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"What you need to do," I told myself as I took two packets of digestive biscuits from the shelf and put them in my shopping cart, "is go home, have a cup of coffee, sit down and have a good cry."
Because I'm grieving.
Oh, nothing serious. Nobody has died, but we can grieve over many things; the loss of a job, an opportunity, a client, a friend. I grieved for a fish once – a beautiful tortoiseshell koi carp – which developed a tumour and died. I grieved for my lovely White Dream and Queen of the Night tulips, when my husband decided he wanted that flower border for something else. Grieving is about loss.
And I am appreciating the grief.
Oh, not enjoying it – that would be either self-indulgent or masochistic; I'm not sure which. I'm appreciating it because I can actually feel that hollowness of loss, the sharp piercing pain of grief which happens every time you bump against a memory.
Digestive biscuits. Yes – it's the silliest things that cause that twinge.
Many of us will have experienced the numbness that frequently occurs with depression. In that dark place, we could be told our house had burnt down and our family lost, and the darkness would swallow the pain. We would stare blankly and be unable to react.
Sometimes the antidepressants exacerbate the situation. They enable us to function, but they dull everything, including pain. A friend once confided to me that she had stopped taking anti-depressants when her dog died and she felt nothing.
And for we bi-polar people: when we're high, we can't feel much either. The crazy adrenaline distorts even good feelings and losses are dismissed as insignificant.
Many people out there think that depression is feeling sad all the time, but they are wrong. So often depression is feeling numb all the time. When depressed I often feel as if I am on the other side of a thick and dirty plate glass window. All the world, all the colour and sense and emotion is on the other side and I am isolated; not just from the world, but from myself.
I know from talking with other folk who have this illness that I am not alone.
So, being well at the moment, I am appreciating each feeling. The feeling of anxiety over my daughter's stress levels, the joy I felt over taking a glorious three days away with my husband, and yes – even this grief.
Because feelings are precious and to be treasured. Even when they hurt.
A Moodscope member.
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