In my first term of my last year in college, I shared a Facebook post about the difficulties of having to fight depression and the added burden a person must carry because of antidepressants with a comment of my own. The context of my own post was aligned with the core content of the original and the said post gained quite a lot of sympathy and expression of love from close friends and some acquaintances. However, even with these, it feels empty. Words without action is basically nothing and it truly dragged me down at some point.
Happiness is overrated, don’t you think? Even when you feel sad and lonely, you just have to keep that straight face masked with faux happiness without even a hint of agony within. Our current generation seems lost when asked about the meaning of happiness. We are so lost trying to grasp and fumble all around the corners of our own minds that we forgot to take time to internalize things – that sometimes we need to repeat a step a hundred times over in order to see things in a different light. Because if what we are only trying to achieve is having an everyday laugh and a consistent smile on our faces, funny videos in Youtube can definitely help you with that. But with complex negative emotions, one might resort to comfort that does the contrary in order to maintain equilibrium.
It is not news anymore that the classic comfort of younger generation with deep foundations of distress and loneliness is to resort to cutting – the most common form of self-harm. With it actually leaving physical evidence of scars, it is quite condemned and people engaging in the act remain being a subject for hate and shame without the society trying to examine what is the real deal. What are exactly the thoughts circling around the mind of someone who’s gone from being happy to being empty?
As a person who had a fair share of these types of emotions, I believe self-harm does not only come in actual harming (re: cutting). Three years into dealing with my own version of darkness left me exhausted to the point that “I do not care anymore”. As indicated in my post, whenever I am in an episode, my form of self-harm was either starving myself or overeating. You might question this statement with an argument that this is not a form of self-harm. However, I might answer you with my weight of inconsistency and damaged health over the years. I’ll even tell you that I ate a bag of chips and three packets of Pancit Canton today just for the heck of it – my first self-harm since the third week of November. Now, that is harmful, isn’t it?
With thoughts that usually go haywire involuntarily at some point in a day, one cannot function properly and I usually end up lying in bed, doing exactly nothing. What’s the best way to pass time than count dust on the window? Being unproductive in a day may be classified as rest, but one cannot negate that with deep self-conflict, a person is bound to stay at home and sleep for days or even weeks. And you must admit, that is not technically a healthy behavior. A sudden loss of motivation is a clear sign of depression.
The most damaging form of self-harm is the repression of emotions. In my experience, it is about training your mind to forget certain feelings (e.g. sadness, anger, etc.) that you think will be harmful to your well-being. You can choose to ‘bury’ the emotion deep within your mind to appear much stronger and self-reliant in dealing with these types of negativities. But, I am warning you. This form comes with consequences (which in my case, includes unconscious emotional repression and degrading cognitive ability) which you can google anytime at your leisure.
The constant battle of maintaining order and balance within our chaotic selves make our living patterns go astray. These patterns, as mundane as they are, can be the key to determine whether a person is experiencing a deeper distress than you usually face every single day. While it is important to be able to note the sudden changes in one’s behavior, it is of utmost and equal importance that you can notice changes that take place within you. It is imperative to extract negative feelings and the possible negative extensions of yourself within your being in order to identify possible solution to the situation. Society usually shames feeling pain, but do not be encased by it. Through pain, you can recognize genuine happiness far better than a smile from a joke shared by a classmate.
Take a leap from the boundaries and be free.