Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mindful Depression

I thought that I ought to do a little update since Last post was gloomy.  I am feeling much, much better since.  So, much so that I contemplated deleting the post where I talked about my depression.  I expressed in it how uncomfortable it was to write it, and it's even more so to leave it there after feeling better. 

So, I explored that thought, that feeling...

Why does it feel uncomfortable post about my depression?  Answer: It's personal.  I don't want others to think that I'm loopy.

Why do you think others will think that, and why does it matter if they do? Answer: I just feel that they will judge me, and think I'm unstable or weird or whatever.  I want to look like I have it together, and when I talk about the darker side of me, it does not look like I am together, and in control.  I don't want to be seen as less than.  It matters, because I won't be heard, or held in the same respect as others. 

I could go on about why it would matter to be seen together and in control, but I think that I already answered that.  It comes down to not letting my guard down and being seen for who I am wholly and fully, because I am well aware of the consequences of being viewed as not important or even less than.  This is not an illusion, or some kind of cognitive distortion.  This is how people with disabilities get treated everyday.  This is why we shun the term altogether and make up new ones like 'differently abled' but that doesn't change the social stigma over the whole issue.  Putting a new name on something doesn't change the social implications or consequences of the state of being of someone with differences. 

Still, I choose to leave the post there.  There is nothing to be ashamed about if at times we feel depressed.  If you have AS, this more than likely, is going to be a recurrence in one's life.  There is no reason to judge it as bad, or horrible, or something we must get away, hide away from.  That's how we fuel such negative thoughts and feelings. Melancholy is just an emotion.  It's not something that's bad, or good in and of itself. The judgements we put on it, the feelings we associate with it, can be, but the feeling itself of being melancholy, well no.  I have explored through mindfulness that it's the fighting against certain emotions, the fear of them, that makes one suffer.  Pain doesn't always have to equal suffering.  I felt down, but it was temporary, and I knew that it was when I was in that state.  Depression isn't me, but just a impermanent emotion.  I didn't get too caught up in identifying it, or trying to get away from it.  I did make choices about how to deal with it.  I chose to not become too absorbed in it, and to do positive things that I listed in my last entry.  That's all we can do.  One choice at a time brings us closer or further from where and who we want to be.  Every minute of everyday, we have these choices.  When added together they make what is our life.  I can't choose not to be depressed, but I can choose to take a walk, or eat healthy, or share a kindness with another person... all things that might be mood enhancing. 

So, yes, I am leaving the entry where I talk about my depression.  In the culture where everyone is supposed to be happy, and positive and strangers tell you to 'smile' ( I fucking hate that) it's almost taboo to be not happy.  Too much emphasis is put on positive emotions and the ones that are more negative are considered not equal to the 'good' ones, when in reality it's our perception of what these states mean that matters more than the actual states themselves.  All these false perceptions of what we need, who we are... illusions that we keep believing. 

3 comments:

  1. You are right. Society likes everyone happy. Smiling at all times.

    I am glad that you are leaving your post. It's your post, after all. It's about how you feel, what you think. It's valid and important. It should stay. And I think that it's wonderful that you were able to 'put yourself out there' and express how you felt. There is nothing to be ashamed of when we're depressed or unhappy.

    Thank you for sharing this with us :)
    *hugs*

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  2. Well said and I agree whole-heartedly.

    It's not the depression its what you do with it that counts.

    I have said for years now that it's okay to be sad and having dealt with agitated depressions and anxiety the majority of my adult life one of the worst things you can do is fight it and play games with it. You acknowledge it, you cope with it...even when its hard...but you are in control and not the other way around this way. If you gain the control through exercise , eating well or meds,it doesn't matter so long as you take charge of it.

    I think when we try to rationalize our depressions we are only adding fuel to the fire. Things fester. Depression is ofttimes unexpressed, pent up emotions...don't be afraid to.cry or get mad...but still.do what you need to.

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  3. Thanks for your encouragement Angel. It's always good to hear what people think when they read what I write.

    Amy, yep we seem to be in agreement. I read in a book not long ago something to the effect, 'The more you aren't willing to have ______ (fill in the blank with undesirable emotion) the more you will.' Fighting it just creates more of it and prevents us from living our life.

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