One of the biggest things depression took away from me is my ability to trust myself and my own feelings.
I've known this for a while, but when I was talking to a friend the other day I realized how insidious the language we use to talk to each other (and ourselves) can be.
"I worry a lot about other people, is that normal?"
"I resent my kids sometimes, is that normal?"
"I lose my temper when my kids are whining and yelling at me, is that normal?"
"I feel tired, like I need a break, and I don't want to do aaaaaaanything, is that normal?"
"Wait, are other people worried about these things. I'm not. Is that normal?"
I find myself reality checking every thought and every feeling. Is this real? Is this rational? Is it just the depression? Do other people feel this way?
Is it normal?
If I feel this way, is there something wrong with me?
There is no normal.
We all want validation. We all want to feel like we aren't alone. We all want to be part of something bigger, to feel a sense of connection with those around us.
Those things are okay. Those things are natural. Human. Nothing to be ashamed of.
But here's the thing. None of it is anything to be ashamed of.
None of our feelings are wrong. We can't beat them out of ourselves. We can't reality check ourselves into not wanting something.
We feel what we feel. We want what we want. And all we really need to hear from each other is, "You, right now, are safe and loved, just the way you are."
That's as normal as it gets.