Aimless Unhappiness

These past few months have been a struggle for me. The nature of what I have been feeling has not only been unrelenting, but also unavoidable. I have tried my very best to pinpoint why I have been feeling so empty, so hurt, and so sad. I have tried and I have failed in trying to target the source of my growing sadness. I’m not at the point of complaining because I know there are other people out there dealing with much worse. I know there are people literally out there fighting for their lives and have less to fight with than I do, but even trying to remain positive has proven difficult.

To be honest, I just feel like a complete failure. A series of no’s and rejection have piled on top of me like a ton of bricks. Although I am no stranger to rejection, the last few of been quite hard for me to process. To constantly feel like your best isn’t good enough or despite your best efforts, you still didn’t reach the mark. I know that this intense wallowing in self-pity will pass for me, but for right now it is unyielding in reminding me of how low I feel I am.

The image above captures how I feel internally on a daily basis.

I don’t actually look that way when I’m with my children or at work. I keep a bright and often infectious smile on my face. I enter a room with a booming laugh and work hard to try to make everyone else laugh, but on the inside I feel just like the man in the picture feels.

However, I know that I will overcome this feeling. I know that I can make it through.

Depression is a real thing. It isn’t something that just goes away. There is often what is called situational depression, which I know it is this time in my recent fight with the “D” word, but most times depression just surfaces and anchors itself even to the strongest of people. Depression can even be very debilitating if left unchecked.

There are ways to overcome depression.

First sometimes it is just important that we recognize that we are not alone. We should attempt to understand that a lot of people deal with depression or sadness. This is called “normalizing.” Often times we stay in depressed state or mood because we feel like we are by ourselves.

Next we should try to find someone we can trust and talk to them. Again removing the desire to isolate and trying to connect to someone else can be really helpful in overcoming depressive symptoms or feelings. When we are depressed we feel disconnected from the world and others. Isolation may seem like a good idea and some alone time could be helpful, but to completely close yourself off and marinate in depressed feelings often is less helpful and contributes to the depressed feelings.

We should also try to challenge negative self-talk and negative thinking patterns that often grip us tightly and keep the feelings of sadness alive and strong. We can do that by thinking positive, focusing on the things that are going right for us, focusing on our strengths, surrounding ourselves around positive people, and refuse to be perfectionist. That last point is a big one for me. We have to be ok with being imperfect and human. We make mistakes and everything won’t always go our way.

It is important to get enough sleep, eat well, and even exercise. Three things that I need to work on.

Finally I know a lot of people are against therapy or medication, but I believe it is so important to consider those things, especially when our self-help skills aren’t helping.

I hope after reading this that you found this helpful. Don’t deal with depression and sadness alone. We don’t have to be the man in the picture.