I’m so deeply depressed today that I “know” I am quite literally no good, “know” I have morphed into one of those hyper-obese mountains of flesh you sometimes see on TV, “know” I have nothing worthwhile future, “know” there is no basis upon which I can rest any sense of self-worth, “know” I have no friends, “know” I am unlovable, “know” nothing I can do will change these things …
Those “knows” are not sarcastic; the quotation marks are not intended to soften the “knowing” – there is a large part of me which deeply and truly believes those statements to be true. (Along with a deep dark forest of others – but let’s keep things vaguely manageable.)
There is a tiny, sane corner which “knows” I am only having those thoughts because I am so terribly depressed.
That little voice is being shouted down today.
In hospital, the therapists talk a lot about emotions, urges, thoughts and behaviours. Their theory – based on a CBT approach – is that you can exert at least some control over the first two. I just don’t feel I can challenge those thoughts today, so I suppose I could adopt or ‘tweak’ the radical acceptance approach, from DBT.
What’s radical acceptance? To quote Lisa Dietz:
Radical means complete and total. It’s when you accept something from the depths of your soul. When you accept it in your mind, in your heart, and even with your body. It’s total and complete.
Usually, radical acceptance is applied to traumas, terrible childhoods, etc; to things a bit more specific than depression-induced deep and utter self-hatred. However, today I think it will be a useful tool for me. I will choose to accept that, right now, I dislike myself intently, loathe my very being, that my thinking about myself is distorted – and I will remind myself that tomorrow it’s likely I will “know” differently.
Please come quickly, tomorrow.