It’s no secret that the western world is uncomfortable with death, sadness, and anything related to the macabre.
This has created a culture embroiled in toxic positivity. Mourning the loss of a loved one is allowed, but only for the “acceptable” amount of time. Sharing sadness in the workplace for anything other than mourning a death is often seen as a “weakness”. Disallowing space for “negative” human emotion has become a norm in western culture.
In Bittersweet, Susan Cain argues that life is a balance of “happy” and “sad”, and ignoring one feeling can actually be quite harmful. Feelings of melancholy allow for very strong, complex, and important emotions to the human psyche, such as poignancy and longing. While often unpleasant in the moment, these feelings are a part of what it means to be complex creatures, and are vital to emotional growth and development.
This book gives its readers the liberty to revel in their own catharsis, and reminds them that they are not broken for it