A personal account to how depression physically feels.
This is a response to Weight on My Shoulder.
Grief, depression, darkness, gloom, however you want to call it, is something we try and bury deep inside us. We wonder why we feel the way we do and try and push it away. It is something we cannot always put are finger quite on. It can be an accumulation of things that contribute to it or a singular, traumatic event that wrecks havoc. If I could describe the feeling, it would resemble a weighted blanket pressing down on me. I am unable to take a full breath and I lack the strength to push it off of me. I try with all my might but I feel hopeless. It makes my limbs and mind tired. I am indifferent to activities because I am exhausted by the constant weight I cannot physically see. I feel weak even though I know I am strong. When I am doing better and feeling like I am making progress, the blanket is placed on me reminding me of what grief I face buried deep inside my soul. I think that is one of the worst parts of it all, is never knowing if it will end or how it will affect me day to day. Sometimes I will be driving and all of a sudden I am overcome with such a dull, dissociated feeling. I don't feel connected to anything. It is hard to focus on the road, motor skills seemed to be lost, and for a moment I forget where I am going. It actually happened today, the day I am writing this to you all. I kept clicking through songs to find a song that cheered me up but the gloom deep in me took over. As the song hummed in the background, all I could feel was the heavy weighted blanket pushing down on me and thoughts going through my head saying “the good days are gone Jenn.”
Maybe it is because the days are shorter, colder, grayer, barer. The hurt that was already buried deep inside me is only exasperated with days like today. I think about all the aches my heart feels. The death of a recent loved one, a co-worker’s sister suddenly passing, a lost love that reminds me of simpler days, a best friend who was like a sister betraying my trust, a recent diagnosis …it all bubbles to the surface especially on days like today.
Most days I am doing alright. I get up, eat relatively healthy, workout, and make sure to spend quality time with people I enjoy being around. Does that mean what I am feeling inside fully goes away? No it doesn’t. But, the grace in all of this is I am learning to take each day as it comes and give myself empathy with what I am feeling. I try not to get frustrated or talk badly to my inner thoughts. Instead, I sit with my emotions, allowing myself to feel what I need to feel. I don't push it away or bury the sadness deeper inside me. I invite it in for a temporary visit but not a permanent stay. If I let those depressive thoughts consume me, I will never be able to see the light and will miss out on what it means to be living. Even if it’s hard to get out of bed some days, I must at least try. I must try for myself and for the people that love me.
Some mornings I will place my hand over my heart and listen to it beating. It is something so simple yet so powerful to me. It beats to pump life though my veins because I have a reason to be here, to carry on. The muscle does not get tired and it is resilient. It does not give up and goes to the same beat day in and day out. No matter what my heart has been through through the years, it continues to beat. For me and for me only. Our bodies are incredible as human beings and I want my mind to be just as resilient as my physical body is. Placing my hand on my heart is a reminder that I am resilient and strong no matter the circumstances.
I will leave you all with one of my favorite quotes, “God doesn’t give you battles you cannot handle.” It is true, we are all resilient and strong even admist the days we feel weak. Day to be day, we are here to be the biggest supporters for our-selves to lighten the weight of the blanket called depression.