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.