One of the most significant realizations I made during the worst of my depression was that I didn’t have to feel sad. My overly critical thoughts had been convincing me that I deserved to be punished with depression, but there was nothing morally superior or more intellectually honest about feeling such a deep and unending despair. I need not pay a debt of time to sorrow.
As I understood this more fully it led me down the fun and destabilizing path of realizing all the things that I am not. To see that I did not have to be depression was to realize that I did not have to be my emotions, and that in fact I could not be them because they were only impermanent clouds in my sky. What of thoughts? They were not me either. I was not the voice in my head, and I could watch it – detach from it – and make a choice as to whether or not I would let that voice’s statements stay with me.
I have found a poem I wrote from that period of my life that describes a bit of this realization. I use counselling and meditation to help stop believing my heart when it hurts me, and to clean up the crumbs and mist of my mind. May you too find some separation from your own thoughts and feelings so that you may regain control over your life and escape the fog of a heavy emotional cloud.
I’m stuck in my head,
I wish I was dead.
Stuck in my room,
covered in doom.
Can’t I find better words?
To describe the mist and gloom,
the oozing and the foggy,
the smell of this room?
The filth of this bed
crumbed and unkept,
is starting to look,
just like my head.
Forget your joy in your sorrow,
Forget your success in failure,
And are convinced by your heart.
You’re told to follow it
but don’t even start!
Not till you know what you’re doing,
till you can say “no” and “not now”.
I got in too deep and too early,
“Get back out quickly!”
I wish I knew how.
Some great links to help: