Depression and choosing to be alive

Written by Amie on June 23, 2010 – 8:10 pm -

My experience that might help others who are in deep depression

I would like to share this experience with you because I think it might help people that are in the deep dark places where depression can take us. I had this experience awhile back, but I was recently talking about it with a friend, and  thought it would be helpful to write about it here. I’ve written several times about how I have suffered with very deep depression. I say this because I want anyone reading this to know that I didn’t just have a “bout” of depression, so I really understand how debilitating it is.  I want to share this “ah-ha” moment because it really changed my thinking about feeling so depressed that you think you don’t want to be alive.

I didn’t think I wanted to be alive

I have been in that place several times. I have been in a place that I felt so depressed that I just wished I would die. I didn’t make any plans on how to do it, and honestly I would never do it. But, the fact is that I have felt bad enough that I thought that’s what I wanted. One night I was talking to my therapist, and I was feeling really really low. One question she asked me sparked hope within me. She asked me if I want to be alive. She asked me to put aside my emotions and how bad I was feeling, and just ask myself, “do I want to be alive?” There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be alive, which shocked me. I thought I didn’t want to be here, I have actually said those words before, “I don’t even want to be here”. But when she asked me that question there was no hesitation, the answer came without me even thinking about it. After I said I wanted to be here, I added the sentence, “but I don’t know how to be happy here”. This is the part I needed help with. I hope what I am writing makes sense. It may not sound like there is a difference, but there really is. It gave me hope knowing that I want to be here in this physical body right now. At the time, I really thought I didn’t want to be here. After she asked me the question, I actually gained hope. I had hope that since I wanted to be here, I could get help so that I could find ways to heal and find joy again. I know there are people who think they don’t really want to be here. My brother was one of them. He committed suicide over three years ago. Knowing what I know now, I really think down deep my brother wanted to stay here, but didn’t have the tools he needed in order to live here without suffering every day of his life. He gave up hope that he could ever find what he needed in order to feel joy.

Conforming can lead to self-destruction

I want to share my perspective because I want people to know that there are ways to heal depression. I wanted to share this specific experience because it gave me a new perspective. I have healed so much since the realization that I do want to be alive. I have worked hard on healing my past wounds that were debilitating me. In my last post, I wrote about how we learn to hide our truth in order to fit in or to gain love and acceptance. It is not always easy to break out of these self destructive habits. For me, I had to remind myself VERY often that my negative thoughts were not true. These negative thoughts and habits were conditioned non-truths. As children we learn to conform to what the adults around us need. As we grow, we get into the habit of conforming to what our peers are doing, what our society is doing, etc. We learn to look outside of ourselves hoping to find what we need. We learn to quiet the voice inside of us that is revealing our truth. We conform to fit the mold of what others need us to be. Depression happens when our truth is completely buried, and we get to the point of barely having any emotions at all. We shut down. Often times, anger is alive within us, but we don’t allow ourselves to even express that. Anger is present because it allows us to hide all of the hurt that we repressed when we were busy blocking our truth. Many people finally explode with the anger, sometimes lashing out at others. Some people may internalize the anger and let it eat them alive until they can’t take it anymore. They lash out at themselves rather than let themselves *feel* the repressed truth within them. They don’t allow themselves to *feel* what is really going on in their body. It can feel overwhelming at first since many of us never learned how to express emotion in the first place.

Reminding myself that emotion is energy

When I first learned that I did in fact,  have other emotions than just anger, I was surprised to learn that emotions are energy. It is the *story* we tell ourselves *about* the emotions we are having that make things more difficult. When I allow myself to just feel the emotion (energy) moving through my body, and acknowledge what I am feeling in my body and where I feel it, the energy moves along. Releasing this energy is a huge relief. It is when I try to figure out *why* it is there, or what happened to make me feel a certain way that I complicate my experience. Let it flow! Most of us have learned to be afraid of emotions. We have learned that they must be bad since we were not allowed to feel our truth or express it. Expressing ourselves has everything to do with wanting to be alive, and allowing ourselves to *feel* our “aliveness”. When we repress emotion, we are repressing *who we are*. When we repress who we are, we are sending ourselves the message that we don’t matter. The truth is we absolutely *do* matter, and everyone has the right to express themselves and to be who they are.

Learning how to be who you are and choosing to be alive!

The night that I realized I wanted to be alive, I knew I needed to work hard on allowing myself the space to be who I truly am. I would no longer just agree to doing things if my body was screaming to me, “NO”. Each time I was asked to do something, or asked my opinion, I learned to stop and check in with myself first. Then I would give an answer. Each time I listened to what was true for me in that moment, I was giving myself the true messages that would replace the old negative untruths. It takes practice, so give yourself the space and the compassion and patience you deserve. Each time I allow my truth to be heard, I take back some of my inner power that was given away. This post ended up being longer than I thought it would, but I hope it helps to give hope to those suffering with depression. There is always hope, I promise you. I didn’t go into every single thing I do in order to restore my truth, but I have in past posts, and I would be glad to talk to anyone that wants more detail. Please feel free to e-mail me from the home page. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please get help right away.

Embracing your inner acceptance, “Affirmations”, by Harold Becker, The Love Foundation.

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Depression, Kids/teenagers and depression, Self-love | No Comments »

Leave a Comment

RSS