Tonight, I breached yet another milestone on my way out of depression: I cried at the end of Arrival.
I’ve seen the movie several times; originally it didn’t even affect me at all. But now, all the emotional content hit me. Hard. And I cried as one does if a movie hits close to home.
As trivial as this may sound, this is actually one of the most major milestones I have reached yet – because of the reason it sounds so trivial. “I watched a movie, and I cried because I could relate to it emotionally.” There’s so much involved in that, you can’t even begin to imagine how huge this is.
Some of the biggest milestones on your way out of severe depression are the ones where your emotions actually work like they normally would. And for me, who – as it looks like – actually has autistic tendencies, this is even bigger.
I’m gonna be more specific on how this worked.
I was able to watch the entire movie without having any relevant impulse to look at my phone, or watch or do something else. I looked once, but I didn’t feel any impulse that I had no choice but to follow – as opposed to ALWAYS, yet.
I sat in one position for most of the movie, and I was strongly focused on it. I didn’t think about other things for most of the duration of the movie, and if I did, I was very quickly able to focus back onto it.
I didn’t feel bored. I didn’t feel bad. I didn’t feel nothing. I felt entertained, and emotionally activated – present.
I was immersed. I was actually watching the movie – as one does, usually. Just that I never just “watch a movie”; I usually look at a screen and my head tries to do 100 other things simultaneously. I observe pixels moving; I observe stories unfold, and sometimes what I see can trigger deep emotional associations that I’m able to feel in rare cases, somewhere. At least I did, all my life. Yet.
Tonight, I felt that I’m watching a good movie. That has never happened before like this. The only situation where I came close was watching movies or playing games with one of my dear ex-partners, because they were always highly empathetically invested in them which was able to pull me in as well (which is why I loved watching movies with them more than alone or with anyone else).
But now, this happened on my own. I was able to relate, emotionally. I was able to feel emotional empathy. I was able to allow it. I was able to let go of pressure, or compulsive thoughts, anxiety, downward spirals. I was able to allow myself to get overwhelmed by the heavy emotions I feel, and just let them out in a natural way: By crying, for several minutes.
And this is why this is so major. I was functioning normally, which I never, ever, was in ANY way, especially emotionally – no matter how hard I tried. Here, I didn’t even try. I was just able to. Because my depression is giving up like a villain who found their master.
Go fuck yourself, depression. You have no power here. Who’s scared now, huh? HUH???