• Madison Kolla

Depression Happens



Sometimes you just have a sad day.

And sometimes it lingers. Sometimes for a week, sometimes for endless awful months.

Sometimes you push away the people that you like the most, just because you can't bear to bring them down. Sometimes you feel like an alien, like you belong to another species, one that hides away and watches endless hours of Netflix in an attempt to distract yourself from the isolation, the monotony of depression, the feelings that you are unable to look at directly - misery and fear and self-loathing and perpetual anxiety. There are those moments when you can see beyond yourself, and realize the ridiculousness of your situation. You see what a preposterous melodrama listless apathy is. You remember just how self-absorbed it is to be part of the most privileged demographic in the entire world, and to feel depressed. But then the fog descends again, and you're just in it. It doesn't really matter what 'it' is. It doesn't really matter why. Having reasons for, having justifications and excuses and places to toss blame actually does nothing to change what is. Once you're in it, the only way out is through. Because when all of those feels well up, threatening to drown you, overwhelm you with their intensity, smother you with their persistence... running away doesn't actually help that much. Even though there are so many good places to run. So many more pleasant/distracting/bearable places to turn your focus - to movies and food and alcohol and drugs and sex and co-dependent relationships. These are all of the places we're used to turning for comfort, for escape... but what happens when they don't work anymore? When you've become too tired, too unmotivated, too apathetic, too disinterested in life? 'It' feels never-ending. 'It' feels like a life sentence - 'You shall exist only as a fragile, uncertain shell of a human, condemned to hide on the sidelines, to never fully engage in life ever again.' 'It' feels like the only possible option is surrender. The only likely outcome is defeat. Sometimes you have an idea of what might be good for you, what might help you address your feels, help balance out your system... but bringing yourself to do that thing seems downright impossible. Which fills you with more self-loathing and guilt, which makes you even less likely to do that good-for-you thing. Sometimes miracles happen and you manage to do it anyway. For me, that good-for-you thing is getting acupuncture. Even though I kind of hate it when the needles first go in. I hate that the needles literally pin me to the spot. They keep me from running away.

They force me to look at what is happening. In my body. In my brain. Make me begin to face and feel all of the feelings that I've been avoiding. Stupid acupuncture. It's like this angry little battle just a few millimeters under my skin. And after 10, maybe 15 minutes... something shifts.

And I relax. And maybe I still feel all those yucky feelings. Maybe they don't dissolve completely...

but I DO stop fighting with them. I let myself feel sad and crappy and lame and worthless and apathetic... and I realize...

that I AM STILL OKAY. Even when I feel gross. Even when I don't particularly like engaging with other people very much. Or doing things. Or smiling. I am here and I am breathing and I have a body and it is alive. And sometimes that's all you can really ask for. Feeling depressed sucks. Acupuncture helps. Below are some signs and symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Major Depression. If depression is affecting you or someone you know, please (encourage them to) seek help - the options are endless, and a health practitioner can help explore the best options for each situation - be it medication, therapy, or alternative treatments. Let us create conversation and spread awareness about mental health. Let us feel more better. <3 Signs and Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (occur seasonally in the Autumn/Winter): Depression, moodiness, irritability, easily overwhelmed Low immunity, lingering sicknesses Tendency to social isolation, difficulty engaging with others Low energy, low motivation Sleep disruptions: insomnia, or excessive sleeping

Food cravings or appetite changes Poor concentration, foggy brain Depression: Persistent sadness/apathy (lasting two or more weeks, which interferes with day-to-day activities) Sense of guilt/worthlessness Restlessness/irritability Thoughts of self-harm or suicide Fatigue, insomnia and/or changes in sleep patterns Persistent aches and pains, headaches and/or digestive disturbances Changes in appetite, significant weight loss/gain Poor concentration, difficulty in decision-making Lack of interest in activities once found enjoyable, low libido

#acupuncture #breathing #communityacupuncture #healing #learning #mentalhealth

© 2013 by Madison Kolla | Photography by Michelle Pichert, Douglas Ludwig, Sherida Rae Taylor & myself.

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