Removing the Emotional Filter of Depression

I thought back. I thought back hard. I was eight years old the last time I can definitively point my finger to a time when I was not depressed for a consistent period of time measurable in…weeks. That’s 1995 for those keeping score. For every interceding year, from 1996 to 2017 (oh god, 21 years), I can actively recall the sense of impending doom that’s always been there. It reared its ugly head sometime during the year I turned nine, and it never went away. Ever. For 21 years.

Why am I talking about all of this? Because I’m trying to figure out why I’ve been getting so mad lately. Outrageously mad. Over ridiculously stupid shit. To be honest, I’ve been prone to rages in the past. But nothing like this since I left my teenage years behind. And it’s been very confusing, because shouldn’t I have a better handle on things now?

Depression is like a very heavy wet blanket that gets thrown over your head and then lashed to your body. Everything just seems very far away, including everything that resembles normal human emotions. Normally when we speak about depression, we speak of not being able to feel the better things in life, like joy and happiness. But to a certain degree, it also applies to the worse things too: anger, rage, pain, sadness. I’m speaking of regular old sadness, because that is a very different feeling than the sadness we speak of with depression.

My blanket got pulled off my head. And all these feelings started flowing through me dialed up to a relative 11. And when it came to managing my emotional landscape, I’d very much utilized my depression to help filter them out. Without that filter, I’ve been reverting to coping mechanisms that worked for me when I was eight, but not so much as a grown-ass adult.

So now I get to sort through the last 21-years worth of coping mechanisms I’ve developed, and figure out how to tease them out from my depression. Which I can already tell is going to be a lot of work. But this is the righteous path. Like Gavin Rossdale, I don’t want to come back down from this cloud. I will do anything to stay here. Even when it does get weird.

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