Monday, February 9, 2015

Sadness and Depression

It's not always easy for me to write, sometimes it's quite difficult, like now. The perfectionist in me feels terrified, as I sit here typing, that I will make a mistake or write something no one wants to read. However, I think that my inner perfectionist could be wreaking havoc on my life right now. I've mentioned that I feel a strong need to be with people at all times because when I'm alone I go to a dark, depressed, and deeply sad place. The  sadness lives in my gut and feels as though it could pull me straight down through the floor. My sadness is heavy, it makes my eyes fill with tears, and I've been labeling it depression. But is it depression or is it sadness? They are two different states of being. Depression isn't a primary emotion, however, sadness is. 
Last night as I walked up stairs to my bedroom, I felt the heaviness threatening to bring me to my knees with despair. Then I had, if not an epiphany, a new awareness wash over me. My psychiatrist tells me that these sad feelings are chemically based. Bipolar is a chemical, genetic disorder, which in some twisted way is comforting to me, but the new awareness said that perhaps this isn't a completely chemical depression, in many instances the sadness is situational. Being alone makes me feel awful, suicidal sadness. Being out and around people feels energizing and good. 

Realizing I was sad was a profound moment. I'm not just depressed, but I'm sad. Not tired, not sleeping too little or too much, my appetite unaffected. I know the signs of depression, and believe me I do have many of them. However, I've discovered that I am sad  and it's a very old feeling; my sadness loaded with unfinished business. The awareness that I'm dealing with sadness which I've been holding onto since childhood, brought me comfort last night. I can feel my sadness and that's cathartic.For years, I stuffed away my emotions, dissociating from my feelings and the world around me. Now I can feel, and although I feel like crap, this pain is a healing part of my journey. It's scary to come face to face with my despair, but now I know that it's come up for me to deal with now, because I am ready.

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