Cupid Cannot Fix your Broken Heart?
Valentine’s Day is once again approaching. You were confident that those old, empty, lost feelings from the closed chapters of your life were gone forever. Yet, here you are again ruminating over self-defeating questions and visiting negative places. Are you feeling confused and ambivalent? Is getting out of bed the challenge that sets the tone for your entire day and sometimes your week? Are you wondering what is wrong with you? You are not alone.
You have been hearing sentimental songs playing for weeks, while the holiday decorations have been replaced with cupids and hearts. Valentine’s Day is a time when what is media driven is more prevalent than what is significant in authentic relationships. This is a time to reconnect with your values, your priorities and with those you love in spite of the accompanying challenges.
As you learn to address and resolve these challenges, you can gain a wealth of resilience and resourcefulness not readily available elsewhere in life. Being genuine in your relationships, honest in your communications, and patient in your listening opens the possibilities for meaningful relationships. However, if you do not address the challenges feelings of being overwhelmed and depressed become unwelcomed bedfellows.
We know that the holiday season is the most likely time of the year for a person to feel depressed. Suicide rates are higher during December than during any other month of the year. And then, after the lull of January, along comes Valentine’s Day and feelings of emptiness, loneliness and depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 9.5% of the people in the United States have a depressive disorder. For them the holiday season does not necessarily bring joy to their day, but rather it highlights what is missing in their lives. Oftentimes family relationships are strained, tempers are flaring, and feelings of anxiety and discontent are all too prevalent.
Not all depression has to do with loss, failure or death. Those without a perceived valid reason often feel as though they should not feel depressed and are hesitant to reach out and speak to someone. They think that those who have experienced trauma have a right to their feelings of depression, while those who have not are denied that right. People who are depressed and refrain from seeking help are more likely to stay depressed.
With all of this as a backdrop do you find yourself feeling awkward with others and distant from them? Do you want to keep the attention away from yourself? Are you feeling different from your friends and relatives and hesitant lest you bring them down or alienate them?
You are not alone in these feelings. At this time people often grapple with the blues and experience sadness, loneliness, anxiety and depression. For many the feelings of sadness and a longing for the past predominate. For them life seemed to have made more sense at a time in the past than it does in the present.
Depression interferes with job performance, friendship, romantic relationships, and abilities to parent and to care for oneself. You have probably heard others say you have to learn to deal with it, to set clearer boundaries, to let the past go, or to learn coping skills. Have you noticed that when you are in a depressed mindset these well-intentioned recommendations make you feel overwhelmed? Do you wonder why apparently logical recommendations are so difficult to implement?
When you are depressed you are emotionally disconnected from the world, are withdrawn from others and are stuck in your self-defeating repetitions. In order to get to the other side of these feelings you must emotionally relearn how to process and integrate your feelings into your life, to address your concerns and constructively to reset your physical reactions to them. As you learn how to work through your feelings and repetitions, appreciating yourself will emerge and so also will your ability to bring others into your life who can appreciate you also.
Your particular style of processing life is not set in stone. Only you can begin the journey which can bring you to a life filled with your own blend of peace, joy and love. What Cupid represents does not occur in a vacuum. It starts in vivo with your first step of reaching out for professional assistance. Only you can open this door to growth!