Sometimes I think that sadness for me is like an addiction. I am more comfortable being sad than I am being any other emotion. I allow myself to feel sad a lot longer than I should in most situations just because I don’t have the strength to do anything else. Or so I tell myself. The truth is that it’s always been easier for me to soak in sadness till my fingers are pruney than to get up off of my behind and do something about it.
I have spent the better part of my life battling depression for one reason or another. It started when I was 16, and I had a terrible boyfriend in high school. He doesn’t know he was horrible, and actually, he was pretty nice, just young and immature. His parents hated me and my sarcastic dry sense of humor, and put pressure on him to either date someone else, or tell me to conform. I was a young, shy, highschooler with her first boyfriend. Of course I was going to try to be someone different. That’s where it all started. From then on it didn’t take much to turn on myself, feel bad about who I was and crawl back into my deep dark hole that I dug specifically to punish myself and try to defeat my own spirit.
I’ve dicussed with my therapist that I am not comfortable with anger. I rarely get mad, I mean really mad, and I don’t stay angry very long. It’s not an emotion I know what to do with and so it leaves as quickly as it comes.
Happiness is an elusive thing. I’ve felt happy at various moments in my life, but it doesn’t seem like a sustainable feeling for me.
Sadness for me is like an old comfortable pair of sweat pants that I slump around the house in every day. It sits next to me always, and feels like an old friend. An abusive old friend. One that reminds me of all of my shortcomings and mistakes. One that points out wrinkles and tells me that I used to be so pretty…
You get the idea.
My therapist asked one day, “what if you woke up tomorrow and instead of doing what was comfortable, pushing yourself to focus on happiness? Just for one day. What do you think would happen?”
I was so thrown off that I had no response. In the end I told her I didn’t know how to do that. She suggested that everything requires practice, and maybe I should try practicing happiness. I know she wasn’t telling me to be fake, but maybe she was right. I was out of practice and happiness was something I needed to try being again. She of course said this after enough time had passed from the trauma that I was seeing her for during that time (a story for another day).
I do find sadness to be a siren that calls to me almost daily. I spoke with my husband this morning about our current loan process to get pre-approved for buying and or building a home. My credit isn’t as great as his, and sometimes I feel like the weight that drags down our marriage/relationship. I hate admitting that because it’s more information than I give even my close friends, but this blog is about being brave, and the truth is a hard thing sometimes. After our conversation I could feel the pull to feed my feelings bad food, and mope around work till it was time to go home, and instead I decided to keep my chin up. Treat myself with the same kind of understanding and kindness that I would treat one of my friends. I really wanted a chocolate chip cookies, but talked myself down off of that ledge.
I’m proud of my progress. Postpartum was my last dark hole of hopelessness that I had to climb out of, and I think I did it fairly well so far. We’ll discuss that on another day, at another time, and how I managed to feel better without taking the meds that my doctor really wanted me to.
No recipe today. We’re grilling, and having steamed veggies with it. I’m trying to tell myself I’m not on a “diet”, and that I really crave veggies and lean meats….no chocolate. We’ll see how it goes….