Own your emotions.

One of the hardest parts of feeling depressed, which I can say I am feeling less of these days (medication, therapy, & life changes all contributing factors), is realizing it is alright to own your emotions.  I spent so much of the beginning parts of my depression feeling bad that I was feeling bad.  This did not help anything; and it also took me quite some time to realize and admit this.

At first I was embarrassed for feeling depressed when on paper there were so many good things in my life.  So I suppressed those feelings and tried to tell myself I did not feel them.  Which just made me feel worse because I was lying to everyone including myself.  Eventually, I hit a breaking point.  I could no life deny how worthless and shitty I felt: physically, mentally, emotionally.  I was exhausted.  So I admitted to myself and a few others that things weren’t so great.

Slowly, I realized this was helping.  Once I started talking to my therapist, she helped me realize the importance of allowing myself to feel whatever it is I am feeling.  That it was OK to be sad.  Even as she told me this, I did not understand nor believe this.  I thought that was part of her job, to tell me to “let it out” or something.  Sounded cliché and easier said than done.  But eventually, during one of my mid-driving cry sessions, I remembered what she said.  Just feel it and give the emotion its time to marinate.  So I did.  I relishes every second and every tear.  I cried as hard as I possibly wanted or imagined without thinking or questioning myself.  And eventually, I stopped crying.  And I kept going.

It was weird to be honest.  But I realized at that moment what she meant.  When you are happy and something great happens, don’t you just let yourself feel that?  If something is funny, don’t you let yourself laugh?  Well, if you’re body and mind is telling you are sad or feeling off, there is likely a reason so you should take the time to listen and let yourself feel that.  It has felt so great at times to just allow myself to feel.  To own how I feel.  To own my emotions.

It sounds so simple.  Believe me, I’ve been there.  But I promise, experiencing my emotions the way my mind and body is telling me to has been therapeutic in its own right.  While it has not been a cure, it certainly has been a helpful coping mechanism in the meantime.  I hope that owning my emotions can help me heal.
-mnw

Emotions: Inexplicable.

Mid-breakdown right now and the only thing I can mentally fathom doing is writing.  I cannot function otherwise.  Not even able to get up off my couch.  I am thirsty, could use a Kleenex, and am cold.  But I cannot move.

This was the first time I have ever been in the midst of a depressive attack while simultaneously being aware I am in the middle of an attack.  It was like I was seeing my thoughts from above.  Like there were two people in the conversation.

The main voice in the conversation is telling me how difficult things are right now.  Not just with one aspect of my life, but many.  Work, finances, friends, family, relationships, and pets.  That’s without all my mental health issues I am trying to work through.  I am not saying my life is any more difficult than anyone else’s, because I do not believe it is.  It is probably actually much better than most.  But that is another reason why this voice in the conversation is so frustrating.  I know things are not as bad as they sometimes feel, yet this voice will not let me believe that.  This voice wants to tell me over and over how bad things are and how they will not get better.  No matter what.

So that is one voice.

The other, quieter but much more frantic sounding voice is the one saying “do you hear yourself right now?” This voice is telling me how ridiculous the loud voice sounds and is trying to remind me that the loud voice is wrong.  But then the loud voice comes back in and says, “how can I be wrong? Do you hear how loud and overpowering I am? I must be right.”  And I am wrestling.  Somehow I am currently wrestling nothing other than my own mind.  And let me tell you, it’s a very helpless feeling.  Knowing that you are your own worst enemy.  That you do no want to think these things, but some monster and some disease inside of you is making you.  It is like being physically ill. You don’t WANT to feel terrible, but you cannot help what your body is doing.  You are not in control.  All you can do is do your best to take care of yourself and hope that helps you feel better.  Mentally feeling ill is the same way.

Right now, I am hoping writing will calm me down and help my brain make the loud voice subside.  It sucks having these moments.  It truly does and I would never wish it on anyone.

How do you tell your own brain to stop working?  How do you tell yourself you are wrong, when you know you are also right?  It makes no sense.  Being your own biggest advocate yet your biggest adversary, literally at the same moment in time.  It hurts you.  You feel weak for somehow feeling both of those things towards yourself at the same time.  Feeling one way or the other feels normal; but both at the same time?  It makes you feel strange and alienated and as if nobody can empathize.  So you do not tell anyone, furthering those feelings.

Hopefully the way I feel is only temporary and can go away before bed tonight.  It would be difficult to wake up and begin a new day feeling this way, so I am going to work hard to be balanced mentally before falling asleep.  If anyone else is feeling this way right now, know you are not alone tonight.

 

-mnw

Crippling

The worst part of being depressed is how crippling it is and can be.  It can be paralyzing.  That is difficult to explain to others especially when you are in that moment.  You want to feel better and act like everything is alright but your body will not allow you.

Well, it’s been two days since I’ve tried to write this post. And frankly, it’s been hard for me.  I think because I am scared. I am scared of how I feel.  I feel better, but not really.  Better than before, much better, but then there are moments (sometimes days) where I’m not better.  And that scares me to admit that.  I guess that fear is something that has been crippling me without me even realizing it.  And that’s part of what this whole thing can do to you; make you act or feel a certain way without you being fully aware that you are acting or feeling that way.  That is how it can be so crippling.

I am worried.  I worry for the future.  I also worry for the present.  I want to be my best version of me for everyone around me.  There is so much for me to offer to others.  Do they see that?  Am I giving as much of myself as I can?  I know I should be focusing on my own health and I am, so now I am thinking about how a residual effect of that should be how those around me feel and how they perceive me.  I want the best for everyone.  I saw a quote today that really resonated with me and is really making me do a hard stop and closely examine myself…

“Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.”

-Mother Teresa

 I mean, that’s pretty powerful.  To make sure each interaction you have with others benefits them just as much as it benefits you.  I guess this is why I get fearful.  What if I am having a really off day and my light does not shine through and help make another person better and happier?  That’s a devastating and scary thought to have.  One that makes you want to stay away from others when you are down because you do not want to bring them down with you.  This is such an important thing for loved ones of people with depression to know.  Many times it is not about them wanting to shut people out or be alone, it is that they would rather not talk with you than even toy with the possibility of you feeling an ounce of sadness, pain, and vulnerability that they are feeling.

I am not sure what is bringing on these feelings of fear within me.  Normally I am afraid of nothing.  It is a new feeling that is very difficult for me to navigate many days.  Sometimes it makes me angry.  Which is also a feeling I rarely feel, so then I truly begin to question myself and whether I am healing.  I think that I am and that this is part of my process, but every day is a learning experience.  Some nights I pray not to fall asleep because each morning is difficult and it feels like I am starting over.  As the day goes on, I start to feel better; but then I must give that up and begin all over again tomorrow.

Tonight instead of praying not to fall asleep, I will try to pray that when I wake I can begin where I left off rather than having to start anew again.  And maybe slowly, I will be able to heal so that I can make others better and happier each time I interact with them.

 

-mnw