I was wondering why, these last couple of days, even when my period and pms symptoms subsided, was I still feeling so lethargic, and unmotivated, and lifeless almost. Then I remembered – I have chronic depression. And it is not something that goes away permanently every time I feel ‘good’ again.
I think sometimes we tend to want to avoid very uncertain or despondent feelings like this and just want to power through with whatever we planned to be on track with, not taking time to rearrange and deal with the unexpected. It never works like this especially if you deal with any mental/emotional health issue. I was being really hard on myself, feeling angry about why I couldn’t just get up and go outside or enjoy the routine I had going this past month. I was trying to override this “fatigue” and finding loopholes to snap out of it. But it doesn’t work that way and it’s never worked that way, so why did I still try ?
I think the integral part of why the onset of depressive episodes happen for me is because I can get very sensitive to the unalignment of myself. I mean, that’s what depression really is anyway. It’s a reaction to all of these masks we’ve been subconsciously conditioned to put, all the rules and regulations that weren’t in our best interests, not feeling like we had ample space in the world. Some say it can be an allergic reaction, internal inflammation of some sorts, and I agree. But I think it’s an emotional allergy, born out of the need to take you under long enough for you to be decompressed to whatever extreme needed… in order to then balance out more and more each time.
Depression is not the same for me as it was years ago or even a few episodes ago. It’s different each time and more so now that I am growing aware of its role in my life and allowing myself to be with it. That’s why I think it was hard for me to recognize its onset this time because it felt like a different wave. But once I put two and two together, that it wasn’t just some “fatigue” but a deep urge for me to reassemble and be touched with grace, I stopped pushing and judging myself. I let myself melt into it as much as it wanted me to, allowing spontaneous crying bubble up when it does and not prematurely shutting it down, letting myself sleep during the day when I can’t take being aware anymore. I tried to just focus on taking care of myself and nurturing myself – eating right, meditating, just being with myself.
These “scary” things happen to us for us, signaling to us something isn’t right and an adjustment must be made. I feel like now, today, there is a subtle change in perception and sensation born out of that little nest I let myself warm up in. Today – walking in the sand and ocean felt different than it did a few days ago; I felt my senses breathing. I feel more in tune with all the noises surrounding me. I feel less fear. I think I was missing a sense of calm and alignment with the core of myself because I was so busy trying to be “productive” and on the move, feeling like I would find myself “out there” opposed to just finding myself where I was at the moment. I was also having trouble emotionally integrating childhood issues I’ve been working through my head and maybe not letting myself be still with it. Of course it all stems from deeper things since this depression was not born today, but this was what I noticed this time. Everything seems a little less forced today than it had these past weeks when I got caught up in doing robotic human things instead of bringing humanness to the things we ordinarily do.
I also feel like depression can strike a sense of threat for some people like me, because I have experienced such deep collapse into that place where it was hard to get out of. I know that I worry I might regress and get stuck there again. But I think it’s good to note that that only happens when we get caught up in the story of our moods, depression, or whatever. When we get caught up pitying ourselves or having lengthy narratives inside our minds and placing blame. When you either suppress and avoid so much that it overwhelms you and places you inside a bubble. When you then also amplify certain emotions to be more in control, which is also a form of not letting it be what it is. It’s best to be mindful of just letting all memories, thoughts, and emotions enter and exit the body. It certainly wasn’t a collapse for me this time, but as soft of a nestle as I could manage. It was my acceptance of what was happening.
Because like stated, depression, like any other “negative” symptom such as fear and so on and so forth… come to you because you need it and it needs love and attention in return to dissipate and be handled more accordingly. If anyone has seen that Grey’s Anatomy season where Izzie gets sick and starts hallucinating and her hallucination keeps telling her that he is there for her… to alert her there is something deeper that needs to be addressed. He/the hallucination dissipates as she addresses the facts and truth of her illness. And it’s no longer viewed as scary or abnormal but such a good omen. It’s kind of exactly like that. It’s a vice versa, reciprocal kind of thing and I think it can be beautiful if you work with it.
If we can just all learn to be with the love inside of us enough for things to heal organically on its own… That is something we also have to remind ourselves of: that we not only have recurring depression or this thing or that, but we also have enough love and self-awareness to soothe all that inflames.