Addicted to Sad

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Yesterday on Facebook, near the top of my newsfeed, I saw a post from a page called Disarm the Police in America. It started “The following families will have an empty chair at their Christmas dinner.” I clicked on it and found a long series of pictures of victims of police shootings. Under each one, page host Rick Hill had written: “Our family will keep your family in our prayers.” In the comments under each post, a woman named Patricia had typed “JUSTICE for (the person pictured.”) In some cases, family members of victims had commented things like “Thanks everyone for your support.” “Still fighting for justice,” “It still hurts.”

On and on for at least 30 people whose cases Disarm the Police are following. I was sobbing after the first three, but I couldn’t stop reading. I’m crying about it now, just thinking about it. But that brings up the question, why was I reading it? Why couldn’t I stop? It’s not like reading their stories was doing the families any good. I wasn’t learning anything new. These were just 30 cases out of thousands in the USA and thousands more worldwide.

All I was getting out of it was sadness. So why look?

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4 Responses to Addicted to Sad

  1. Randy Peyser says:

    A powerful and well thought out article. Thank you for sharing this. I’d never thought about sadness in this light before.

  2. Linda Martin says:

    I guess I am sort of addicted to Sad because I can’t pass up reading the sad stories in the news and on facebook. I think sometimes I actually feel better because it makes me feel like my very boring, lonely life isn’t half so bad because of all the terrible catastrophes that are happening to others. I can be thankful to God because I have food, shelter, heat, clothes, a job, a church family and a few friends. Some days when I go to work, suffering from chronic back and feet pain, and just feel like whining and complaining, I run head long into someone else who is suffering so much worse than, I am. Then I tell myself that I need to keep my mouth shut about my pain and feel blessed. I think the emotions are useful, but some days I have to fight it by getting up and cleaning house, cleaning out drawers, working on paperwork, etc. to keep myself from getting too depressed. And it does help if the sun is shining that day and not pouring rain.

  3. Donna says:

    This explains a question that gets asked in my grief group. People say it makes them sad to come, but they come anyway and they wonder why.

  4. Dr. A.S says:

    What you call “addiction” may be closer to what addiction doctors call “dependence.” Addiction damages a person’s life. They’ll do antisocial things that disrupt their family or land them in jail to get their fix. These mood habits may be closer to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD.)

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