I would love to be happy all the time, but unfortunately I am not. I fall into episodes of depression and it sucks. Whether I am experiencing depression or sadness, it is still overwhelming and uncomfortable. It’s the degree of how intense it is that differentiates the two from each other. When I am depressed I can’t shower, have trouble getting out of bed, difficulty reaching out to my friends and lack motivation to do pretty much anything. When I am sad it can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days. I can work through those feelings in therapy even if they are uncomfortable. I want to control my feelings, but that’s not always possible because they are feelings and feelings cannot be controlled.
Sadness is transient and does pass eventually when I work through it in therapy or talk out my feelings with a close friend. I am lucky to have people that I can call when I am feeling down. They are members of my support system and I value them. I hope that they know they are valued and understand that I love them. Depression can be challenging to weather for the depressed person and for the members of their support system. I have exhausted my friends and family when I was in the midst of a depressive episode, and that’s something that I am working on. I want to be able to better manage my emotions. I don’t want to have to turn to other people to “save me.”
It’s my responsibility to save myself. I don’t want to rely on other people to “fix me,” which I’ve done for as long as I can remember. I have also let people disrespect my boundaries and tell me that I don’t matter, passively or directly, which makes me focus on my abandonment issues and causes me to go into a deep depression. I don’t want people to leave me and the thought or threat of them leaving me (even if those things are not based in reality) are scary. I want to feel secure in my relationships, but nothing in life is guaranteed. We can accept things as they are and if people exit our lives we must accept this. We can fight for them, we can tell them not to go, but it’s up to them to make the decision: do they stay or do they go?
Another thing that causes me to feel depressed is when I subconsciously push people I love away from me. I do it as a defense mechanism. I don’t want to get hurt by them leaving so I “make them” want to leave. I create an emotional environment where I constantly tell them that they don’t love me and actively try to push them away. I wish that I didn’t do this, but it’s part of my issues with abandonment and insecurity in relationships. I’ve been told that I am “too needy” and “insecure. But, we are all insecure to some degree. We are all people who need some level of reassurance that other people love us. It’s not something that we need to be ashamed of.
Depression isn’t something I would want in my life if I had a say in it. But it’s something that I deal with periodically. I do my best to brave through it, and enjoy the periods of happiness that I have even if they are rare. They are becoming periodically greater as I work on myself and learn what makes me happy. How about you? Do you struggle with depression or sadness?