What do you do when you’re feeling down? How about when you’re feeling really depressed? Take a second and really think about it.
If you’re anything like me, you may sleep too much during the day, stay up late doing absolutely nothing remotely productive (Game of Thrones for the forth time through perhaps?), then you might beat yourself up for being a slob and wasting your days getting nothing accomplished. You might go multiple days without a shower (don’t judge! we all do it from time to time), eat almost nothing or eat your feelings, and you might find it particularly difficult to get up in the morning and go to a job that makes you feel even worse. It could be because you don’t feel heard or seen, are constantly walked all over, and no one seems to give a shit or show any sensitivity or compassion whatsoever. Everyone needs to feel valued and appreciated. Instead you get railed day after day and are always on your ass. Do I need to get a hall pass to go pee?!!! Being micromanaged is the worst!!
Dealing with this everyday really started to get to me, and I became more and more depressed…again. Ugh…I was doing so good!
I’ve been told in the past I can be very negative. That was hard to hear, especially from someone I wasn’t particularly fond of, but he was right. Growing up with, having friends, or just being around anyone that is negative or has a pessimistic outlook on the world, people and life in general is suffocating. That was the kick in the ass I needed to see something unpleasant in myself, acknowledge it, and change it. I’m guessing if you suffer from depression in any form, you know how hard this can be. Your brain has become fantastically wired to f*** with you, to bring your demons out into the open, to constantly remind you of everything that may not be going the way you wish it was, and make every single tiny thing seem like the worst thing ever. Anxiety sometimes accompanies this. It feeds into your past traumas, fears, self-doubts, and insecurities. It loves you to feel like you’ve lost control. We’ll get into anxiety more in another post… Depending on how bad your depression is, this may be the part where suicidal thoughts come creeping on. I know better than to act on them, at least now I do, and that has a lot to do with being in a better place than I was years ago.
Depression and I go way back. It started really becoming apparent in high school, and I didn’t realize that until this year to be perfectly honest. I was reading through some of my writings, poems and songs from back then and like a light bulb, suddenly it made perfect sense: the gothic clothes, love for singing along to Evanescence songs, writing poems about pain and rejection, and even the way I decorated my room. I always looked back at those less than stellar times as me being a typical hormonal teenager. That wasn’t exactly the case I see now… but that was my normal, and I didn’t know any better or anything else. That’s just was who I was: the gothic-punk misunderstood band geek who’s happy and safe place was swinging on the swing sets at an elementary school play ground, at midnight. There was something so peaceful, tranquil, comforting and familiar about it. The silence was beautiful and the light breeze was refreshing and rejuvenating. It made me feel alive and hopeful again in my darkest, loneliest and weakest moments. Having these moments, singing, journaling, playing music, and just writing in general was how I dealt with my depression then.
Those dark, heavy and deep emotions I was only able to connect to through singing were just the tip of the iceberg of years of repressed emotions and deep subconscious hysteria from traumatic childhood memories that I couldn’t even remember. That’s what our brains do – they protect us from pain, trauma, and anything else it deems potentially harmful. That’s also part of our fight or flight response. So, to protect me from painful, memories it couldn’t possibly know how to process at a young age, and the feelings attached to those memories, it buried them deep down into my subconscious. I never even imagined those particular memories or certain times in my life could possibly be a major source of the pain and suffering that has been so debilitating over the years and caused so much distress, anguish, and anxiety. I would’ve never guessed it could have had such a strong impact on me and my life as an adult almost two decades later.
Over the years throughout my healing journey, I’ve been tirelessly searching for anything that would help me feel better. I’ve tried so many different things for mental, emotional and spiritual health, as well as anything to help relieve these associated physical pains that manifested in my body from years of intense stress. I’ve researched, looked into and tried anything I could get my hands on. I tried prayer in my most desperate times (that’s a whole other article right there). I’ve tried and used acupuncture, trigger point, massages, numerous doctor visits and tests, long-term chiropractic care, medication, and so much more for the physical pain. I’ve used and tried therapists and counseling, group therapy, out-patient care at a mental health facility, medication, psychiatrists, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, coloring, journaling, time in nature, numerous medications, music, alcohol, sex, drugs, holistic methods and practices, herbs in various forms, marijuana, and so much more with varying results in hopes of any bit of relief mentally and emotionally (I’ll go more in depth on this as well at a later time). I just wanted to make it stop. I just wanted to be normal. To have a normal family, normal childhood, normal home, normal anything… I wonder if some people have an abnormal life or experience because they were never made or meant to be normal. I wonder if some of us go through horrible things and have a tough life because we are the ones that were given the strength (unbeknownst to me) to somehow endure and persevere so we can turn around and lend a hand to someone who can relate and resonate with your story and your truth. Maybe because we were meant for bigger things, meant to make a bigger impact by sparking change and hope in the hearts and souls of others in need. Perhaps everyone has their own story with unique experiences, trials, tribulations and we are meant to use those experiences, the wisdom and knowledge gained, and a special ability and deep levels of empathy and sensitivity to connect to others on a deeper level that couldn’t have even imagined…