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In and Out of Depression

Setyembre 10, 2010

Everybody knows of people who go through depression. A lot of people have been diagnosed with clinical depression. Most people get depressed on a regular basis.

I never thought I’d be one of those people. I never thought I had it in me to get depressed. Being the happy, life-of-the-party, sunshine me. And then in the last few days, I’ve gone to hell and back (as my friend in Facebook said).

Hell in this case is going deep into yourself, into your darkest self, and seeing only fear, doubt, anger, bitterness, and hatred –not for other people, but for your life, and for your Self. It is the saddest journey, a journey that keeps spiraling down towards the bottomless pit of one’s darkness. You see all that you are, not for your goodness, but for all the things you failed to do or the things you could not admit to yourself that you can do, the “bad and ugly” things. You see your own creation: a miserable life, a miserable you, one where dreams are only shattered not created. You see, feel, smell, touch, and taste only defeat. I literally could not feel my heart during my lowest moment, numbed. I wanted to disconnect from my family, my friends, from myself, from life. I wanted out. And then a question popped from within. Why?

And my bitter, fearful, doubtful self said: because with all my idealism, altruism, love for service and others, I cannot seem to fit in this world. This “realistic” world does not accept me, does not have a place for me, does not have space for people like me. There is no point in living my life now. I felt totally powerless. And here I was after realizing that my purpose in life is authentic empowerment of people. A double whammy. A contradiction that pushed me even deeper into my self-created darkness.

During my slow spiral downwards, I could still go out, be in conversations with friends, laugh…but all these were very shallow, skimming the surface. A sharing that goes a little deeper and my tears would fall unbridled. And paranoia was a constant companion…paranoid that friends and family wouldn’t understand, that they will see only my darkness, and that my depression might rub off on them.

Yesterday, Wednesday I found myself paralyzed and lethargic. Couldn’t even get out of my room, my bed. It was the only sanctuary. Didn’t want to see other people. Didn’t want to see me, because yesterday, I really hated me. I couldn’t see anything good about my life, about myself. I felt like I was a total fake. All the negative things that people told me, they were all true. And, hell, that was the only truth, I’m no good. Then…somewhere from deep inside me, a thought and feeling arose, there’s something wrong with me, I have to do something. So, I got my sketch pad and wrote “What is the Darkness about?” and I started jotting these words: unworth, lack, incapacity, numbness, tears, broken & unhealthy relationships, distrust, fear, doubt, sadness, disconnection. Then I went to sleep in the middle of the day, not even having the energy to get up and eat anything. I woke up again after a few hours. Then I told myself, ok, you were able to write something. Maybe you can write a poem. And I did.

Darkness envelopes my Being

Pain grips my heart

Doubt, fear, sadness gnaw at my Soul

Paralyzing, numbing my everyday self.

I’ve fallen into the Abyss

A deep, murky well of depressing thoughts and feelings

I continue to fall waiting somehow to land

But alas, the depth and darkness is endless

I long to see the light

I wish to shift my perspective

I want to be pulled out of my stupor

I need to be freed from this prison

Where are you Self?

Then, off I went to sleep again, waking before dinner time. I remembered one of my favorite books, Powerful Beyond Measure by Nick Williams. Not sure if it will help me, because books and articles weren’t helping me these past days. But, I went ahead and opened to look for the part about embracing our Shadow. I landed on the page about acceptance. And, it started me on the path towards the light…

“When we go to war on our ego, our fear celebrates, because in the fight it grows stronger. It is perfectly understandable that we don’t want to condone voices of self-attack, calls to sabotage and failure, insecurity and resistance within ourselves, but cracking the whip on them makes them work harder still. They fight for their life, and feed on our fear.” (p. 144)

“Perhaps the most divine act is to love ourselves just as we are, not how we think we should be. The paradox of life is that in our feeling of incompleteness, we are whole. We all have the power to judge or accept: the choice is ours. Fear teaches us that defence and attack are power, love teaches us that acceptance is true power. Criticism creates deadness and stagnation, while acceptance creates flow.” (p. 146)

After reading this, I was able to get up, out of bed and eat. I knew, I was still down there, moving up a little by embracing my shadows but continue to be imprisoned by my lingering dark thoughts. I’d watch some TV, eat some bread, drink hot choco, then cry in between.

