Please excuse the rather brusque post title. I’m currently channeling my inner Sue Sylvester.
Lately, I’ve been pondering the concept of “productive depression.” Have you ever heard that term before?
I hadn’t either, till a year or so ago, when a counselor pointed out that I was currently in one at the time. The brief, eHow definition of “productive depression” is a depression that “calls attention to life circumstances that may require attention and a change.”
In other words, productive depression is sort of your mind’s way of saying you suck. Or at least, your mind’s way of telling you that there’s something you need to change.
Constructive living philosophy teaches that every feeling, no matter how unpleasant, has its uses. Some feelings simply need to be felt and accepted. Some feelings, however, point to something that needs doing. (“What needs doing?” is a central question of Constructive Living.)
If you appreciate Biblical wisdom, Proverbs 13:12 says “Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around. [MSG]” In other words, when you’re stuck, a change can do you good.
One thing I’ve been realizing lately is that I am in the middle of some big changes, as is Chris. They’re largely different sets of changes for each of us, but we’re both in about the same place in the process. We’ve both been feeling blah lately, and we nailed it down to “I’m different, but I’m not that good at it yet.” The “new way” isn’t comfortable, because it’s new.
But even the “old way” isn’t comfortable when we fall back into that, either, because if it were, neither of us would have decided to change. The discomfort of the “old way” was a kind of “productive depression” that let us both know that change was needed.
We both feel like snakes in the middle of shedding an old layer of skin. Itchy and a little irritable.