Sunday, December 14, 2014

If Giving is Good for You Then Why Am I So Depressed?




Five Ways Giving is Good for You:
(Jason Marsh & Jill Suttle)

1) Giving makes us feel happy
2) Giving is good for our health
3) Giving promotes cooperation & social connection
4) Giving evokes gratitude
5) Giving is contagious


I threw a little birthday brunch for myself and rather than have my guests bring me gifts, (because really at this age what in the world could I possibly need??) I had them each bring a toy that got donated to inner city kids who would go without otherwise this Christmas season. It felt amazing dropping all of those wonderful toys off earlier today so much so that I actually got a little emotional while loading up the car with BAGS of goodies!

photo by penelope


I felt happy, content and useful until I returned home. I was experiencing such gratitude for these beautiful people that took the time out of their busy holiday schedules to purchase a toy for a child they don't even know simply because I requested that in lieu of gifts for me. Instead of soaking that all up and allowing myself to bask in those warm feelings, I'm sad. Extremely sad.

I had an hour or two of joy and now I have no clue why I'm emotionally depleted. It was a perfect day. Good food, surrounded by family and friends. I am absolutely perplexed. Most days I have a very Buddhist (Buddhism & depression) outlook on my illness believing I have lived with chronic depression in order to develop my compassion for others among various other reasons. Tonight I'm just not in that mind set and am HATING this illness. I hate how it can sap the joy right out of my soul with no notice.

How in the fuck can I be so depressed after a day of giving? I sit here sharing with all of you my sense of emptiness and beating myself up for feeling sorry for myself when kids are going without this Christmas!! How DARE I??!?? I just can't seem to comprehend how today could bring on a serious ass case of the blues and such an all encompassing loneliness. Am I not giving enough of myself to others? Do I feel a sort of let down due to the fact that I've collected and delivered the toys and now it's over?? Much to ponder.

Here's what I'm going to do since allowing myself to get further sucked under and end up not going into work tomorrow is not an option-I'm going to allow these different feelings to come to the surface for the next thirty minutes in whatever way they choose. I'm going to acknowledge each one as being completely valid. I'm going to follow that up with thirty more minutes of meditation and hope for the best.

Wishing you all a better night than this gal is having :)

xoxo
Penelope