************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Monday, June 27, 2011

Feeling Everything: Working Through Depression

As I was writing a comment on another blog, this morning, I became aware of one of the most important things I’ve learned. In the last four years, as I’ve been working through my issues in therapy and in CoDA, I’ve had many lessons, but one very important one is accepting and acknowledging my feelings.

In the past, I was often depressed. Things which should have been enjoyable were waded through with a sense of obligation. Things which should have been minor agitations infuriated me. Regardless, I would paste on a smile and work very hard at not feeling anger, fear, pain or sadness. This seemed to be what everyone expected and so that's what I tried to do. I felt miserable all the time and had no idea why. 

What I've learned is that my feelings do not go away until I’ve worked through them. If I make myself look at the feelings - dive into them instead of trying to push them away - I will eventually work my way through. Working through feelings means allowing myself to feel them, acknowledging their worth, and then expressing my anger and grief as needed. 

Acknowledging and giving voice to my feelings and the reasons they're there really works. Falling into addictive, compulsive or obsessive behaviors does not.

I tried alll kinds of medications, but they don’t make the feelings go away.  Sometimes they can mask pain, for a while, but they do not fix the problem. It's like taking a pain-killer for a broken bone. It will help the pain for a while, but the brokenness is still there. I don’t want to limp through life in a drug-induced state of ignorance. As hard as it is, I know I need to take the time to fix the problem properly.

If I don’t allow myself to feel all my feelings, the reality is I don’t get to feel anything.
Masking pain means masking pleasure.
Masking fear means masking peacefulness.
Masking grief means masking joy.
Masking anger means masking gratitude.

I'm not advocating for anyone to stop taking prescribed medications. If you had that broken bone, it would be perfectly okay to take a pain killer, but it is not the ONLY thing you should do. Take the medications to get you through, when you need to, but don't rely on them - or anything else - to solve the problem for you. The only way to solve a problem is to look at it, figure out what's broken, and then put the pieces back together.

I’m no longer willing to live without pleasure, peace, joy and gratitude. Instead, I've learned to acknowledge that I am not meant to only feel these wonderful aspects of life, all the time. Happiness is not a given and being sad is not wrong. It's okay to feel sad, angry, and hurt and it is our inability to accept that fact that makes it impossible to get past these perfectly normal reactions to life.

Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.