I have not been feeling well lately, but it’s not only sadness. Leaving my bed in the morning requires tremendous effort. Then comes the day with its “ups” and “downs.” Flashes of positive thoughts along with strong feelings of hopelessness and fear about life. It is not only sadness… it is depression.
I feel pain in my neck and back, it is like I am charging something huge and heavy. Sometimes I find myself holding my breath. I cry. And I don´t want to go anywhere. Tired, I just want to sleep. The pill I take makes me feel less anxious, less angry, less blue. But at the same time my mind is trying to convince me that everything is wrong. A feeling of despondency takes over me.
“It started in my brain the agony
of knowing myself lost and without fortune…”
— Pita Amor
(Extract from the poem “Beyond the Dark”)
Then I remember that this is how depression works.
Anguish and desolation feel so real, it truly seems that good things can’t and won’t come anymore. It makes you feel like there are no choices, and it makes you unable to enjoy anything. Yet, I repeat to myself: “it is a trick!”, this is the illness, the darkest part of my mind, pretending to succeed in self-harm.
“If it is mine my understanding,
why do I always have to find it
so clumsy for the relief,
so acute for the damage?”
— Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
(Extract from the sonnet “Let us pretend that I’m happy”)
I still don’t know if I got sick because I was really sad or if I got the illness made me sad. But I’m sure that it’s not a lie that the mind can be very powerful (in a good and bad way). Now I’d like to think that, just like I was able to be a self-destructive ‘slave’ of myself, I have the same ability to become my ally to get over anorexia and depression.
Have you felt the same, maybe? As a reflection for myself and for those dealing with eating disorders/anxiety/depression, I like to think “yes, we have the power to recover!”. But how can we do that, if every day and meal seem to be a battle through the various difficulties we all face in our lives?
Tricks of the mind
Again, the mind can play a negative or positive role: we can decide to surrender and just let ourselves be consumed by destructive feelings or we can resolve to fight against them. “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you”, wrote the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.
We are free to choose between walking the same painful road that eating disorders bring or taking a different path that points to recovery and a much more fulfilled, enjoyable life.
It is not easy, I know but someone told me once that the more difficult decisions are the more rewarding rewarding they are in the end.
So, give yourself a chance: be determined to free yourself from fear, restrictions, guilt, anxiety and suffering. Break your chains!
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