I am coming out of a long-winded depressive episode and had sort of an epiphany while journaling this morning about how it has felt for me to be so out of touch these past few weeks.
I realized that when I fall into feelings of sadness, I spend my time questioning why it’s happening to me. I judge my unhappiness so critically, through such a harsh, unforgiving lens, as opposed to simply noticing and observing it for what it truly is: just something I’m feeling that day. Perhaps the sadness would be more seamless to transition out of if I were to acknowledge the feelings exist and accept that I am feeling them.
Instead I go through a loop of questions. Why am I like this? What am I doing wrong? Why am I sad when I try so hard to take care of myself?
In other words: I make it worse for myself by trying to give meaning to the sadness. By judging it, I develop a consequential, subconscious attachment to the depression that anchors me in it.
I struggle to define the unhappiness into something I can rationalize as to why it has shown up, thinking that if I can pinpoint the source, I can control the sadness; however, this only gives it permission to fester, because emotions can not be controlled. Only reactions can.
Instead of just saying “I feel like shit today, oh well” and navigating throughout my day with the presence of sadness, I declare war on my internal dialogue by judging the sadness. I judge myself for feeling that way, judge the feelings for being there, then judge the reasons why the feelings are there, and nothing is ever resolved — because of my reaction choice.
I will be more careful to soften and surrender to all of the emotions that make me human. To notice, appreciate, honor and accept all of them as they rise within me, because the fact is – emotions are neither good nor bad until we perceive them to be such, and with our body carrying an ocean of feelings, we are bound to feel an ebb and flow.
I think I’ll be able to ride the wave a little easier next time.