Lindsay just massaged my head and neck for a moment and I said: “I didn’t know they served little slices of heaven down in hell.” I was partly joking. But the amount I was not joking just shows where my mind has been today and recently. And here is how I’m working through it.
I’m scared to look at my mind today. I just had the music on and didn’t want to turn it off to do this thought download because I didn’t want to feel more alone with my thoughts and feelings. I don’t even want to look at my goals. I am so ashamed at how I have worked, or not worked, toward my goals this past week.
I feel not good enough and like I am trudging through shi!* inside my brain that is chest high, smells horrible, feels terrible, is slow and viscous.
It feels so heavy in my head, like a 30lb bowling ball is hooked to a chain and that chain is hooked to the inside of my brain. The bowling ball is just dangling on a 5 ft long chain, long enough to be super annoying but short enough that it won’t rest on the floor so I have to bare the weight constantly. There is no way to rest it on something, it just pulls and drags no matter where I am or what I’m doing, sometimes taking my legs out from underneath me.
It feels like there is no way for me to come out of this. A tiny part of me thinks I can but 99.9% of me thinks “there’s no way!”
I am terrified of these feelings and I’ve been totally resisting them. After all the work I’ve been putting in, these feelings shouldn’t be coming on so strong. Can’t I get a break? Can’t I work through these things one time and be done with them! Are they always going to keep coming at me like shards of glass swirling in a personal, individualized hurricane.
I don’t want to know the answer. I’m scared it might be “yes” and “always” to some degree.
I am learning to handle these thoughts and feelings but not all the time, not continuously. I’d like a break from it sometimes, especially when it’s inconvenient. Especially when I’m busy or tired. Especially when I am on the verge of really doing something great.
I know that resisting these feelings makes it worse but why do I still do it? It’s a knee-jerk, a reflex, a habit. Those pathways in my brain are well-forged and very efficient. Damn my brain and it’s desire to be efficient! Sure it’s helpful and “by design” but it sure makes it hard to change.
I have to believe I can forge new pathways. Like bushwhacking through dense foliage on a new terrain, leaving the old trails alone for long enough that they become overgrown, less entrenched, and eventually altogether abandoned, forgotten (FYI: this is actually how it works neurologically).
I know my brain is designed to resist change, to make it harder before it gets easier. So how can I find the commitment to persist, the gumption to push through?
Forging new paths takes a lot of energy. Defaulting to the old ones is so easy. These old paths are familiar but not really comfortable. I’ve identified them as detrimental. I don’t like the destination of the Ashamed About Depression Trail. Feeling ashamed about being depressed: now that’s a butt-kicker!
I’m ready for a new destination. I may have fallen off the new path momentarily, but I can get back on. And what if the trail I’ve forged so far is still there and not overgrown?
What if I could pick up right where I left off?
What if I can learn from this and have even more commitment and stick-to-it-iveness?
What if I get back on and just keep moving forward?
Now THAT feels good to ask these questions! Suddenly a lighter feeling is coming on. I’m filled with love and self-compassion. Acting from these feelings will definitely take me to the destination I desire. And I can feel the excitement of that destination right now if I put my brain to work on it.
I can’t guarantee the future and I can’t change the past. But, right now, in this moment, I can choose self-compassion over self-loathing. I can choose love over shame. And how much better that will serve me as I work through my depression!
Am I still depressed? Yes. But now I can go toward the depression without fearing it so much. I can accept it and become engaged in life instead of shunning reality and wanting to check out. I feel like I can look at my goals again with hope. I can look at the future with courage. I can take off the shackles and move forward. Goodbye bowling ball! Au revoir brain sewage! Hello present moment!
All I have is right now and I can do this. I don’t need a villain to fight or someone to save. I don’t need to be a victim. I can do it for me. Because I’m worth it. I am worthy. And I’m worthwhile. I am enough. I always have been enough. And I will always be enough. Because I’m here and I’m human. I was designed this way by someone much smarter than me. Now what am I going to do about it?
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