[Edit: I’d really recommend going and reading this from “thedirtyho”, which is far better than mine and written from the inside]
If your short-term partner has left you, but you’ve had other partners in the past and will probably – given a few days’ self-pity – get over it, and in a few weeks find another one – then have a few drinks with some mates. In the morning, you’ll worry more about the headache than your failed relationship.
If you’re feeling relatively down because you spend every day in your office, writing progress reports that explain you’ve made no progress since the last progress report because you’re constantly in futile meetings to review your progress reports – go for a walk at lunch time. Will do you the power of good.
If you need a bit of cheering up, talk to your friends. They like you.
If you’re a popular liberal Christian, and need a bit of reassurance or just a few quid – write a Guardian column. You’ll feel fantastic.
Normally, if you’ve lost a loved one – you will feel pretty desolate, and then gradually time softens the blow. Or you might feel numb, and then guilty about that. These are both normal.
If you’re just a bit down, you’ll probably get over it. And sometimes, being sad is the right response to your situation. And if you think the world’s full of injustice and you’re angry, this is an appropriate reaction.
If every day is blankness or blackness, and you can’t talk to your friends because you don’t think you have any, and your closest family can’t see what the problem is, and there appears to be no way out, and every day you are tired and every evening you fear your failure to go to sleep, and there’s no bloody way out of it no matter what you see or how much encouragement you get from others, and no matter how many people tell you to cheer up because it will never happen – don’t read any articles on the subject by Giles Fraser. Don’t talk to the sort of Christians who’ll tell you that Jesus will instantly heal you. If you do talk to that sort of Christian, don’t tell them you’ve been instantly healed, even if you believe it – because you really won’t need the guilt when you find out you’re wrong. Go and see your pastor, if they’re sensible and you have one – and then go and see your doctor. Don’t tell yourself they won’t help, because they can. Don’t tell yourself you don’t need drugs – because you might. You might not – but you’re not necessarily the right person to tell – not currently being the sort of self-sufficient, self-contained, aren’t-I-great Guardian reader that you might be at other times. Don’t think you’re a failure – because millions of people struggle in this world, in different ways, and need their own kind of support. And it’s not a matter of weakness, and it’s not your fault. Go and get the help you need. We all need help – not all the same help, not all for the same reasons. But this is the help that you need. So go and get it.