Sometimes I need an educated explanation for what I’m going through. Somatic experiencing helped with that. Every Tuesday for 6 weeks I was reassured (and learning more) about why my body does what it does in terms of trauma. The skills I learned in the class were helpful but not the selling point for me–I needed the education piece, and then I needed to have help carrying out the skills in a safe setting (not a classroom with basically strangers).

When depression bulldozes me I forget that it’s ok to reach out for the help I need. On Monday and Tuesday, in the safety of my therapist’s office, I let my body do what it wanted to do, as much as I could. It was terrifying and brought up a lot of stuff I couldn’t even give a voice to. It was met with no judgement, compassion, and the warmest hug. The kind you get from your mom when she knows you need love and protection.

Though I left on Tuesday feeling lighter, relieved, and loved, I also left shaky. Light-headed. Unprotected. And scared. Wednesday I still felt it. Thursday the shakiness and scared feeling kept escalating and finally I acted opposite to depression (telling me to deal with it on my own). I knew I needed physical touch help to calm my nervous system. I tried to talk myself out of it all day. I did every distraction I could gather energy for. But I ran out of energy, and my thoughts turned on me the second I stopped distracting myself.

But by the time I was able to leave my house, my therapist was no longer available. Depression swooped in with overbearing sadness and I let it take over. I started to tell myself all sorts of lies, that I still am having trouble shutting down. My need for shutting down my extremely uncomfortable feelings (instead of letting them happen and receiving comfort as that’s happening) became my priority and because I’ve done this enough times now, I am quick to jump to: die. You can stop feeling this way if you no longer exist.

I think the biggest lesson here is: it’s ok that my body needs another human to help my body regulate. It’s ok to reach out for that help. And if we can’t make it actually happen in the moment, it’s still ok that I needed it. I don’t need to berate myself for reaching out, or having needs, or wanting comfort and love. Depression tells me I was wrong to even ask in the first place and I need to ignore my needs and be punished for having them at all. Depression is a horrendous fucking liar.

3 thoughts on “Needing Human Comfort

  1. I really get what you’re saying here. With the quote about caregivers and a child regulating automatically like that l, I’ve been aware of that with my little boys and marvel at it every time. It’s so soothing, it actually makes your heart feel whole as you both hug close (and I’m the parent!).
    But also what you said at the end about feeling it’s wrong to have the needs or feel the way you do and that you should somehow be punished for it. It’s hard for us to unlearn that, but I’m seeing it’s worth the effort. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

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