The experience of depression is not about feeling bad so much as about losing the capacity to feel at all.
Where I started to lose the capacity to feel I don’t know. As far back as I can remember I felt pain in a way that seemed too extreme for my parents. I remember crying one time when I was either 4 or 5 years old. I remember the house we lived in but I don’t remember how old I was exactly. I remember sitting in the living room one day and that the Tennessee Ernie Ford show was on the television. I might have been in kindergarten.
I remember being somewhere either on a chair or on the couch and being overwhelmed by some thing that caused me to feel the pain. I can’t tell you the absolute expression or words that came out of one of my parent’s mouth but I do remember clearly getting the message that my crying was to stop.
It is amazing that as I sit here today, that I cry over that memory. There should be no reason for me to cry over that memory but as I sit here today in this moment the tears run.
What is sad is that message, dont cry, I carried with me for most of my life. Even after doing a ton of work on myself starting over 25 years ago, I still reverted back to that unconscious rule of dont cry when faced with a painful situation later on in life. I wont talk about the specific instances of what that pain caused me in relationships because it is too painful still at times to realize the losses I have incurred because of that lack of being able to be honest about what I was feeling.
The other people, besides myself, who really suffered were not my friends or co-workers. The ones who suffered the most were the women who chose to be with me. I am sad about that.
[1, 2] Terrence Real