Sometimes I think about those days. Those languid suicidal days that stretched into the horizon and blanketed my world as if they’d go on forever. Sometimes I think of them and I’m so glad I survived, and other times I wonder how I did. Still there are days that I wish I hadn’t.
Yeah, you read that. I’m being honest. Sometimes I wish I would have taken myself out of this ridiculous hell-bent, crazy awful horrendous life.
Uh huh. I’m sorry if this makes you uncomfortable, but honestly. Don’t you just want OUT of this baby-frying, bigot-infested madness sometimes???
Perhaps this is just the exclusive curse of depression, but here’s the thing: I am not depressed. Perhaps these thoughts are the signature symptom of a hopeless soul, but believe it or not, I’m not hopeless.
I am actually doing quite well these days.
I AM however a human with feelings, REAL feelings (news flash!) and I am finally coming to accept that. After years of suppressing, hiding, and diminishing what I feel, I am finally ready and learning to show up to the table with ALL of me. All of my desires, my thoughts, ideas and feelings, however small or silly they may seem.
And it’s changing me. Little by little, it’s changing how I view myself, the world, God. And perhaps, somewhere deep down, it’s healing me.
Funny, ‘cuz I’ve seen more counselors and therapists than most could shake a stick at, I’ve tried every remedy, I’ve even been so-called ‘delivered’ from my depression and you know what?? None of it helped as much as this.
Learning how to feel.
It sounds so simple and yet it’s been the hardest thing for me…to feel what I feel deep down and not to passify, ignore, or philosyphize it into oblivion. When I experience a negative emotion, not to dwell on it as if it is a problem and then squelch it, drug it, or otherwise medicate it until it is no longer a feeling.
It is now a suppressed and ticking time bomb, with a gun in her hands.
You see, growing up in my home, it was not ok to express certain emotions. Anger, for instance, was not only suppressed, it was disciplined and spanked into oblivion.
But was it?? Did it not just turn into fear and control and more anger, and eventually rage? Uncontrollable, explosive rage??
I realize now how much better it would have been for all of us, had my parents understood that negative emotions are nothing to be afraid of. They are to be expressed and learned from.
Had they nurtured instead of numbed those scary parts of us, I believe we would have become more healthy and balanced adults, sooner.
But they did the best they knew, and I am ok with that. I’ve made peace with the mistakes my parents made. I just don’t want to repeat them.
So here I am at 37, learning how to feel. Learning that it’s completely ok to feel whatever I am feeling, and that there is a legitimate place in this world for them, and for me.
Here I am, a parent myself, feeling and healing all the things I wish my parents would have allowed me to, but now I get to do with/for my kids.
My seven year old is learning that she is free to express all of her emotions, even the negative ones, as long as she does so in a non violent or harmful way, and so am I. We are both learning that when we are free to express anger, it does not need to become rage.
When we express our sadness, shame, or loneliness, it does not ever have a chance to turn into depression.
I’ve come to understand that depression, at least for me, is nothing more than suppression. Suppression of feelings…true, deep down feelings, over time. I’ve come to believe that squelching or stuffing emotions, ANY emotion will eventually turn into depression.
And so here I am. More ready than I’ve ever been to express them and to talk about the hard stuff. More willing than I’ve ever been to be honest with my feelings and to talk about the uncomfortable and the heavy and the days that I don’t feel like getting out of bed.
It’s OK. I understand that my feelings are all there to teach me something, to lead me to the light, to bring me to the truth, and I’m not afraid of them anymore. It’s ok, as long as I am expressing and not suppressing.
It’s ok and I’m ok and the world is ok…with me. Sad, happy, lonely, angry, grateful, upset, and regretful ME.
And so…here I am.