“This is me being sad. Maybe you think I’m being happy in this picture. Really I’m being sad but pretending to be happy. I’m doing that because I think people won’t like me if I look sad”.
So begins Micheal Rosen’s Sad Book. The words sit beneath a grinning portrait of Rosen, wide-eyed and toothy. It is a feeling familiar to anyone who has suffered depression. It is a feeling familiar to most people who haven’t.
Rosen’s son Eddie died of meningitis in 1999. He was just eighteen years old.
Who is sad?
Sad is everyone.
It comes along and finds you.
Micheal Rosen’s Sad Book
And so Rosen is sad. “Sometimes sad is very big. It’s everywhere. All over me”. The economy of prose imbues the words with such heart, such empathetic power that my fingertips tingle. Depression is a king-size duvet on a rollaway bed. Oversized and Heavy. Oppressive. Sometimes even comforting. Rosen speaks of feeling angry, of the ways he tries to cope, of wanting to talk about it and of not wanting to talk about it. Of being sad and not knowing why. Of the crazy things that we do when we’re sad.