I used to ask myself “Why do I hurt so much sometimes”. Then I discovered the answer.
In this inspiring guest post author and psychologist J.T.Salinger discusses why she quit antidepressants, and why emotional lows are often a blessing in disguise. So, if you’ve every asked yourself “Why do I hurt so much sometimes,” read on.
Only a couple of years ago I was put on antidepressants. I took those antidepressants for one year. During that year it gradually dawned on me that my medication wasn’t only subduing depression, but was also subduing many other emotions and feelings in general. When I realised that, I knew I had to stop taking them. What I realised was that you cannot simply cut off certain emotions and feelings. There is a reason why we have emotional pain. If you’re feeling damaged or depressed, the right answer is not to simply cut off those emotions. The reason is this: emotions are relative. If you cut off negative emotions you will inevitably cut off positive ones. (There’s a good article about Emotional Blunting at PsychCentral).
“Your willingness to experience negative and painful emotions is directly related to the level of other feelings and emotions you will experience.”
I’m sure, you like most of us, have asked yourself “Why do I hurt so much sometimes?” So what is the answer?
When you feel intense pain you enable yourself to experience the true heights of feeling. The ability and willingness to experience despair enables you to experience great joy.
When I was taking antidepressants I didn’t just not feel low, I also did not feel any highs. I was emotionally cut off. It was as though I had no emotions at all. After quitting, I began to gain back all those feelings that I had lost. I began to feel gratitude, happiness, wonder and joy. Yes, there were still low points and there was a struggle that I needed to go to. I had to fight my depression without medication. Put looking back I can honestly say that I would have had it no other way. By making myself experience depression and by learning to overcome depression on my own, I empowered myself, I found what Albert Camus referred to as…
“In the depths of winter I finally found in me an invincible summer.”
It took time for me to pull myself back from the depths of my depression and to escape from my dark fantasy mind back to reality. When I did finally get back into reality I appreciated reality and life more than I ever had before. And I realised that there’s a reaon why we have emotional pain.
It’s ironic and perhaps a little sad that many people who never experience the lows don’t really appreciate the highs. Many people who live fantastic lives don’t have gratitude for it. Those people who have experienced the lows, however, gain tremendous value and appreciation for the good times. This has led me to a powerful conclusion about life in genera: the more lows we feel, the more highs we feel, so therefore, for the average person, lows and highs balance out based on relativity.
I now know that the next time I am experiencing a low I will understand it with a different perspective. I will embrace my low as a point in my life, as a moment which is beautiful even as it is painful. Without the lows we truly could not experience the highs.
“I will embrace my low as a point in my life, as a moment which is beautiful even as it is painful.”
What matter s in the end isn’t that we escape the lows, and it most certainly is not that we ignore them. What matters in the end is that we learn to embrace the lows with mindfulness and wisdom, that we have the strength to overcome the lows without simply taking medication. Lows are natural.
With that in mind I’d like to share some advice on how to go through depression and come out the other side stronger.
Advice on going through depression and coming out the other side stronger:
I’ve put a few tips below. But be sure to read our article on the Best Self Help Tips For Depression.
Before even considering taking depression medication it’s best to look at ways of curing depression naturally, of which one types are loving kindness, OM, and other Buddhist meditation techniques. For a completely free guide, see: Buddhist meditation for depression.
Many of the most popular meditation techniques involve focusing on the breath. Breath meditation techniques are also the easiest techniques to do (after all, what could much easier than closing your eyes and focussing on your breath?)… For a complete guide read: Breathing meditations for depression.
Hand mudras for depression are an excellent natural way of treating depression. The hands act as a sort of mirror for the body and for the mind. Mudras work because they activate different regions of the brain. They’re also relatively easy to do and can be done anywhere, meaning there is no reason not to do them. For a complete guide read: Depression Mudra TSE.
GRATITUDE: I also highly recommend keeping a gratitude journal . When you feel down this will give you lots of reminders of all the brighter aspects of life.
Next time you ask yourself “Why do I hurt so much sometimes” know that there IS an answer.
All of life is beautiful. When you’re going through the lows, remember, this is temporary, and it will just make the good times feel that much better.