I have figured out that sad is more then just a feeling. When I dig a little and write a little about sad, there are many layers to sad. Sad can mean: despair, sorrow, calm acceptance, lack of energy to move, depression, fear, or just not happy.
In peeling off the layers of words, it has been helpful to me to better define how I feel.
Just saying I feel sad or OK tells very little about me. It is safer to say I am doing OK.
It is expected that I might be sad following the death of a loved one.
The details or layers may not be what I want to share with just anyone. It can be safe for me to just respond, I am doing OK. OK can mean I got dressed today or I went to the gym or I laughed with friends today. OK can mean I only cried once today and I remembered to eat at least once today.
Peeling back the layers is how I gauge my emotional progress. What I decide to share depends on my own needs, not what others need or want from me. Writing these things down has been helpful to tame the emotions and let them flow through me instead of my emotions stopping me in my tracks.