This was how I started when I wrote freely:
I said I don’t have depression, but probably I do. I just don’t know what it is anymore.
I’ve just gotten so good at masking with anxiety. Nothing will change my skewed perception of reality except me and I haven’t figured out yet until now that I can choose to importance to place on events in my life. I need to admit that to counselling so we can work on that.
It’s like when I was younger and had just started snowboarding and thought it doesn’t matter if I want to do it now because my future self felt assured that I’d be happy about it.
But I’m no longer that person, just living minute by minute, second by second. I just want to escape the pain that I feel.
I lose something every time I go out without my parents’ permission. It’s an expensive habit. Losing segments of memory to avoid feeling guilty and losing things that I’ve somehow pinned my guilt and depression onto. Thinking I can physically throw away the physical representations of my very non physical and very real illness.
It’s debilitating. I didn’t chose to forget things. When I was twelve my parents told me I was worthless when I lost just one item and repeated it to me for years and I’ve believed them. So now I forget things to get rid of that guilt for proving them wrong, that I can keep ahold of things, feelings, grades, everything…
I never made the choice to be someone who loses things. I just felt them slip away and fell when I tried to grab them.
I chose to love by listening and was hurt by it. I didn’t chose to get hurt. I’m tired of never loving to avoid being hurt again.
I only filled out anxiety when I applied for special accommodations but depression is the one thing I fear the most. I fill the silences with anxiety and hope I find meaning through reaction instead of inaction. That makes me think I’m going backwards or not moving at all. How can I still be depressed or anxious if I’m working on it, have been working on it once every two weeks for three months?
I hope my future self is glad I put the work in to not be depressed and be a nearly-normally functioning individual with bouts of irrational moods. I want my future self to be proud that I put in the work that I do in the moments when I’m unsure I matter. When I’m sure I messed up and disappointed everybody. I want my future self to be assured that I’ll be happy about putting the time into really convincing myself my feelings may be real, but that doesn’t mean they are true.
Because they aren’t true.
See how that changed? I shifted my emotions when I stepped back.
And that’s an example of my actually writing out thoughts and then making an effort to become conscious of what I’m feeling and asking “Is what I’m thinking true?”
It’s an example of breaking the cycle of self perpetuating thoughts.
If you look back at journals that I used to write, thoughts never ended on a note of closure. This is because I lacked the proper tools to stop errant reactions to thoughts. They self perpetuated not out of their own weakness but because you need to structure to your reactions to your feelings as much as you need structure to your life. This might come normally for most of your life but when it doesn’t know that it is just a skill that can be learned that has multiplying results. You can’t not benefit from breaking the cycle of any life impacting emotional reactions.