That’s a delicate topic, I admit. Depression is one of the most delicate topics in the world, because it involves sharing the deepest parts of your being. And because it brings to the light feelings of shame, guilt and sadness. I never met any human being who was comfortable to those feelings…
For me, depression, despite its medical definition, is more of a state of rejection, of meaningless time and a lack of value. A state of withdrawal and surrender, a state of worthless actions and a wish to put an end to everything. Depression is just an enormous hole filled with lack of self-esteem and respect, lack of trust in you and anything. I’m not a doctor, and even if I do like to manage multiple skills I don’t intend to become a regular one, so take these definitions as my own personal view of depression and not as a medical approach.
Because I don’t put depression on the doctor’s plate, by the way. I take depression as a sign of imbalance in your whole being. It is not an illness, it is just the fact that some parts of yourslef are in need to take a break. To let go of the pressure. Maybe you asked to much. Maybe somebody else asked too much of you. Maybe you feel anger because you can’t get what you want, or because you had it once and now you lost it. Maybe you just need to rest for a while and your environment can’t let you do that. Whatever the form, the substance is the same: repressed, fermented emotions that are exploding inside and are looking for a way out.
Avoiding The Inevitable
Letting it out is the best thing you can do. Just be aware of the danger that this flow of emotions could take with it, though: it’s like a river that can take your house if you’re not paying attention. But you can’t stop it. That’s the biggest and most hurting mistake I’ve made. You can’t resist it and you can’t escape it. You must let it go, otherwise it will eventually overflow you by accumulation.
Several years ago, when faced with these altered states of being, I used stealth strategies in order to avoid depression. Mostly because of the shame and by lack of time: I had more important things to do then feeling sad, I said to myself. At that time I was a busy entrepreneur. So, whenever I felt down, I immediately took action: go out, see a movie, try to have sex or get drunk. Whatever it took just to get over this. And it worked every time. I was developing escape techniques so powerful and efficient that I managed not to feel depressed for a long time. Except that the depression was still there. It was me that was running away so fast that it dind’t catch me for a while.
But it catches you. In the end it catches you simply because is something inside you, is part of your being and you have to accept it. No shame, no fear, no running. Just let it flow through yourself because it’s a healing process. It’s painful and it hurts, but it’s the only way you can let the wounds to be healed.
Facing Your Unsolved Situations
After the business selling I felt no need to run. I wasn’t busy anymore so I was ready to feel better. But after a while and without any perceivable sign, instead of feeling better I started to feel worse. Not all the time, it was in bursts, with random triggers. Or so I thought there were random, in fact, they were strong indicators of unsolved patterns that started to show, but more on that later. The rejected river started to overflow. Unexplainable states of melancholy and sadness that were all over me. I was finally caught and with more power than before. I was terrified at the beginning, I have to admit. Really, really frightened. But after a while, I decided it is better to let it flow. Let it manifest and accept it. It was a part of me that was catching up, I said, it is an opportunity for healing. It’s a reconciliation.
The feelings were extreme and the drive to action upon those feeling even more powerful. They left me without energy and desire to live. Like climbing a mountain every day without eating or going through desert without drinking any water. It was draining. The only think I could do during those periods was to try to understand the triggers. As I said, it seemd that there were no rational signs that could announce – and perhapes prevent, I was thinking – those overflowing experiences. But the random was not random. It was just so well hidden by my own deluding game that it was almost impossible to understand. Almost. Because the signs were so clear, after a while.
Everything that was unsolved or not dealt with it surfaced. Things like adaptation, compassion, sharing, caring or simply enjoying myself or my hobbies were now exploding in my face. There were situations in which I was supposed to feel better, like doing something that I like to do, but instead I felt burned and ready to cry. Because there were times in my life when I forbided that to myself. Put a big label on that which says: “you’re not allowed to do this, you have to build a business, no time for games, go work”. That pressure was still in me and the interdiction was still there. And the pressure was so powerful that I couldnt stop it. It was flowing through me. And I let it. With it, the initial problem was also carried. The interdiction, wrapped in my own feelings of guilt and shame like an unborn cocoon, was flowing outside in waves of dark blood. The tumor was out, letting the fresh wound free and fragile, ready to heal.
The Lake From Within
Every hurting experience you had left some marks. And most likely every hurting experience you had is not confronted yet, is not fully accepted and acknowledged. This is why the effects of those experiences are still there.
If you throw a rock into a lake, the lake is waving a little until is at peace with the rock. Several waves, some biggers, some smallers, according to the size of the rock. But after the energy produced by the rock has been released, the lake become calm again.
Your true self is that lake. You will receive a lot of rocks in your life. And if you’re not letting those waves manifest, you’ll just make them go round and round inside yourself and acumulate into a bigger and more powerful storm. And that storm will eventually find a way to manifest. Maybe in form of a illness, maybe in form of an apparently unreasonnable violent act, maybe in form of a broken relationship. But it wll manifest.
So, let the inside lake overflow from time to time. It will bring a lot of mud to the shores, but it’s better to have the mud outside than inside. There is no shame in having some mud exposed. In fact, is better to have it exposed than to hide it. If it’s exposed you can control it, if it’s on the inside it will control you.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.