Relating to your depression can be a challenging task. You may be judging yourself or be ashamed for the way you feel. Or you may be beating yourself up for letting yourself get into such a state and feel even worse to realize that you can’t seem to get you out of your depression.
Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that you would want to avoid your depression by denying what is so for you. And who wants to relate to feeling bad!
Here is What I Am Suggesting
What I am suggesting here may seem a little intimidating. But you might consider just leaning into it and try it on for size to see what happens.
If you can, allow yourself to move into an approach where you are observing your depression. When you are observing, you are just seeing what is there. If you find that you start judging yourself, then you know that you have moved out of the state of observation.
For instance, if you start telling yourself that you are wrong to be feeling the way you feel or to be thinking the thoughts you are thinking or to have done what you did, then you know you have moved into judgment. To judge yourself for being the way you are is to see yourself as bad, wrong, terrible, etc.
To move back into observation, simply let go of the judgment. See if you can move into a place where you are accepting yourself the way you are. You can let go of your judgment simply by moving into genuine forgiveness for yourself. Tell yourself, “I forgive myself for judging myself as….”
Then move back into observing simply by neutrally describing what you are experiencing. Your description might go something like this: “I am noticing that I feel sad. I really don’t feel like doing anything or being around anyone. I feel lonely and isolated. I don’t feel motivated to do anything. I am noticing that I feel despair. I am thinking that this feeling will never change. I am fearful that I may feel this way forever; that there is no way out.”
Allow yourself to be present WITH your depression. You are not trying to change it or do anything with it other than observe it and let it be whatever it is.
As you observe your depression, you may realize, even a little bit, that there is someone observing your depression. That someone is YOU. Consider that if you are observing your depression then it would follow that you are you are not your depression. However, you are aware that it is there.
Be Aware of What Is There
Yes, it is true that there is a part of you that feels depressed, but it is not ALL of you. As you continue to observe, you may find that you are holding your depression, along with other parts of yourself. You may shift even a little bit from the perspective that your depression has you, to the point of view that you have your depression.
In this way, you start to differentiate yourself from your depression. This awareness can automatically bring you a sense of hope in the realization that you are greater than your depression. And that if you are greater, then there is a good possibility that there is something that you can do to shift out of it. Sometimes, simple awareness resulting from observation can be curative.
About Dan Kendrick
Dan Kendrick is a Psychotherapist who practices in Longmont, Colorado. Dan specializes in depression treatment, couples counseling and relationship counseling.