Why Can’t Things Be Easier?!
I am not a person normally given to self-pity. I consider myself disciplined, and that said discipline helps keep me on an evener keel. Having said that, I’ve realized recently that perhaps, just perhaps, I’ve been trying to block out entire segments of emotion because it was the only way to cope. It occurred to me the other night when talking to a friend; this person wanted some advice on coping with a family member dealing with depression. I had to give it straight — you can’t really do much but be there, and yes, I know that is incredibly frustrating. I found myself feeling sad, which was kind of novel. I’ve been dealing with depression forever, but as we know — depression and sadness are not the same thing. That’s why I referred to it often as ‘chemically sad’ back in December when I was coming down off of my NaNoWriMo effort. Emotionally I didn’t feel sad, but my body felt kind of wonked out; I could taste the chemicals doing weird things, and all of that. So in that, feeling actual sadness in empathy for a friend without it risking triggering something one way or the other was really kind of neat. Not that I desire to feel sad, obviously, but it was a healthy emotional response to a situation that didn’t destroy me.
Still, I’m not to a point where I think I can actually trust my emotions to not shiv me. It was neat that I felt sadness for that little stretch of time, ’cause it’s counter-balanced against feeling stable. But I have to keep taking notes on my behaviors and actions because as said — can’t trust things. So that I want to do nothing but play Diablo III is probably not a good thing. I’m enjoying the crap out of it to the point of not even wanting to go out, which… hrm. Sounds like some bubbly avoidance to me. I did make myself go out, and I had a good time, but as the subject line says — why can’t things be easier?! Why can’t I just bumble around in ignorance doing my thing without worrying about ending up a basketcase?! As said, I don’t give into self-pity that often, but I’m definitely letting myself have a taste of it right now. *chuckles*
Mind, I don’t wish I was anything but what I am. I like me, warts, thorns and all. I believe that all parts of me are valid and important to who I am as a person, to include the fact that I am mentally ill. I probably wouldn’t be such a quirky philosophical individual if I didn’t have to endure the suffering it brings. They say that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, while I prefer to think of the line, ‘I give you your faults.‘ Thank you Mrs. Whatsit, I will take them.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to admit it would be nice to not have to think about it all. I’m still going to, obviously — I don’t want to end up at the bottom of the well again anytime soon if I can help it. So I guess this is me saying that it’s nice to be stable enough that I can feel I can make this complaint without triggering a depressive reaction, to take a moment to take a breath… and then re-shoulder the burden and keep on trekking down the road.
I hope this finds you all well.
I know what you mean about feeling sadness versus depression. For too long, I have felt without emotion, even at other people’s problems. I have a tendency to think and philosophize too much too. I just discovered that I’ve been depressed. I’ve had no energy, was sleepijng all the time, and feeling very stressed out. I think my sister’s moving out did it to me. I’m finally starting to feel better for the first time. But I don’t empathize as well as I did when i was younger and before all the mental illness stuff happened. Feeling sad for someone can actually be a good feeling.
You make a good point on empathising. I used to always think that I was rather good at it, but looking back… I probably wasn’t as good as I thought I was. I was most guilty of taking a hard-line approach to so many things and then wondering why it didn’t work out so well. So yes, I think being able to actually empathise is excellent, even if it’s a ‘bad’ feeling. No feelings are bad, I reckon, as long as they’re within reason.