I woke up this morning a little cranky. Actually, that’s an understatement; I woke up like a pissy little bitch. Almost everything is annoying me this morning. And I feel like my depression is making a comeback with a fury. A fury that is stifling me. And I think my mind is trying to reject it through the only means it knows how: a temper tantrum – that should be stifled.
In fairness, I think this is the result of suppressing my emotions for so long, attempting to stifle those feelings by assuming they are a weakness and as “a man”, I’m supposed to be stoic, strong, and stifle those emotions into absolute control. The unfortunate reality is that they can’t be contained, they have to come out.
One matter that I feel as impacted me, with respect to my emotions, is that I feel like I don’t know myself much anymore. At one time, I felt secure, confident, settled in all of the things I believed. I knew my faith, I knew my politics, I knew my philosophies, I knew my intellectual ability, I knew what I enjoyed, I knew who I liked being around, I knew so many things…
…Or did, I really? I would be lying, if I said I was strong enough to withstand anything. I’ve mentioned it before in one of my other blogs, but I felt like a period of a few short years saw me dealing with a lot of things I had no ability to handle at the time. I had my parents divorce, I had a co-dependent relationship (oddly enough, that behavior hasn’t changed, since I’m in another one), I lost my brother to suicide and I final started recognizing that my sexuality wasn’t “normal” (though, this took MUCH longer than I am insinuating here).
But, as always I question everything and anything. I struggle with something that I have always struggled with and the more I think about it, the more I begin to realize that I live my life according to other people’s opinions: my parents, teachers, bosses, co-workers, friends, girlfriends, my wife, my kids, peers, non-peers, etc., etc. I think you might get the idea I’m stressing here, but I have this need to be respected. I take great pride in something I have little control over – other people’s opinions.
As an example, I made a post yesterday about some of my political philosophies. I did it, partly, because I feel myself refraining from offering my opinions about current issues. I feel stifled from discussing anything that might make people dislike me. I’m worried about not having anyone’s respect. It bothers me so much, that I can easily see it as part of the reason for my depression. Even looking at my post, I refrained from being settled on many of the issues, I cited. I offered what I found to be important, and then sort of explained away my reasons with why I can see other points of view. But as I consider this, and other areas in my life, I begin to realize that I have a problem with allowing other people’s opinions of me to stifle me…
I remember a favorite compliment of mine, growing up: I’m conscientious of other people’s feelings. I loved it, because it meant I was empathetic, concerned, caring of other people. But I also, now realize, it is something that stifles me.