When I was diagnosed with depression almost four years ago, my therapist made a really good (figurative) visual to explain how emotions are felt differently for people with depression than “normal” people. Since I’m describing this textually, I’ll use a number system.
So, on an average day, normal people are neutral, 0. Depressed people are -2. If something good/great happens to someone, normal people are +2, by contrast, depressed people are 0. If something bad happens to someone, normal people are -2, and, by contrast, depressed people are -4.
I had a really defining moment of realizing this today. Sunday was a “crawl in the bed and never wake up” kind of day. And then I woke up today and managed to get through the day without generating a single deprecating thought. I even worked out. It made me feel 0, and it was amazing. I had to work the usual 10.5 hour day and actually could.
I thought of doing something good for myself – like eat nuts and fruit and got my body moving – and actually did!
And for a second, I thought, “I’m okay! Maybe I’m really okay and this will go away!” And then I realized that these are the kinds of things normal people do everyday.
All the time.
Normal people go to work, go grocery shopping, socialize, work out, the whole nine. Everyday, easily. And then, I’m back to -2.