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Monday, September 1, 2014

Realization and Acceptance of Myself

I was reading a blog from a trans woman, because I like to try and understand their perspective as well in order to better understand what my spouse is going through.  Sometimes I do it to see if I can help in any way by giving my perspective.  I came across a post about depression that gave a link to a TedTalks that so succincly explained how I feel at times that it really impacted me quite deeply.  If you suffer from depression or know someone who does, I highly recommend watching the video.

Here is the link to that video:

This video resonated with me so much that I have since opened up about my depression.  It's embarrassing and scary to admit that you have thoughts that are completely irrational at times.  Thoughts that can be so debilitating to your personal life that all you can do is try to make them stop. It's a type of negative and circular thinking that you can't explain to people who don't experience it.  It can be completely overwhelming, especially in times of major life changes that are out of your control.  Loss in particular is something that triggers it for me.

Music impacts me so tremendously sometimes that I can't even listen to it.  Correction... I can't deal with "emotional" sounding music or something that I associate with loss if I'm fighting my sadness.  I only can listen to that type of music if I'm ready to cry and give in to the sadness.  Sometimes I need to feel sad.  Sometimes I need to cry in order to let it out, but if that happens around other people, I get very uncomfortable and want to run away or shut down completely.

My whole life I have hidden the dark thoughts from everyone.  I should be able to handle this because I'm intelligent and know logically I just shouldn't feel that way.  It wasn't until this past few months that I was even able to say the words out loud (how depressed I can get) to the people I love.  I have been depressed enough to wish I just wouldn't exist anymore because life can just be too overwhelming and have thoughts that there is no point to any of it.

I have never understood why I can't "snap out of it" or just be happy and look at the positive things in my life.  I can't stop the thoughts, no matter how ridiculous they seem.  That causes extreme anxiety and causes me to start shutting down completely and shutting people out.  I start doing whatever I can to just distract myself and quiet the chaos in my head.  I've been on medication before during transitional or traumatic times, but I've realized it doesn't help unless I am also willing to talk about my feelings.  I finally opened up to some people and talked about those thoughts and feel like a giant weight has been lifted.  They didn't freak out or lock me up, they didn't judge me for it, they just listened.  It feels so good to be really honest with people and stop being afraid that if people knew my weaknesses they would look at me with pity or not want to love me anymore.  Maybe more than that, I felt that people would stop respecting me.  I've actually found that more people identify with it than I realized.

I am making steps to break the cycle.  They're baby steps, but they're steps.  I am taking control and doing things I've been avoiding that really need to be addressed.  My spouse and I are setting some goals to improve our lives.  Together and individually.  We need to get the house cleaned up, better organized and get on a better routine for doing chores.  Cut down on the things that are bad for us like fatty food, drinking, smoking, etc.  Eventually quit smoking.  Get more exercise.  I'm actually feeling hopeful again that I can get better mentally and regain some self-confidence and self-control.  I know things could get dark again, but knowing that I can talk to people about what I'm going through makes it seem more bearable.