People often say to “look on the bright side” when you’re feeling down. While the sentiment comes with good intentions, how it’s received can be a very different story; it can seem insensitive and leave you feeling unheard and invalidated. You may smile when hearing it, but feel genuinely hurt and possibly even more broken than you felt before.

I remember confiding in a friend once about how sad and depressed I felt. She responded by telling me to just think of someone worse off and I would feel better. While this exchange occurred more than ten years ago, the wound that developed from the interaction still feels fresh.

Many people don’t understand the difference between having an off day and being depressed. They may not know what to say. They may be unable to deal with their own feelings let alone be able to handle yours. Often times people’s reactions to your emotions have more to do with them than you. Sometimes you just have to learn who you can turn to and have the courage to keep trying. I know it’s no easy task. The more times you’re rejected when vulnerable, the greater the desire to shut down. But there is value in sharing your pain with others. If you do it with the right person, (and this may be the right therapist) it can open you up, heal you and then you’ll be able to look on the bright side – because surprisingly, there actually is one.

Compassion can be spawned from painful moments and creativity can come from traumatic experiences. When we’re well enough to see through the clouds, there is a space where compassion, hope and positivity can grow. May this week’s post motivate you to get the help you need, find ways to cope with a difficult past or develop compassion for those who are suffering even more than you.

Pain + Mindfulness = Compassion
(Mindfulness & Psychotherapy) – Is there an upside to suffering? In the throes of emotional pain, it may seem like an impossibility. But a lot of people have been able to grow roses where once there were thorns. Read how here.

Creative Expression and EMDR to Deal With Trauma, PTSD and Abuse
(The Creative Mind) – You might not know it, but artists like Halle Berry have found that acting can be a cathartic experience. Reading this may inspire you to find your own creative outlet to heal and deal with trauma.

Sex Addiction Treatment: Addressing Hypersexual Behavior in a Rehab Setting
(Sex & Intimacy in the Digital Age) – Ever wonder what sexual addiction treatment really is and what it entails? Find out exactly what it is, what it’s not and what rehab looks like for those dealing with sex addiction.

Mentally Ill And Homeless
(Therapy Soup) – Today there are more homeless people than ever. What does the face of homelessness look like? This post may lessen the gap between you and the homeless men, women and children in your neighborhood.

10 Signs You Need A Different Therapist 
(A Counselor’s Observations) – Is your current therapist right for you? The top warning signs that will tell you if it’s time to find a new therapist.