Why Won’t You Let Yourself be Happy?

It’s time to get our of your own way.

Yes, YOU!

How many times are you going to imagine problems that don’t exist?

How many times can you think and re-thing about the worst case scenario?

How many times can you push away the person that loves you?

Pessimism isn’t cute.

Negativity isn’t fun.

For the first time ever, you’re happy. Like really, truly happy.

After a full decade of chronic depression and anxiety, you wake up in the morning and smile.

But every day you try to chip away at it bit by bit.

You undermine your own happiness and success.

You create problems and obstacles for the sake of brining yourself down.

Why?

Why are you afraid to be happy?

Why can’t you get out of your own way?

-Rule

 

 

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How being in Depression is like being in Love

You know when you’re trying to explain the difference between loving someone and being in love?

It’s hard to explain but deep inside you know there’s a fundamental difference. You can’t exactly articulate what you mean, so you result to metaphors.

Its like trying to explain the difference between being out of breathe and breathless.

The same can be said for trying to explain the difference between being depressed and being in depression. 

When you’re in a constant state of being depressed, people get used to your mood swings and apathy.

But when you’re in depression, it’s like even the depressed version of you isn’t recognizable.

When you’re in it…like, really in it…

It’s all consuming.

It takes over every part of your being for that moment and the moments after.

It’s all you can see and feel and hear.

It’s impossible to drown it out.

Like that overwhelming feeling you have when you first fall in love, you can’t see clearly.

You only see hopelessness and worthlessness.

You can’t know that this too shall pass.

Just as when you’re in love, that feeling isn’t permanent and that’s partly why it’s hard to describe.

Unlike loving, being in love is fleeting and passing.

Being in depression, those days where it feels unbearable, is also fleeting and passing.

And you’re left thinking, if falling in love just happens, than maybe falling in depression does too. And it’s not something to control or be afraid of.

It’s a burst of overwhelming, sometimes contradicting, emotions that changes you and that’s okay.

But you’re also left wondering about how falling in love might not be in your control but that loving someone is a choice. And wondering if that’s true, maybe being depressed is a choice too.

-Rule

Escapism is Not Self- Care

You just had the longest day you’ve ever had.

Your depression and anxiety seem to be teetering between bad and worse.

You woke up hoping that you would somehow turn on a happy switch and it’d be all better.

But today is even more lonely and exhausting than the last.

So on your way home you stop and buy ice cream. You get home and shower immediately because you just want the day to be over.

You rush to your bed, grab the ice cream and your phone and you start.

You start with one video on YouTube and now you’re more than an hour in. You switch apps to Instagram and start scrolling. But then there’s Snapchat. And you open Netflix, SoundCloud, Hulu, Kindle. Anything to get your mind off the things and out of your feels.

You sit alone in your room for hours staring at the screen or sitting silently in the dark.

You’ve escaped.

But you dont feel better. You aren’t taken care of.

You just feel numb.

Numb to yourself.

Numb to the world.

Numb to it all.

 

Depression Lives in Your Thoughts

You’re just sitting around minding your business when a thought pops into your head.

It’s intrusive and overbearing and nauseating.

It’s the last thing you want on your mind.

So you try to dispel the thought from your consciousness.

You beg and plead for it to go away. You try to turn it off by distracting yourself with an endless stream of shows and status updates, but there is no escaping it.

And after a while, you start to believe it.

You are worthless.

You are broken.

You are a piece of shit.

You are not good enough. And you never will be.

In fact, everyone is better off without you.

Those thoughts permeate your entire being, mulitplying with every second. Until that intrusive thought is not just a thought.

It’s now an undeniable fact that you hold dear. It’s what you believe about yourself.

It’s your depression taking hold of you, making it nearly impossible to fight back.

But we keep fighting anyway.  ❤

Rejection and Depression

Have you ever put yourself out there when everything inside you told you not to?

For someone special in ways that you can’t begin to describe. But in the the back of your head, you tell yourself it will never work.

You’re not good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough for them.

Even so, you muster up the courage to put your cards on the table, whispering to yourself that you have nothing left to lose.

As you prepare for the fall out and rejection, a little piece of you still grasp on to hope. Wishing that this time is different.

This time they’ll like you.

This time they’ll  choose you.

This time they’ll notice just how great you really are.

That last piece of hope eats at you as the hours and days pass without any sign that they care about you at all.

You try to tell yourself that you prepared for this. You knew it wasn’t going to happen anyway. And you feel stupid for ever letting that tiny shred of hope make its way into your mind.

The emotions that bombard you when you’re rejected slowly sneak up on you until they’re all you can feel.

Depression. Anger. Sadness. Regret. Numbness. Fear. Loneliness.

It’s not the thought of rejection that scares you. It’s that for a second, you actually believed you had a chance.

When All You Feel is Numb

By far, the worse thing about depression is the days where you feel numb.

You’re not really sad or upset or lonely. And even though the emotion is unexplainable, it demands to be felt.

The numbness takes over and your depression is more crippling than ever. You can’t move or speak or think because you know you’ll feel nothing.

You dont really care about anyone or anything. You’re short with your family and you ignore your friends.

Nothing anyone could say could make you feel anything. So you try to avoid everyone at all costs.

You try distraction after distraction: Netflix, YouTube, reading, writing. But you end up right where you started.

Numb. Falling deeper into the void.

Until eventually the numbness turns into guilt. And you feel shitty for ignoring the people around you. You feel awful that you can’t force yourself to care. And you hate yourself for not just being like everyone else.

So you force a smile, bury the numbness, and pretend to care. You cope for the sake of those around you.

Hoping that one day you’ll actually feel something.

 

When a doctor asks if you have a history of depression…

I went to a routine doctor visit a few days ago, and and they asked if I had a history of depression.

I wanted to say no and spare myself the pain of rehashing the details. Just pretend for a second that I dont still carry that weight with me. But, I answered honestly…

Do you have a history of depression? Yes.

Where you ever on medication? Yes.

Which ones? Prozac, which I took and Zooloft which I never got filled.

Why did you stop? It never helped.

So what helped? Therapy. Exercise. Avoidance.

So you’re mood is stable now? Uh, sure.

Do you have trouble sleeping? Every day.

Have you lost interest in things you like? Hmm, sounds like a trick question. I dont like anything.

Have you ever thought about hurting yourself?  Yep.

Have you ever attempted to? Uh, well…

What did you do? I treatened to kill myself with an earring because its all I had in my room. Then I said I would just starve myself.

Oh, what happened? They sent me to the hospital. And it was awful. Like strip search, lesbian roommate that tried to touch me, people telling me I’m crazy… awful.

Ah, I see. Did you get help? Yes, I saw what it did to my family and I vowed to never mention suicide again.  And I went therapy for 2 years. I worked to get better, every day.

So you’re not depressed anymore? No, I am. I’ve just kinda learned to live with it. I cope.

How do you cope? My life is great so I feel guilty every day about my depression. And that guilt drives me to appreciate the little things. It’s not that healthy, I guess. But it works.

What do you think will help your depression? Honestly, I dont know. I just want to love myself. I want to feel like I’m okay. I want to feel happiness, even if it’s just brief.

Do you want to see someone? No, not right now. I think I’m pretty stable.

……oh…okay? Okay.