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.