Emotions are like clothes

So I’ve struggled with a depression for much of my life.  Lately it’s been much better overall, but every once in a while it still likes to come back to show itself again and try to take hold of me.

Last night I had another bout with it.  It came on quickly, largely just due to annoyances that I couldn’t get off my mind.  It lasted for several hours, and I became so encompassed by it as it continued to progress to the point where I forgot what it was like to not have a depression.

It felt like it’d been a part of me forever, and it also wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  But then as plans formulized for me to go meet some friends at a concert, it vanished just as quickly as it came, and it really made me wonder just how ‘real’ this depression really was.  I mean, for it to leave so quickly, after it had been so all encompassing, and then for me to be able to go out and enjoy myself like nothing was ever wrong.

Where did the depression go?  Did it even exist?  Furthermote, after I was out enjoying myself, if I tried to find that depression again I wouldn’t even have been able to.  I almost feel like this depression that I deal with is like a body of energy that can come and occupy you when it sees an opportunity, and then leave as soon as it can no longer be effective, as soon as your personal ecosystem can ward it off.

This depression isn’t a part of you at all, it’s just something that happens

There’s an interesting analogy about emotions in general, whether they be positive or negative.  We’ll start out talking about the emotions that you get from movies, and I want you to really think about them.

When you watch a good movie, you get a rush of all kinds of emotions, happiness and joy when something good happens, and fear and sorrow when something bad happens.

But the whole time you intuitively know that none of what you’re seeing is real.  You know that these characters are all fictional, and the actors behind these characters really have nothing at stake in the storyline.  You know that when Christian Bale in Batman is facing death, and you feel fear because of it, that no one is actually going to die, but yet you indulge in the emotion anyways.

Well if you think about it, all emotions are kind of like that.  Depending on your level of awareness, you may or may not consciously realize that ultimately nothing that happens here will matter, but that is the case.  And yet we all indulge in the emotions anyways.  And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

A life completely void of emotions would be incredibly hollow and boring.  My only point is that we should take care not to identify with the emotions since emotions are much like clothes, they’re intimately not you by any means, and you can change your clothes any time you want.

Sooner or later all clothes will disintegrate into nothing, much like any emotions that you have will do as well.

I’d do anything for just one more dance

The dance of life that we know is real

The experience is fleeting

But the memories of its glory last forever.

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