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Feeling craptastic — and that’s okay

I am going through a bout of depression lately. I’m not taking medication for it, and I’m not going to. I feel like it’s a symptom of a much larger problem that can’t be fixed with a pill, and therefore, I don’t see the need for medication.

Please do not misunderstand me. I understand that depression can be a debilitating mental illness for some people, and I am absolutely supportive of them getting whatever help they can to make their lives more bearable.

I call what I am feeling “situational depression,” meaning my depression would be alleviated by a change in my situation.

I’m talking about this because ... well, because I can. And I should.

Negative emotions are uncomfortable. They’re messy. We don’t like to talk about them, much less feel them.

They are also normal and natural, and something everyone experiences.

I think a lot of our issues could be solved if people were allowed to express how they were feeling openly, and without apology.

Society has conditioned us to feel like we are somehow weak or broken if we are feeling sad or angry or jealous or frustrated or afraid. Ironically, we are forced to feel shame, another negative emotion, if we express these emotions.

We’re called dramatic or a whiner or sensitive.

We’re told we can’t have a bad day or be sad because there is someone in the world having a worse day. Whatever that other person is going through, I am sorry, but that doesn’t mean my feelings, or your feelings, are any less worthy or less valid.

Telling someone they can’t be unhappy because some stranger is suffering from an incurable disease or has experienced some sort of loss is like telling them they shouldn’t be happy because someone out there has a better reason to be happy.

It is absolutely ridiculous to apologize for the way you’re feeling.

Why should you apologize for something that is perfectly normal that everyone experiences all the time? Nobody has the right to make you feel guilty or ashamed for expressing how you feel.

I really should practice what I preach. I don’t talk about how I’m feeling very often and I almost always apologize about feeling bad and wanting to talk about it. I don’t deal well with my feelings because I keep a lot of my anxiety, stress, sadness, anger and frustration to myself, so I’m probably the least qualified person to talk about this.

One of my go to coping mechanisms is heavy metal music (I’m listening to Pantera right now). The louder and more aggressive it is the better, because I can almost literally drown out all the negative feelings and get back to myself. I can become quite lost in the music and not come out for hours.

How do you deal with your negative emotions? How do you react when others try to talk to you about theirs?

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