The Rules to being Bummed Out
Subjecting your friends to yourself when you are a touchy mess is not always a good idea. Sure, “that’s what friends are for.” And that’s true if you’re just a little bit sad and will recover with the help of a side hug and can of beer OR if you are hospitalised for depression and have some good pals swing by to care about you every day. BUT there’s no free pass for alienating your friends with your boring bad mood, even if you are the good-looking alpha of your group. That shit is selfish, and against the rules of being bummed out.
RULE ONE: WHO CARES?
Who do you think you are, seriously? You’re “sad”? I guarantee that you are in better shape than 90% of human life on the planet if you have this kind of leisure time. Your poor attitude is inconsequential to literally everyone else. You are lucky to have friends and a computer instead of one corner of a waste heap outside of Manila. Fuck you forever. Picture me slamming down the receiver of a rotary phone.
RULE TWO: ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Actually, yeah, fine. Being sad is the worst, especially when it’s not an indulgent and temporary good-sad like after you get dumped by someone you didn’t really care about. Ennui and alienation anesthetize the parts of you that are about fun and hanging out, so that even with real effort you’re still like “What?” when people talk to you, and any kind of attention can make your whole existence feel like burning. This is called “being in the Bell Jar.” (If you don’t know what that means, you are probably sad because you are sooooo stupid.) Accepting the state of being bummed-out is important, because ignoring that sort of thing makes it impossible to overcome, and your personality will slowly devolve into terribleness. Lifelong saddies are the worst, and they’re always the ones that don’t believe in going to the shrink and whose friends hate them. AVOID.
RULE THREE: DON’T GO OUT. OR, DO GO OUT.
OK, so you’re sad, but it’s Friday and you have plans. (Friday is the worst for sadness, I think. Don’t know why.) Whether or not you leave the house depends on whether or not you’re the kind of person who can effectively drown it in booze and pussy/dick, or if you will end up just finding some unfortunate to sob in front of. Decide based on that, and not on how maybe-fun the thing to do is, or whether or not you’re expected to be there. (None of your friends care if you do or don’t go to the party or the opening or the thing, or they shouldn’t, because how clingy and unmotivated are they? Potentially, someone who was looking to lay you would notice, and if you are first-string friends with the DJ or artist or whoever, they’ll notice, but the consideration here has to be all about you.) Go to work, though, if that’s what you’re facing. Being jazzed at work is almost worse than being bummed.
RULE FOUR: FAKE IT SOMETIMES
Guess what! The Secret is totally real. Fake-smiling and pretending like you’re loving life works. Try it! Basically, all of us are faking it all the time. Who do you know who is really happy and fulfilled? No fair if they’re very old and rich and have sired many healthy children. Sensitive muffins like me and you know that life is hard, but sometimes we have to tuck this information away for a night, like a wounded hero, and just be as good to our friends as we can, because they are the only worthwhile insurance against suicide.
RULE FIVE: INFECT YOUR FRIENDS WITH YOUR SADNESS SOMETIMES
Facing the cold world together is infinitely better than being brutalized by it alone, so set up a “Tragedy” hang-out with your BFFFR. I don’t know for sure, but I imagine people did this a lot in the 60s and 70s when taking a bunch of drugs and just feeling it by candlelight was probably a more common thing to do. Not only can you comfortably be a hot mess in this echelon (everywhere else it’s just… bad), you can wipe each others' creaming noses and exorcise more sadness than you even thought you had, and perhaps elevate your friendiness to a level of emotional-ferocity typically reserved for 12-year-old girls.
RULE SIX: CRY FIRST
Related to Rule Five is just fucking crying, like, unabashedly heaving your eye-water onto some weakness tissues (thanks 30 Rock) for a solid while. Bonus: some people, including girls, are turned on by this kind of thing. This functions as a really good test of where you’re at on the Bummed rainbow, which can help when you’re working on Rule Three. Tip: If there’s a tears-flood and you are holding yourself by the shoulders and suddenly caught up in why your dad seems to hate you half the time, take an Ativan, stay up long enough to feel the good part, maybe rub one out and go to sleep. You’re not fit for human consumption. This is the mature decision. If your cry is more vocals than tears or thoracic pain, you’re fine and just being dramatic. Stop that.
RULE SEVEN: DO SOMETHING NUTS
Own your sad. They say that depression is repressed anger, right, so if you have it in you, use the time alone to rage a little. Punch some stuffs. Don’t get superdrunk alone because that is really sad (the other kind of “sad” where you’re pathetic). There’s a really fine line between dramatic-sexy and dramatic-gross, as most guys past the 25-year-old mark start to understand, so don’t just act out for the sake of it. Ultimately, sadness is the most universal human quality. So maybe you can feel good about that.