Julianne Leow has reached some startling self realizations. An epiphany of the mind may be just what the doctor ordered.
Ever since I started therapy, I’ve been reading a lot of psychotherapy related articles. There were so many articles that have helped me come to terms with the things I’m feeling as well as how to cope – I have learned a lot more from the former, than I have of the latter.
I realized that I am not searching for coping articles as much as I am searching for articles identifying what I’m feeling or what I’m struggling with. I think the reason is because I am still addicted to being depressed – I still can’t come to terms with the fact that I’m recovering and so unconsciously, I’m trying my best to keep my life at the status quo. Keep myself feeling depressed because if I learn to cope, then I’ll recover.
“That’s crazy”, might be what some of you are thinking right now as you read this. I believe you. I agree with you. It is crazy. It is crazy for me to want to keep my life at a constant pain and suffering. It is crazy for me to keep myself depressed. At the same time, I can’t help it. I can’t really explain it but I’m struggling more with myself than I am with anything else. I can’t help this madness that I’m keeping myself in.
That said, I wonder now if I’m keeping myself at this state and at the same time analyzing, reading and researching what I’m feeling because I need to feel the depression in its entirety. I have been dissociated and numb for so long that for once, I am actually feeling something genuinely. Don’t get me wrong, I do laugh, smile, cry, yell and I do feel emotions. However, I don’t think I’ve ever really felt anything more than the surface level. I think for years, I’ve worked hard to keep all my emotions at a surface level. After all, if I delve any deeper, I’ll end up making myself vulnerable and I could get hurt, right?
For the first time in a very very long time, since I slipped into this depressive episode in September, I have been feeling real feelings. I’ve isolated myself from people and I would rather not speak to anyone unless I have to because it was getting too painful to relate to others. I also felt like I couldn’t handle other people’s emotions at this point. It is far too painful to handle my own as it is. I think my husband can attest to how much more distant I’ve been since September – unless, I’m just projecting my own feelings on him. I do imagine people feeling a certain way or saying things about me even if that’s not the truth. I think that’s why I often misunderstand my husband and think that he must feel a certain negative way about me even if he doesn’t
Anyway, I just read an article about “self loathing” and “self hatred” being a fundamental feeling that a person like me feels. I learned that instead of admitting that I am broken and have limitations, my feeling manifests as self hatred and internal anger. Instead of saying that I can’t do something, everything I do is met with a vicious third party voice that tells me I’m a failure. According to the psychologist, Dr Burgo, who wrote the article, at the core of this feeling is a deep feeling of shame and despair and because I can’t come to terms with that, the feeling becomes an unconscious contempt, arrogance and self hatred. As I read that, it felt like a hit in the head because everything I read describes me perfectly. I do feel contemptuous over imperfections; especially those I see in others. I do hate myself and I do come across as arrogant especially in school when my progress exceeds others’.
Dr Burgo goes on to explain that for a client who feels the way I do, it often takes a long time for them to come to terms and to own that feeling. To step into the anger, so to speak. My only hope then is to know that there is hope. That there is a way to overcome this. Reading that, I realize that I can be better. The first step is probably for me to accept that I’m recovering and to let go of this fear of losing the depression. To accept that I’m self sabotaging and allowing my depression to conquer me through my fears and doubts.
Writing this is an exercise in recognition. I’m trying to recognize my fears and issues. In doing so, I’ve opened myself up to potential criticism from those who read my blog. I don’t exactly know why I write the things I do sometimes but I ask that those who do read this, be at least kind in your comments (if any).
This article first appeared at Julianne’s blog.
Photo Credit: Sodanie Chea/flickr