Listening to Chris Martin of Coldplay speak about their latest album he humbly acknowledged how ruthless folk are about them and especially this latest album. Why has their latest album been so rebuked? "Because it (the album) has been so open and some people really don't like that." Yes, there is no doubt, people are afraid of feelings, be it their own or that of others.
Speaking to an older lady just recently, she kept saying, "You've just got to keep busy haven't you? Just got to keep busy." This is a sentence that makes me feel perplexity, sadness and rage all at once. Yes, I know the busier one is, often the happier one is.
Alas, what if health means that you can't always go, go, go? What then? And what's truly painful about these words is that all too often they are aimed at the very people who can't keep busy: the depressed and grieving being at the top of the list. The very ones who have done everything in their power to keep busy. The result? The've run away from feelings for so long they've got sick.
When I gently prodded the lady about this sentence, her words were both telling and heart wrenching. "You have to say that because that is the only thing people want to hear," she admitted. "No one wants to know your pain or feelings lovey, they just want to see you functioning." This was a lady who has just recently lost her adult son; her only child.
I really do treasure a paragraph in Sunbathing in the Rain by Gwyneth Lewis:
It's not the people who get depressed who go mad, it's those who don't. Those who experience its emotional short circuit have a chance to check the wiring throughout the house and prevent the start of a fatal electrical fire."
I know I'm talking to the converted here but if we allow the feelings to um, well, feel, they actually become fluid, like water, and like a river or waterfall, they flow and pass. They then create strength.
Feelings can hurt very, very much but run away from them or treat them unkindly and they get bigger, stronger, and wield more power over us. Look after the feelings, however, and they flow and pass.
Oh how I wish folk who don't understand depression could grasp this! We who are, or who have been, souls accompanied by sadness are ever learning, reading and studying about ourselves, psychology; our emotions. We find beauty in it. We find beauty in feelings. We'll carry this information, this learning, with us for always.
This is not being unhealthily self-focused or a failure to "keep busy". It's studying the very stuff that makes us human. We feel and that's OK!
We're not the mad ones, you are!
Oops, did I say that out loud?
A Moodscope member.