How To Sabotage Your Recovery From Depression

Flickr, Alicia Soltani
Flickr, Alicia Soltani

When you have depression for a long period of time, it becomes surprisingly difficult to handle moments of happiness. You just don’t know what to do with that feeling. It seems almost undeserving, but very much cherished. So cherished in fact, you don’t want to let it go. You don’t want it to slip out of your grip and fly away, never to come back again.

You start to fear that the sadness is going to revive and consume you. It will swallow you whole like is has done before.

This temporary feeling of pure bliss seems like is could possibly be the last time, the only time. That’s when you decide to try and keep it. Tighten your grip. Do whatever it takes to pursue the feelings of joy deep in the pit of your stomach or whatever it takes to deter any feelings of dismay. Dance, sing, draw, laugh, write down gratifications, exercise, eat lovely food, or talk to people you care about. Do anything and everything you feel is necessary to sustain the happiness.

Then, you start to feel it. It’s escaping. Slowly, but surely a negative thought pops up in your head. Oh no. Then there’s another and another. Fuck. They start coming so rapidly you don’t know how to handle it. Be happy. Think happy. Do happy. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Then you’re back to where you started. You’ve lost. You couldn’t do it. You couldn’t just stay happy. There is something wrong with you.

How can other people just be happy? How do they act so normally? What is wrong with you?

Nothing. You are a human being. Although it may not feel like it, you are human. Although you may look at another person and think I’m nothing like them, I’m a different species. I feel different. Why can’t I be normal?

This only makes you more human. Depression causes not only a deep feeling of sadness, but the fear of sadness as well. People with depression fear negativity so much because they’ve experienced the worst state of mind possible and are terrified of going back. It’s a scary, dark place. When feelings of happiness drop by, it’s heaven on Earth. God, you can’t stop smiling. Every joke is hilarious and everybody around you is fucking wonderful. Pets are fluffy and diamonds are so sparkly. It makes sense to cherish these moments, but in recovery we must learn not to fear the bad ones too.

We must come to realize that through our depressed states, we can actually gain something. We can have the choice to accept our tears, the anger, and tension so to realize it has meaning behind it. It tells us our values, the struggles we are prevailing through and our opinions. By accepting these negative feelings, we no longer are being controlled by them. It’s okay to be sad again. I know it’s scary, but it’s okay. You can’t be happy all the time and that’s okay. It might get bad again, really bad.

You might go backwards sometimes, back to where you used to be. It’s okay. You’ll get out. You’ll have those feelings of joy once again. Always remember what you are feeling is okay because even though happiness is only temporary, so is depression. You will prevail. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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