Depression is an accumulation of past traumas, experiences, and repressed emotions stuck in your body

Written by Amie on October 30, 2010 – 7:33 pm -

Processing the underlying stuck emotions

This might be a long post! Please keep reading, as I want to share an  experience I had because I think it might be really helpful to those who are suffering deeply with depression. Once again, it has been awhile since I’ve written. I need to go inward quite often, and I just haven’t been feeling the urge to write. But, now I am, so here I go! I am currently reading The Presence Process for the second time, and it is helping me open up to so much clarity. I have dealt with anger in the past, but nothing like the rage I have been processing lately. The book doesn’t really discuss rage specifically, but doing this process has brought up rage and grief for me. I feel grateful that I am ridding my body of emotions that have been trapped in there for years. I can see clearly now that in order to really “recover” from depression, I must process all of the underlying emotions that are stuck in my body. This does not mean that I have to “rehash” all of my childhood experiences or that I need to try to remember specific details of my whole life. It means that I must allow myself to feel. It means I must allow myself to accept that I am human and I have emotions. We all do. Unfortunately, we have been taught to ignore them, push them away, and basically act as though we are not human. To take away our emotional side means to take away our humanness.

My depression gets really bad seemingly “out of the blue”

Many people have said to me that they feel fine, and then “out of the blue” they feel extremely depressed again. They are confused as to why this happens. I used to wonder the same thing. I would have some good days, maybe a few weeks of feeling relief, and then boom! it would knock me to my knees again, and I would be in a very deep dark place. It has become clear to me that we have so many “unconscious” things going on in our bodies. I think our bodies get to a point where they just can’t stuff anymore repressed emotions inside. Our souls get to a point that they just aren’t willing to help us hide the truth of who we really are anymore. It is exhausting trying to stuff down, hold in, hold back, be quiet, suck it up, stop being so sensitive, stop being different, and basically just be someone we’re not. Years of acting makes for depressed, stressed out humans. Hiding ourselves is exhausting. Hiding the fact that we hate what we are doing, we don’t agree with so much of what is going on around us, and we are not who people think we are is exhausting! Having to defend who we are is exhausting! NEWS ALERT: NOBODY HAS TO DO THIS ANYMORE!

I am being triggered, and I need to FEEL

The Presence Process has taught me that anytime I am emotionally upset, it is because of a past situation (usually childhood) that needs to be felt and processed or “integrated”. In the past when I felt anger I would run from it. I would talk about my anger and I would write about it but I stopped short of processing it. I didn’t really allow myself to FEEL it. What did the anger feel like in my body? I have talked in the past about feeling the sensations in your body. I wrote about it, and I remembered to do that on occasion, but I can see now that I wasn’t going far enough with the feeling part. I skipped the most vital part. In order to really get through depression, or heal it, or whatever you choose to call it, it is imperative to “feel”. It is also imperative to accept the fact that you feel like shit. It has become clearer to me that I wasn’t really accepting that I was so depressed at times that I thought death might be better than staying here if it meant more suffering. Now I know that in order to lessen my suffering, I had to accept where I was (in a very deep dark place), accept that this is how I felt right then, FEEL the sensations in my body (tightening in my stomach, headache etc), and then just BE with this. Just feel. And Breathe! Don’t put stories with the feelings, don’t try to explain away what you are feeling, don’t judge, don’t do things to try to make it go away (eat too much,drink too much, drug yourself, shop, etc). Just let it be, and let it pass through you. I promise it will pass through if you just allow it some space. And, reminding myself that, “this too shall pass” , sometimes helps.

My son wants to go to a party

I want to share an experience with you because I think it might help you see what I mean when I say that an emotional upset today is because of a past situation that needs to be processed. We are constantly being triggered by people around us. This is the Universe’s (or Presence) way of trying to help us evolve and move beyond seeing ourselves as separate from everyone else. Presence activates triggers for our own benefit. So, back to my experience. My son was asking to go to a party at a girl’s house that I had never met. I had never met her parents either. My son had previously told me about the girl, and told me some things that made me think her Mom might not be the best influence for young teens. My son and I have always had a “partnership” type relationship. I am not the authority figure telling him what to do and what is good for him. We work together so that he can have autonomy and freedom to be who he is while having me as a support person who he can trust. I just wanted to say that in order to point out how out of the ordinary my behavior was in this particular situation. I told him that I didn’t want him to go to the party, and gave him reasons that looking back now, made no sense! I was reacting, not responding to him. I was being triggered by him in a way that was pushing me to either see the correlation and step away to have some time to process my feelings, or risk him losing trust in me. I have to say that as I was arguing with him (which is extremely rare), I heard myself saying (in my head), “this is not how I want to be with my son, leave the room.” It was as though I was outside of my body. I knew it didn’t feel like “me” talking, so this gave me a very big clue that I was being triggered, and past experiences were telling me to notice.

RAGE, GRIEF, ACCEPTANCE

I went to be by myself after this. I allowed myself to just sit and be with my emotions. When I feel this triggered (my body almost shaking with nerves, my stomach tight, my head pounding a bit), I move my body. I put my Ipod in my ears, and I dance or just stand and shake my body. This really helps move the emotions. After I moved for a bit, I sat and sobbed for a bit (also very helpful in cleansing the body of stuck emotions). I didn’t “try” to figure out what was going on. However, after about 30 minutes of moving and sobbing, the realization hit me like a ton of bricks! I was able to see that my beautiful son was mirroring something for me. He triggered feelings in me that I had forgotten long long ago. I had learned to just live with these repressed feelings because I learned that my emotions were not important, that I should just “live with it”, “it is what it is” kind of thing. The rage that came out of me was so powerful! It felt so good! It reminded me that I DO have power. The message I heard from deep within my body was that I fought and fought to feel loved as a child. I got the impression from the adults around me that I was not important or special, or worth loving. I tried to do things to get “seen” . As a young child, I was the good girl who was the peace maker, the one who tried to make things easier and better so that everyone would be happy. My son triggered that part of me that felt unwanted, and unloved. I went through intense rage, grief, acceptance, and then love for myself and the little girl that missed out on nurture and love. I can see now how very important it is to allow myself that rage because it has re-awakened my will to take back my power from all of the people who taught me that my feelings didn’t matter when I was a child. I am grateful that I see very clearly now that I am responsible for my emotions and my life. The past can’t be changed, but it can be processed and grieved and transformed into self-love and acceptance. YES, I am lovable and YES I have the power to change my life!

