I’ve discovered that children are aware that they are slaves to their emotions and are a little embarrassed about it the same way twelve-year-old boys are a little embarrassed about their erections. They can’t really control them and the last thing they want is more attention being drawn to it.“Confessions of a Sociopath” by M.E. Thomas
Yesterday I was talking to a friend about my depression being pretty bad recently. He told me that I seemed fine and that he couldn’t tell. And I thought to myself that it was good that he couldn’t tell.
I don’t exactly know why I try so hard to hide it, minus the days where I’ve just hit a point where hiding it isn’t worth the effort. I wonder if I’m affected by the stigma of having depression and anxiety more than I let myself believe.
Or maybe it’s just around the shame of expressing extreme or raw emotion. It’s like when people express heightened experiences of anger, sadness, fear, or even joy, people often seem to think that there’s something wrong with them and avoid those people.
Although, maybe that’s not it for me. Maybe I’m just trying to maintain an image of being strong and independent.
I don’t consciously think that I’m trying to hold up an image. But I find it odd that I try so hard not to cry in front of friends, but I don’t seem to have any problem doing in around people I don’t know, like on the train.
It’s odd how much I’m a stranger to myself sometimes. I have to look at my automatic behaviours and decisions to figure out what my inner child is up to.
I wonder if it’s also just because I don’t want other people to feel like they need to do something about it. Or maybe it’s just a subtle way of saying “don’t try to fix me I’m not broken.”
If I smile and don’t believe
Soon I know I’ll wake from this dream
Don’t try to fix me I’m not broken
Hello I’m the lie living for you so you can hide
Don’t cry“Hello” by Evanescence
And maybe that just comes from the discomfort of being comforted by other people. (And I wonder if this is just that need to maintain a strong and independent image of self.) I mean, I’d like to think I’m getting better at leaning on other people. But still, I seem to try to hide so much.
Reflecting back on Inside Out, Sadness discovers that her purpose is to stimulate connection with others.
One of the common themes of my depression has always been that I’m alone and that I’ll always be alone. But I don’t display that outwardly because that will lead to connection with other people which would then challenge the nature of the depression itself. I’m curious whether depression has some sort of defensive mechanism to protect itself.
Anywho, thank you for tuning into my random thoughts when it’s 3am and Tyler can’t sleep.
PS: I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about how I can be quite vulnerable in some of my posts. But it’s so much easier to write it out when I’m reflecting about it after the fact, compared to sharing something in person when I’m in the middle of it (that almost never happens). This sounds like my perfectionism coming up. And there’s my anxiety cycle going again.