Depression is a horrible place to be, but recovery is harder.
For pretty much a year and a half I was numb. I didn’t feel things like I used to. I had to pretend to be happy and enjoy myself. I think sometimes I did actually have a good time doing things, but it was numbed. I stopped myself feeling sadness and pain as I had nothing to compare it to. I just didn’t feel anything.
The steady state of the numbness made it possible for me to function though. There were not ups and downs. My moods were more constant. I knew when I did or didn’t want to do something. But I hated it there. I knew it wasn’t right. I wanted to enjoy things. I wanted to feel like other people did around me. I wanted to laugh freely again.
So I have worked hard to get better.
I’m out of the numbness. I think that is why I have had to take some time off work. I have not felt feelings in so long I struggled to cope with their changing nature. I am not used to be being up and down several times a day. I have forgotten that feelings don’t last forever or even 10 minutes. I panic when feelings seem to come out of nowhere. Recognising triggers is hard and therefore my mood can be all over the place. I am learning to trust myself again and take my feelings with a pinch of salt, but not for granted.
I believe my feelings are ways of telling me something I am not fully conscious of. Sometimes they are from automatic thoughts I need to work through and ignore. Other times I think they are reminding me of past experience. Taking the time to listen to my feelings and thoughts and then decide on my behaviour helps.
I am learning to slow down, listen and act on the best available information.
I am learning to say no to things I don’t want to do.
I am learning to say yes to things I don’t know I don’t want to do.
I am learning to feel without fear of myself.
I’ve had to make changes in my life:
- Given up checking Facebook and my phone/email all the time
- Stopping worrying about what other people think about me
- Letting people go
- Letting myself move forward at my own pace
- Letting myself rest and relax
- Being curious about things
- Letting myself feel my feelings
- Taking time to listen to my thoughts
There are time when I think it would be easier to go back to the numbness. But I don’t want to really. I want to feel happy, excited and a sense of achievement. But in order to feel those things I have to also feel sadness and pain. I won’t stop trying to limit sadness and pain from my life, as I think we all do, but I will let myself feel them when required.
So what have I been feeling recently?
- Excited for my house, but annoyed at the delays
- Excited to start my new job, but nervous at the same time
- Happy to go to the gym with friends
- Content doing the things I enjoy like watching films and reading
- Sadness at letting people go
A mix of feelings for a varied life. I want this to continue as I work at getting out of the numbness.