Don’t be afraid to feel rage; it allows you to take back your power!

This is getting pretty long, so I think I will wrap it up. There was a lot more to the “trigger”, but it is so difficult to write and explain in words. I am so grateful for my children and their beautiful nature that keeps them in the present. They are my teachers. They are so lovable that I am able to give them so much love that I even have some left over for myself. I am convinced that our children are here to teach us, not the other way around. I apologized to my son and even tried to explain what had happened. He knows that I am working on “my stuff”. He understands that when I have an outburst, it is not about him. It is about me, and those triggers that I can now see as a gift. So, don’t be afraid to rage (as long as you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else), and to grieve for what you missed out on or for what you lost.  And, most importantly, don’t be afraid to take back your power. It is YOURS. You get to decide what is best for you. Others around you might not like your choices, but that’s OK. We are all different, even though we are all connected. 

A video giving a short overview of what the Presence Process by Michael Brown is:

And “Emotional Processing”


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The missing link in healing depression

Written by Amie on September 5, 2010 – 11:33 pm -

Implode or Explode?

Even though I have written so much on here about learning to feel emotions, I must write about it again. I do believe the missing link in really healing depression (and the cause of so many problems in our world), is learning to allow ourselves to really truly FEEL. And I mean something besides anger and grief. Even these two emotions are ones that we are taught not to reveal. Most of us have been conditioned to hold back our emotions. We have been taught that having emotions is not necessary. We have learned to swallow our feelings, hold our breath so that nothing can escape our bodies. In my opinion, this is at the top of the list as to why so many people are depressed. From a young age, we are taught either verbally or non-verbally that our “aliveness” is not ok. We learn that in order to get through our lives, we must hide who we are, and most importantly hide our emotions. Most people don’t even know what a true emotion feels like because they are so accustomed to doing whatever it takes to hold it all together, hold all of that emotion inside. Sooner or later, all of that energy either implodes or explodes. We either turn it in on ourselves (which turns to self-hate), or we lash out and release it on another person or multiple people.

OCD, Panic Attacks, Depression

Humans are emotional beings, we feel things in our bodies. When we are asked to turn this part of ourselves off, we may as well be dead. Holding back our emotions deadens us. Some people (seemingly) manage to live their whole lives holding back their emotions. However, the emotions push their way out even if the person doesn’t want to allow the emotions to express. Some people become ill physically. Cancer and other diseases are on the rise. Some people have OCD, panic attacks, depression, or another “condition” that is labeled. This energy will find a way to escape. We can only drug it out for so long (via prescription drugs, illegal drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or any addiction that is chosen). Many people choose to never acknowledge their past wounds. Some remain baffled as to why they always get sick, or why they are suffering with mentally challenging issues. Some people go to the doctor to get medications to make these things go away. And sometimes they do. At least temporarily.

Teach me to breathe?

One thing we are never taught is to breathe (we don’t need to be taught, right?), keep breathing, and allow ourselves to be fully human. What do I mean by breathing? Well, I mean actually feeling our breath move in and out. Noticing when we are holding in our breath in order to avoid feeling an emotion. Becoming aware of my breathing has been a huge breakthrough for me. It is amazing how often I was holding my breath instead of allowing myself to FEEL. Holding my breath was making it easier for me to ignore my true feelings. I would hold my breath until the feelings went away. Breathing has everything to do with feeling our emotions. Emotions express themselves physically. It is the story we tell ourselves about the feelings we are feeling that make emotions become “mental”. Our ego tries to protect us from feeling emotions because we have been taught that they are bad or wrong. Therefore, a story becomes attached to the physical feeling we are having, and the rest is history. If we can allow ourselves to feel the physical feeling, and breathe through the feeling, it is allowed to pass through our body and sometimes be done right then. We can move on from there. If we have been holding back for years, well, then it will take some practice and a lot of compassion for ourselves.

Tears threaten to sneak out of your eyes

But practice and compassion for ourselves helps us get better and better at this. How many times have you been involved in an activity or watching a movie, or even viewing something beautiful when tears threaten to sneak out of your eyes? And, what is the first thing we are taught to do? Wipe them off quickly before anyone else notices. How many times do we see a child fall down and start crying, only to be told, “oh, you’re fine, let’s get you up now”. I have seen this so many times, I have lost count. What message does this send? It is the beginning of teaching the children to shut down, to shut down their human side, their emotional side. They learn that who they are is wrong or bad. They learn to shut off the part of themselves that makes them feel alive. More messages just like this get sent to children all of the time. Hushing a baby or small child, telling them they don’t “feel” a certain way when they just finished telling you that’s how they feel. Most adults learned these same messages when they were children, and they keep passing them along generation to generation. Until someone stops the cycle. So, basically most adults are walking around as children in adult bodies. Still trying to get their needs met and still trying to figure out a way to show the world who they really are. Something to think about………

This is Michael Brown, the author of The Presence Process (incredible book,btw)

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