For the purpose of this blog, I would like to describe depression as a “pushing” or “holding” down of feelings and sensations in the body. It is a “lowering” of the natural energies housed in our body. This can happen consciously or unconsciously.
Visualize a rubber, air filled ball and a bucket of water. You are holding the ball under the water close to the bottom of the bucket with the flat palm of your hand. If you move around at all, the ball bounces up to the surface of the water.
Now visualize a basketball and a larger container of water, which demands an even greater force just to keep the ball under the water. Occasionally your arm gets tired and strained with the task. You loose control of the ball and it bounces up to the surface.
Now imagine that every day, week, month and year you have the ongoing task of holding the ball under the water. Everywhere you go, any point in time (except maybe when you’re sleeping) you are holding the ball under the surface of the water. Occasionally your concentration lapses and you loose control of the ball and it bounces up to the surface because of its natural buoyancy.
Now visualize the ball as a metaphor for your emotions, sensations and body energies. Somewhere along the way you learned that some (or maybe many) of your emotions and sensations weren’t acceptable out in the world (your home initially) so you “pushed” them down.
To this day, decades later, you continue to hold them down…because that’s just what you do. It takes your focus, energy and control to keep these emotions and sensations down, causing fatigue and depression.
You could be depressed for years and not be aware of it because it is all you’ve ever known…this patterned suppression of emotions, sensations and energies.
Our natural state is to have our emotions and energies bubble up on a regular basis, like the ball from under the water. We have the same buoyancy in our natural state.
For example, when we are growing up, if certain (or all) of our emotions are seen as weak or indulgent and we feel shame for having them, we will push them down and keep them hidden from the surface.
These emotions may include anger, sadness and fear or may also be our vitality, enthusiasm, creativity and passion.
Shame, guilt, blame, criticism, negativity or humiliation from those we most depend on, increases our likelihood for suppression. We will not only suppress our emotions but also internalize the voice of the oppressor and continue to shame ourselves for having certain emotions.
So the suppression continues internally long after the external environment has changed. We feel trapped inside our own mind and body.
When we are suffering from depression, we can’t see a way out of the prison of our own suppression.
With professional help we learn that we are not at fault for our past traumas. We lift off the cloak of shame and guilt and give ourselves permission to feel and express any and all of our feelings. Those ‘unwelcome’ feelings are now ‘welcome’.
The energy that has previously gone into ‘holding down’ emotion is now free to explore, with compassion and curiosity, a truer, more authentic self.
In therapy you are encouraged to express any and all of your feelings. You will be helped to understand how and why you ended up here, feeling this way.
It wasn’t your fault. You were doing the best you could with what you knew and understood at the time.
And, most importantly, you don’t need to continue to feel this way. These were learned patterns of behavior. You have the capacity, with help, to unlearn these patterns and replace them with new ones…one’s that you choose for yourself this time, from your mature, conscious, authentic self.
I will help you and together we will discover what these are for you.
Freedom from depression will allow you to plug into life, improve your relationships and cultivate your goals, passions and desires.
A deeper, loving connection to your self will emerge. She/he has always been waiting for you to come for her/him.
You no longer need to hold down your vitality and emotionality.
You can live the life of your choosing…a happier, healthier, lighter, more buoyant one.
I will help you design and built it.
PS Here is a link to an excellent animated video on depression.