Then I had a conversation with my brother. A conversation that started the way it usually does with my family, with blame and more negativity. Because I am this, I did that. Everything that I already knew about myself. All the things I hated about myself lately. So, we just went into a long argument (shouting, crying, not listening to each other). I was telling him, quit telling me what I already know, it’s not helping. He kept telling me, you know it already so why don’t you do something. And I replied, if I knew what to do, I wouldn’t be in this depression. I was able to tell him all my thoughts, my core thought of not feeling that I belonged, that I have a place in this world, that there was a reason to live. After a while, there was a short pause, a silence mixed with my silent tears. Then my brother did something unthinkable, he started telling me that I’m not worthless, talking about my strengths, telling me I can do it, that no one can really help me but me, and that I can help me. Don’t get me wrong, my brother is a good guy but I guess we’ve lived in a family, community and society where we don’t really know how to react without judgment. Or where we’d like to point more of the negative, and not help people see their goodness. We live in a world that continues to judge, highlight our mistakes, blame us for what we have done to ourselves. My brother’s shift, helped me shift as well. In his new reaction to my pain, he gave me a glimmer of hope. He helped me start to see what I’ve been missing, my Self, my goodness.

After that conversation, and a warm hug from my brother (another rare gesture in our family), I felt lighter. I’ve released a lot during the whole thing, and felt tired. Went back to my room, and continued to read some lines in the book. And went to bed, hoping for a brighter tomorrow.

When I awoke, I was different. The clouds have disappeared. The thoughts still come, but do not have the same effect as they did before. I realized that I was in a better place, back in the light. So, I immediately got out of bed, exercised and ate breakfast…to strengthen myself. And then I asked myself “Who am I?” writing down all the me I know, both good and bad, embracing my darkness and light. Then, asked the next question, “What am I truly passionate about?” and came up with: Authentic Empowerment of People (including myself) through Art, Education and Creativity. I was really back from the “dead”, I am me, my Self again. This time with clarity, and working towards trust and love of Self once more. Feeling even stronger without the fear of depression, secure in the knowledge that I may dive deep into it, it’s ok, because I can always come back and find my Self. Now that I’m back, I see the light, my light and my power…to choose. I will choose to live my life despite the challenges and to follow my passion, with a greater awareness of who I am. Embracing my darkness has expanded my light.

8 mga puna leave one →
  1. Setyembre 11, 2010 1:03 umaga

    we’ve all been there in the dark, some deeper than others, but we all come out of it. embrace this day with gratitude and love. welcome back to the light nex.

    • consciouspinay permalink*
      Setyembre 11, 2010 12:59 hapon

      thanks for the reminder shiela…embracing with gratitude! ;p

  2. Setyembre 11, 2010 11:19 umaga

    malay mo nex, ginawa NIYA yan sa iyo para malapit kayo ng brother mo.

    • consciouspinay permalink*
      Setyembre 11, 2010 12:59 hapon

      oo nga ‘no, jagat…salamat! ;p

  3. Juan permalink
    Setyembre 13, 2010 1:15 hapon

    You made me cry Nexy. Thanks for sharing this personal experience. We always say it’s difficult for family to understand us. Sometimes they do. They just show it in ways they think we will understand. But sometimes we don’t.

    Love you nexy.

    ps – email pala ang sulatroniko!!!! tunto!!!

    • consciouspinay permalink*
      Setyembre 13, 2010 1:28 hapon

      hey “juanie”, thanks for this message of love! love to you too…mwah! ;p and yes, you got it right about family…at pati ang…sulatroniko! tunto! ;p

  4. Setyembre 14, 2010 8:29 umaga

    salamat ulit Nex. kaya nga siguro kailangan natin ng mga manunulat…tumpak at tumpak, tumatayo ang balahibo ko at pakiramdam ko, binigyan mo ng tumpak na boses ang anino kong tila nananaginip, hindi…binabangungot…patawad kung minumudmud ko mukha ko sa iyo…kailangan ko lang ng malinaw na salamin, at nahanap ko ngayon…tunto jud ka day!

    • consciouspinay permalink*
      Setyembre 14, 2010 10:44 umaga

      hey Tanya, salamat din! pinagiisipan ko ngayon ng mabuti ang mga bagay na gusto kong yakaping muli, at ang pagsusulat ay nasa tuktok ng listahan ko…malaking bagay ang iyong tugon sa aking mga sinulat…at, kaya natin ito! ;p

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