“I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” ~Jonathan Safran Foer
There is a place within us all…a hole…that we crawl into when things get bad. When the rolling tides of sadness rush upon us, we move into this spot, to weather the storm. One day, I moved in and forgot, for a while, to move back out. It was the easy thing to do, because being present in the moment…because feeling meant that I had to endure the pain and negativity that lived around me….because not living in the hole meant that I might have to believe the words that were said to me. I lost something, valuable, in that hole. Before I crawled in, I had a hopelessly idealistic view of the world…people are, inherently, good…the world is a good place…Before all this happened, sadness was temporary…it was natural… It was something that came and went with the ups and downs of human life. I had never, before, experienced the type of sadness that comes around and stays for a while. The kind of sadness that flows through your blood and poisons your mind. I never knew that sadness could feel like a ball and chain…I didn’t know that it could ever weigh so much.
In my hole, I was safe from all this. I was numb but it was so hard to breathe….it was so hard to believe. I became the walking dead…soulless and muted…I moved through my days with little pleasure or excitement. I was still breathing but I had already stopped living. Under these circumstances, it’s impossible to feel happiness. The sadness just grows and grows and it starts to seep out of your body into the world around you. Then one day, you realize, you’ve become the sadness and there is not hope of ever feeling happy again….This is depression…Sometimes it occurs naturally and sometimes it is man made…Either way, it’s crippling…it’s not a disease but a state of being….a state of being overwhelmed and ashamed…a state of being toxic and unaware that good things exist in this world…It’s a state of blindness that resigns you to seeing only the grays and blacks in this world.