I always thought I understood depression and consequently never understood why the person who was depressed could not focus on the positives in their lives.
From a young age, I have appreciated the beauty all around us and so have always found it relatively easy to ‘be in the now.’
However, at the beginning of this year, I began to understand depression in a way that I had never done before.
I would not say I had depression or anxiety, but I began to experience waves of profound sadness that would come on swiftly and unexpectedly. Sometimes they would only last for 10 minutes and other times for hours.
I tried every ploy possible – meditation, prayer, looking at beautiful things, walking, going to my ballet class, reading, watching tv. Anything that would take me away from the awful feeling of profound sadness.
Sometimes it worked, and other times, I was distracted for a while and then whoosh it would hit me again.
I am a firm believer in ‘when the pupil is ready the guru will appear’ or the right quote will appear at the right time or a song will come on the radio that is just perfect for what one needs to hear.
I had told very few people how I was feeling but did tell a friend last week. She pointed to two books that are on our coffee table – one about Auschwitz and the other about cancer and suggested that maybe my reading material was the cause.
Funnily enough, I had come to the same conclusion but had felt guilty in a perverse way that I was finding it difficult to read about someone’s cancer journey and someone’s Auschwitz journey.
However, that was not the cause as the waves of sadness were coming for longer and faster.
Yesterday I saw my lovely counsellor and very gently together we unraveled what was going on.
It turns out that something going on in my life now was triggering something that happened many years ago.
I hope the waves will stop now but even if they don’t and I again cannot see the light at the end of a tunnel. I will try and remember that for me personally, I just need to be patient with myself and slowly unravel my story.
While I was going through the periods of intense sadness, I tried to be grateful for the experience and the lessons I was learning, but that did not work. I felt guilty when what I had preached to others about being positive was not working, and I was literally lost in this awful feeling. I wanted to cry but could not because I did not know what I was crying about.
I felt grateful when a sad film gave me license to cry but knew deep down that was not the answer to my own sadness.
So now for the first time in my life, I understand what ‘IT’S OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY” means.

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