An experience of depression can sometimes include feelings of apathy, pessimism and lack of motivation. These lethargic, stuck feelings can be so painful.
It can be helpful to think of apathetic feelings more as protective parts rather than states of being. For example, we can turn toward this part of you that wants to shut you down or immobilize you, and help you begin to offer it some attention. Perhaps we can locate it in your body, begin an inner dialogue and become curious. We can learn more about why this protective immobilizing part is doing this. What would it be like if it didn’t have to do this job- and could maybe take on another role instead?
You may have other parts that are critical of your feelings of pessimism or lethargy–many people do! We can work to let those critical parts step back in order to feel curious about your apathetic part. Inevitably, an inner dialogue helps to unfold why this part is trying to protect you. Most of the time, there are other hurt parts deep inside from experiences of early wounding–often involving very sensitive and childlike parts who feel shame, grief or terror. Because these feelings are so painful, we try to lock them up inside. Becoming immobilized may be a way for your system to protect itself from feeling these painful parts. The work is to learn more about your protectors and exiles and unburden your system so the part of you that has taken on the job of shutting you down will feel freed up from protecting you in this way.