What do you do when you feel… depressed?
Everybody seems to know nowadays what you have to do to be happy but nobody knows what exactly you have to do when you feel depressed. I haven’t posted on the blog in a while and I didn’t feel like doing anything lately because I didn’t feel right. It’s very hard to open my heart in front of other people and let them know that I am not ok but do you want to know something? It’s ok not to be ok! You might accept that notion in theory, but when “the feels” (as I call it) takes over your mind, leaving you with feelings of sadness, hurt, guilt, or just a general disconnect from any positive feelings about a thing, is your tendency to try to push through it, or to be with it?
Most often I am scared to admit that I am sad because I think how weird I’d come across to just about anyone if you said you don’t feel good – and that you don’t want to feel better for now.
We live in a world that sells us every day the idea that as human beings, we should all be trying to experience positive thoughts and be optimistic about life. We are expected to follow-up a so-called recipe for happiness and be open to the constant calls to action: wake up, dress up, show up, smile no matter what; positive mind, positive vibes, positive life; kick fear to the curb; and be strong enough to put past our pain.
As a matter of fact, choosing to be happy and positive can be incredibly empowering when you’re in the mental space to receive it, But when we are not – which is a problem that most people experience – what do we do with our feelings?
This is not a feel-good article. Nothing in these lines is intended to help anyone or to take their negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones. Optimism has its place for sure, but there is no substitute for being present with your feelings.
If you ever came across the “About me” section here on the blog, you would have noticed that I used to say how I don’t like to sit in one place when I am sad. But lately I feel like being in one place and one place only. Every day I carefully choose my spot in the house, it’s either a chair, the floor or the bed, and I lie down there for I don’t know how long: just me and my thoughts. Feeling sad and lonely can be tough to live with, but I am not weak or wrong or broken for having those feelings even if sometimes I feel like so.
When I feel depressed…
I take long showers.
Last week I took 31 showers.
It’s Tuesday night and I just took my 7th shower.
This is the only thing that seem to make me feel better these days so I am going to keep going. It’s not something you should do – it only works for me! The next step I am always trying to take when I’m feeling blue is allowing myself to feel these feelings: so whenever someone asks me how am I doing, if it happens for me to be in a good mood, I try to avoid the word “good” to describe it. Am I feeling content? Joyful? Satisfied? Loved? Likewise, when I’m feeling depressed, I try to use a more descriptive word than “bad”. Is it afraid? Loneliness? Incompetent? Confused? I heard that starting to be honest with myself can lead to sound decision-making, rooted in a love and appreciation for my own wellbeing – but I am not even so sure about that anymore.
More than any other phrase I plaintively text or whimper over a phone line in four a.m. moments of weakness, I catch myself voicing one desire:
“I just want everything to be okay.”