So much of my identity has been centered on my capacity to feel great sadness. The long-suffering, sensitive artist whose melancholic depths no one could ever understand. I don’t want that anymore. I have no desire to entertain sadness inside of me anymore.

Is this growth or signs of an unhealthy coping mechanism?


My instincts are that you are overthinking this.

When you feel very engaged in sadness, accept it. It’ll be your treasure.

When you don’t feel like delving into the sadness, then don’t.

Just let it be. There is no point in trying to “channel” the id. Just let it run and accept it.

Your self awareness in how you’re compressing your sadness and just letting it pass in some sort of way, is probably more important than just feeling really blue. High awareness of these emotions and the complexity of your behavior and motivations is also what drives great art.

If you free write and your emotions start gushing all at once, fine. If you free write and you end up doing a lot more Fe than Fi, fine. Don’t overthink it. We can’t be consciously upset 24/7.

(By the way, Kate Bush describes the awkward process of overcoming grief - compressing deep sadness as you say and trying to move on with life - quite well in her song “Mrs. Bertolozzi” in her album “Aerial.”)


Feeling is part of being human, but sometimes it’s useful to be able to dissociate in order to get things done. Keep moving forward in dealing with your obstacles in your trying time. Sublimation can be healthy, but repression isn’t. Sadness is like a sweat; it needs to come out somehow. Music, time with supportive friends, writing, time in nature, and cardio can all be beneficial releasing activities. Your temperament is probably naturally melancholy, that’s okay and can even be beautiful but the real you is even deeper than that so don’t drown in it.

A couple simple breathing exercises that might help:

  1. Sit in your chair left over right hand in your lap. Take a deep, diaphragmatic breath through your nose about a 5 count, hold it about a 5 count, then release through your mouth, again about a 5 count. Do 3 times per session 3 time a day.
  2. Same basic idea, maybe a little quicker cycle. This time after in breath just hold a couple seconds then as you exhale, tilt your head back with teeth loosely clenched, tongue pressed gently to the roof of your mouth, and make an sssss sound. Do this in sets of 3 repetitions, you can do more than 1 set per session but 3 repetitions, you can sit quietly and go back to normal breathing between these sets and between 1 and 2 also.
    Be mindful of resting position of your mouth all day long too, jaw should be relaxed and not clenching, tongue resting lightly on the roof of your mouth.


To address your question, and as a stranger to you, my impression is the latter.

Are you an INFJ or is it my ignorant assumption?

If you’re an INFJ, yes, I suppose many a great thing can be harvested from that sadness. Poetry, music, … the arts. But the idea is to use it and get out.

Wallowing in sadness is not healthy for you or others around you.

There of course is never a clear answer on these matters, but my suggestion would be to pinpoint your sadness. Instead of trying to cope with the symptoms, find the source. Be mindful to every stimuli you encounter. Meditate. Let each thought and emotion come. Reflect on the feeling. Reflect on the source. And make changes. Get up and move onward.

I hope this finds you well and aids you! :love_you_gesture: