I start to think that there is some magical chemical in the air of Jen’s office. More than half of the things I said on her couch were buried so deep in my mind that I didn’t even know they were there.
“I want a dark hole to go hide in.” I found myself lashing that out after the standard credit card payment, “A cozy, warm little space where I can curl into without talking to anyone or dealing with anything.” “Oh, ok.” Jen immediately picked up her pen and started scribbling on her notepad. “Tell me more about that feeling.” “There is constantly something heavy on my chest, sometimes like a ball of cat hair stuck in my throat. I am suffocated and I can’t breath.” “Jen, if it is not for my son, you know, I don’t want to make him sad, I really want to just end this. End everything. What’s the point of everything?” Woah, I just said that? I was shocked by my own words. I thought I was just sad because of the gloomy weather!
Truth is, a lot of us are running around everyday under the control of our conscious mind. At the same time, we are so used to ignoring the subconscious “belief” ingrained by our parents, society or our past experiences, screaming at the back of our mind. I was standing in line at the grocery store to pay for the 3 packs of Pringles that was on sale for $1.99 each (ONLY IF YOU BUY A BUNDLE OF THREE!); there was this annoying voice in my head kept on repeating:”You are fat…you have no discipline…your husband will leave you for a younger and slimmer girl tomorrow.” More shame and self-hatred added to my pile on a regular Wednesday afternoon.
Jen said:”You are doing a lot. Do you see that you are doing a great job at the moment handling so many things? What is on your mind right now when you hear me giving you these compliments?” “Honestly?” I held on to my favorite pillow from her couch, “I don’t believe anything you said. I don’t deserve any compliments at the moment because I am failing at everything. I don’t know how to be a mom, a better daughter, a wife or to progress at work. I still didn’t change my fridge which has a broken drawer for over a year now. I can’t make myself happy while making sure everyone else is happy. I cannot even finish telling you a story without getting into another story!” I looked up and noticing Jen doing her signature deep inhaling again, not sure if that was for her own sake or a hint for me. So I paused, and started to breath deeply (and awkwardly).
“It sounds like you are all alone in this. You are drained. We need to train your brain to go a different direction before your battery runs out.” Jen said softly. “I am too from an immigrant family. I totally understand what you said about your parents’ expectation.” Oh, finally! Someone does not feel shocked about how involved my parents are in my life. “You need to allow yourself to feel sad or mad without feeling guilty for feeling that way.”
Interesting. As tears rolling down my cheek, the suffocating ball of cat hair in my throat just disappeared. All I needed to do was to allow myself to feel how I feel! Dear, if you too are suffocating and don’t know why you feel sad sometimes, maybe try to give yourself a minute to just…be. Without analyzing the feeling, you can just let the feeling out as it is. Then, like water, it might just flow through you and voila! A brand new you to face the world! I can feel sad when my parents call me lazy during my depression episodes, without feeling guilty about blaming my parents as a contributing factor in my depression. I would just acknowledge the fact that when I hear something negative, I feel sad. It is as simple as that.