If I wanted the best for myself I’d treat my body like a temple. Maybe I’d quit smoking. But if I believed in bests and doing things perfectly I’d lose my mind. Trying your best doesn’t have to be perfect either, but all I can think about is how my best is still me, depressed.
Depression, for me, is seeing all the answers but feeling like I can’t look away. It’s not that I want to look away, I just feel like there’s never enough time. It feels like if I don’t do it all now, I might as well die. The concept of walls are just everywhere and they’re closing in on me. I’m afraid of compassion but it’s the only thing that hasn’t given up on me yet.
I’d like to believe that the good and bad can coexist. That the bad times don’t outweigh the good times. That the bad times are just human times. But the nature of my depression is that it doesn’t always allow me to feel life that way. It sort of feels like I can’t recognize positive emotions. I can feel them in the moment but when I remember them, it’s as if they happened to someone else.
I often forget that my depression makes me see myself in overly critical lenses. I wonder if anything is real because I’m aware that my depression warps my perception of myself. But when I try to feel good about myself, it feels wrong. Even if I know it’s not wrong; I can’t shake feelings like I can shake thoughts. They’re different. Thoughts are words I can unpack or dismiss. Feelings are… feelings.
I cry when I think of the moment I was born. Was that baby depressed? I think of how things might be different if I wasn’t depressed. I tell myself that there are better ways to waste my time.
It helps to talk to friends. About anything. Just remembering that I can still love people makes me feel alive. That people love me too. I have to remember that the person who felt love is capable of being the same person who feels like life is endless torture. It helps to imagine a future. That I’m still capable of doing things. That no one is nothing. Or take a nap. And just do something nice for myself because it’s what my depression wouldn’t want me to do. The times when I’m alone with the universe, and depression doesn’t make an appearance are perhaps my favourite moments in life. I live for those moments.
My depression makes me feel less than human. And when I go out in to the world it feels like everyone can see a cloud over me. Like everyone can see how broken I feel inside. Or if I talk about the cloud, it feels like everyone looks at me like I’m helpless. But I’m not helpless. I promise I can be happy.
And it’s not always a matter of caring what people think. I used to believe maybe I just cared too much. But I’d like to believe most people don’t care or judge. Or that it’s not something I can control so why bother. But it’s another to feel that. My depression makes me feel like I am unlovable and that translates in to how I perceive myself. Which translates in to how I believe I am being perceived as. These thoughts aren’t mine. But I don’t always know that. I want to stop feeling like I’m exposed. So I trade my happiness for safety when there was no threat to begin with.
I can’t fake a thing. And I can’t lie either. My depression already makes me feel like I’m a fraud for feeling positive emotions. I just want to feel whatever I feel without being treated like I’m a patient.
If I could just turn it off and try harder, I wouldn’t be here writing all of this. It is a choice to see my depression as separate from me. That does help. But I can’t always choose my feelings. If I can be general for a hot second, my anxiety affects my thoughts while my depression affects my feelings. They intertwine, merge, and separate. They tango. Feelings aren’t like thoughts where you can just say that’s not true and throw it away. I have to sit with them. Feelings bring thoughts to the surface, and that’s when I get to turn off the thoughts as they come.
Then I’m left with good feelings. And good thoughts. The word healthy fits better. I get to feel proud of myself. I get to feel brave. My depression wants me to be afraid of my feelings yet I’ve just felt them and came out alive. It’s similar but better than when I do a face mask. Like I just did something good for myself. Like I just treated my body like a temple.