Courage, dear heart

courage-dear-heartI’m sad and I don’t know why. I cry at random times of the day, sometimes at two in the morning, other times immediately when I wake up. And that’s not even the worst part about it. The worst part is trying to explain to friends exactly how you feel. When you say you’re sad, they dismiss it or shrug it off as if it’s just a bad case of colds you could cure with multivitamins and a lot of water. If only it were that simple.

If only every single morning wasn’t a struggle to wake up to, the rest of the day not seen a battle I have to brave. If only getting up wasn’t too painful and getting out of the room such a Herculean task.

I’m running out of things and people to blame for being sad, so maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the reason why I’m sad, who I am and who I’m not. Maybe it’s me who’s in the way of everything else. And it’s not that things and people don’t make sense. It’s that I don’t make sense to the world and I’m this blip in the universe everyone could do without.

Why doesn’t anyone like me? Why do people always have a reason to say why they like me? If they like me because I’m smart and have a sense of humor, does that mean that they will find me horrible when I run out of jokes to say and I forget everything I know? When they tell me I’m their favorite person because I’m a great friend, what good am I on my bad days when I can’t be a friend even to myself?

It’s a tricky thing, sadness. Most would tell you it’s a choice. I agree with that. But sometimes it’s not a choice between happiness and sadness. Sometimes it’s between sadness and death. So what do you do? You choose to be sad until there’s a choice to be happy. And until then, you need to repeat only one thing over and over again: Courage, dear heart.


4 thoughts on “Courage, dear heart

  1. hi miss roch,

    this may sound odd but i regularly read your blog. how i found it i already forgot; but i’ve been reading it since 2013 (or, probably, even earlier than that).

    i don’t know, but the things you write, they just have this effect on me. i couldn’t explain it, really–i wish i could yet i couldn’t–and, always, after reading your new poem or essay, i’d say to myself “i, too, feel this.” i mean, you write about the things i myself write about, like sadness. but, the thing is, you write tersely, directly, with sincerity. they’re such a pleasure to read, the things you write. and, also, in a way, because of that, you inspire me to improve my writing.

    your recent essay “Courage, dear heart”–it’s my new favourite. it’s probably inappropriate to praise an essay about sadness, to exalt an essayist who have just written about her sadness, but i couldn’t help it. the whole essay is so relatable–so honest, too–particularly the paragraph that began with the line “I’m running out of things and people to blame for being sad, so maybe it’s me.” it’s something that, you know, i also frequently say to myself.

    why i am writing this i don’t know. i mean, this probably could just piss you off, make your day even worse, but, really, i just want you to know that i like your poems and essays. they’re swell, you know. like a good song, i could just read them again and again–especially when i’m sad. because you “do something beautiful” and “leave something beautiful,” as franny glass would say.

    (perhaps one reason why i like your blog is because you are also a fan of j.d. salinger–but that’s just incidental.)

    knowing how sadness works–“tricky”–i’m aware that this will mean nothing. this whole fan mail (whatever you call it), i mean. but, you’re right: “courage” is the only thing that will save us from sadness, that will stop us from doing a seymour glass.

    i hope you’d write more but more than that i hope you’d feel better. i also hope you’d find the courage to survive whatever it is that you needed to survive in. and, if you do, i hope you could hold on to it, with your heart, or, i don’t know, with your soul.

    god, i’ve written a lot. i’m sorry. but i can’t stop muttering these words. i feel i needed to say this, like i needed to write all this, so i just went on and on. and i’m really, really, really sorry for being such a nuisance. but, finally, know that the things you write affects–touches–your readers, or at least this reader, in an unexplainable, sublime way. i want to thank you for that.

    and i wish you a nice day.

    mark flores

    • Hi, Mark.

      I’ve never had anyone write to me before like you just did. It means a lot to me that people are able to relate to what I post. I guess as an aspiring writer that’s all I could ever genuinely hope for.

      Thank you. You’re not a nuisance. 🙂 And I really don’t know what else to say after that.


  2. hi roch, i also feel sadness at times, and i blame the chemicals in my brain.

    This is renee btw, a reader of your blog since high school and I’m already 24. my relationship with your blog is longer than the years I’ve known my best friends and with that l, i think I have the license to know you personally but I’m scared because I’m a social awkward.

    anyway, roch I hope you can ease through sadness at this time because it is evident that I’m not the only one you inspire. hindi ko alam kung pano ka icheccheer up kasi nasabi mo na, pano kung hindi mo mafulfill yung mga tao sa paligid mo, magugustuhan ka pa ba nila. hindi ko rin alam. hehe. ang hirap ng tanong. let’s just take happy pills.

    • “my relationship with your blog is longer than the years I’ve known my best friends…” that was epic. I know I’m only a few years older than you, but–yikes!–since high school. Thank you for tolerating my blog for that long. 🙂

      Why haven’t we met yet? You should come to Sev’s Cafe sometime and say hi. Daming people from UST who frequent there, you might even know some of them.

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