For those of you with subway stations in your cities, do you find yourself peering down the tunnel? You can hear it. You can see the lights. In some stations, there’s a loud robotic voice telling you to stand away from the platform edge; making room for the approaching train and the commuters making their way of it. The moment the train rushes by, i have a moment of surprise. My heart still jumps. I still feel the sinking feeling in the bottom of my stomach, like I avoided something I’m glad I got the opportunity to miss.
That’s what my version of depression is; a train. A train that you know is coming. That you watch out for, that you are actually looking for and still manage to be shocked when it does finally pull up to the platform.
I kind of feel bad writing this; admittedly things could be so much worse. Who hasn’t been depressed at some point or another in their life? Or at the very least sad. Is it dramatic and selfish to myself in the same category with people who take medication to help them make through the day? I’ve never had the urge to cut myself to feel alive. I’ve never contemplated suicide or my value on Earth. I consider myself in the class of in-betweeners who can fully pinpoint what’s wrong and can adjust accordingly.
The first time I recognized myself being more than sad, was when i started taking birth control for the first time my Sophomore year of college. Add that shitstorm of hormones me being the heaviest I’ve been weight wise, the ties keeping me and my last ex boyfriend together, breaking. I felt horrible. All I did was play video games, eat way too much and sleep. I didn’t even want to have sex which was ironic because that’s the whole reason I wanted to be on birth control. I saw the two aligning so I stopped the birth control. Everything snapped back to the way it was.
Fast forward to after graduation. I was making peace with two relationships ending. I couldn’t find a job. I stopped looking for a job. I stopped wanting to. Again, I ate and layed on the futon. This time it was worse because I didn’t have a solid distraction. I had to face it. Once I realized that I was depressed, I can admit I didn’t do anything. I just layed there. I couldn’t do anything. Then I started this blog, and my light flickered on. I finally had something to do. My creativity sparked itself. I started feeling better. I got a job. I made money. I wrote something Hilarious and everyone (almost) loved it. I realigned my spirituality and realized happiness is not somethings you search for. It sits with you. You just have to remember that it’s in your pocket.
But sometimes I still see the train coming.
Usually it coincides with a block of creativity. Or stress. Or frustration. I don’t always stop the train. Sometimes I allow myself to feel the feelings that come. Sometimes I surround myself with people who get it or can (unknowingly) pull me out of it. Sometimes I just sit in it because I need to just “not”. Maybe it’s just my brain’s way of telling me I need to just “not”.
This one isn’t to tell you what to do. Talking about not being ok isn’t allowed to be on the floor for discussion. Especially when most see this as being lazy or just sad.
Once when I let the train come, my coworker noticed. They asked why i was so angry that day. I wasn’t angry. Just quieter than usual. Not towards the customers of course (nothing comes between the opportunity for coins). I just wasn’t engaging with my coworkers like I normally do. For the first time I was honest. I told them I wasn’t angry, I just wasn’t in the mood and I didn’t feel like it today. They then asked me, “Well isn’t that your job?”
I didn’t answer, but it made me think; It’s not my job to be happy. It’s not a requirement to talk to my coworkers in anyway shape or form unless it pertains to communication about the actual job i have to do. Which,by the way, is to make whoever is eating at my restaurant as comfortable and happy as possible, and to make them eat and drink and spend as much money as they can.
What’s the breaking point? Where’s the line? Because at some point you can’t just throw away the feelings. But then again it’s not healthy to wallow either . Maybe not letting anyone tell you where to put the feelings. Allowing yourself to dictate how you handle all of it? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers (-Kanye). All I know is that when my train comes, I sit in it. Maybe a day. Maybe a week. But once I realize I’ve had enough, I get up. I do some work. I clean my living space. I surround myself with people that lift my spirit. I read. I go be with nature. I connect with God. I stay off social media.
Listen to Yourself. Align Yourself. Take care of Yourself. Love Yourself.