Feel? Depression doesn’t really involve that
Depression is a beast, as we have been discussing. I think Tin man in the Wiz said it well when he asked “What would I do I’d I could feel?” We imagine that one day our emotions will thaw out and life will become wonderful again.
The feeling of being depressed isn’t the way people think it is. You don’t “feel sad”. What you feel is nothing, and you feel it so deeply that you question if you will ever feel anything ever again.
It’s living a black and white existence in a world of radiant colors. Everyone’s brilliance seems to reflect your own dull grey back to you. In order to cope with that, we withdraw. Yet the comfort of withdrawal is tempered by the loneliness, which deepens the depression.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
I alluded to it earlier this week when I mentioned that I spent a month in bed, but now I’m telling you: stop fighting the depression. Think about this. Those feelings are there for a reason and you better acknowledge them or they will be coming back. Or better yet, they won’t leave. They’ll just stay there until you get your crap together.
“How do we do this,” you may be asking yourself. After all, I left a job. You can’t leave your job. No one would expect you to leave your kids, your spouse, your project. Whatever needs you, you have a life and you don’t have to let things get as bad as I let them get. Here are 3 ways you can fully acknowledge your depression and feel it without having to disassemble your entire life.
How can you take a break?
1. Establish a bare minimum – what is the absolute least you can accomplish for the day and still keep your life in motion? Is it a shower then back to bed? Can you order take out or do you have to cook? Do you have to walk the dogs? Whatever has to be done, make it non negotiable and get it done.
2. Clear your schedule except for the bare minimum – NO new commitments. This is your time to break down so let it happen. No plans, no scheduled events, nothing but the bare minimum. Clear your schedule as much as possible.
3. Prepare for the dissent – usually when we do something that only benefits us, people tend to get a little bent out of shape. If you start off expecting it, you won’t feel upset when it happens. This is your time.
It only seems crazy
Don’t get me wrong, I know how crazy this sounds. Hear me out though: I laid in bed every day for a month, vegging out, looking at stuff on the internet in between sleeping. Oh my God did I sleep and sleep. And sleep. Didn’t do much except sleep. I slept like I hadn’t slept in years. Maybe my body needed that. Additionally, I started listening to my body for the first time in years instead of trying to force it to comply with my ideas of what I felt we should be doing. Rested my body without asking it to function without proper food. Slept when my body demanded it.
In return for all of that sacrifice, about a week and a half ago, I realized that I felt fine. I was remembering to take my medicine, I wasn’t sleeping like it was going out of style. Soon, I found my enthusiasm for life returning. Also, I noticed something new, something we are going to touch on next week but I’ll briefly call: the bullshit-o-meter. Let’s just say when you learn to listen to your body, your body will let you know when you have had enough of something, and warn you to get away. This is the bullshit-o-meter. We will all learn to love and listen to our bullshit-o-meters.
Don’t feel boxed in here, you don’t have to spend a month in bed. You don’t have to spend a week on the couch. Change what you’re doing. For so many of us, it is forcing ourselves to be happy when we just aren’t happy. Square pegs don’t fit into round holes, even if we tell them they should. Are you ready to stop forcing it?
Until next time,
P. S. Did you see The Wiz live? What did you think?
P. P. S. – don’t forget to pin this to your favorite board