When you don’t have depression…

I often feel down, yet I am happy. I often feel alone, yet I am surrounded. I often feel tired, yet I don’t want to sleep. I often feel empty, and yet I am full. I often feel broken, yet I am whole. I often want silence, yetI love noise. I want more, yet I also want less. I am full of sickness, yet I have so much health. I am not depressed, yet I do feel compressed.

I often notice that on many days I feel down, yet I know in my heart that I am not depressed. I have often thought to myself, how could this be? I don’t have trouble getting out of bed, or going to sleep. I don’t feel unbearable sadness, or lack of interest in things. All the typical symptoms of depression I don’t have, yet I still feel down sometimes. It took me a while to sort it all out, but I have come up with a self-diagnostic for myself, and maybe it could ring true for you too. I call it: my Compression Days.

The definition of compression is:

~The reduction in volume causing an increase in pressure~

What I have realized is that I start every single morning with a new lease on life. My pots syndrome resets itself every morning. So in the morning I start at 100% (kind of). As many chronic warriors know , for every activity we do, or stress we encounter, or ache we feel, we lose a percentage of that 100%. The goal is to manage our day, thus managing our symptoms, so we can get through the day somewhat whole. The same applies to those outside of the chronic illness world too. I like to picture a big pink balloon. Every morning I fill that balloon up, and place it in a vice. As I go about my day, each event either loosens the vice, or tightens it. If i feel a symptom of my illness, the vice tightens. If i feel stress from work, or school, the vice tightens. Financial worries, kids worries, pandemic worries, family worries, tighten, tighten, tighten, tighten. I feel it tighten all day long, to the point that there is no room for a calm, happy state of mind. The compression keeps building and building until I can’t take it anymore, and I burst.

I am sure many of you can relate. Maybe we yell at the kids or spouse more when it was completely uncalled for. Maybe, you end up crying in the shower, afraid to let others know how you are feeling. Maybe you walk around in a bad mood all day, or just feel angry. May you feel off, but you can’t quite figure it out. I have had many days like that. I felt like I was in a constant vice being squeezed, and I had trouble articulating that until just now. If I don’t manage the vice, then the vice manages me

How do we manage it then? We slow down. We surround ourselves with the right people. We do things every day that makes us happy. We workout, we take time for ourselves, we create an environment that eliminates stress, we meditate, we get outside into nature, we watch positive tv, or read positive books and avoid the barrage of negative social media. We do things for others, expecting nothing in return. We enjoy solitude. We enjoy company. We appreciate family. We appreciate what we have been blessed with. We work hard towards a goal that makes us happy. We give ourselves a reasons to live. We give others a reason to live. We make an impact. We are the impact. We create change, for happiness.

The less compressed I feel, the happier I am. I see that now. I decrease my stress, the lighter I feel. The lighter I feel, the more my mood increases towards happiness. The happier I am, the better I am for my kids and husband. Not being chained down to compression, allows me to get outside, read my books, meditate, and write. My happy places get utilized. I am allowing myself to dust off my happy place, and use it.

~It is not death that man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live~

Marcus Aurelius

Compression allows us to live in anger and sadness. Loosen that vice, and live. Lose the anger, and sadness, and anxiety, and fear, one crank at a time. Go find your happy place, and just soak it in.

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