Depression is a pain that grips us and becomes our shadow. It often finds its origin in a dangerous friendship: anxiety. It causes us a fear of feeling and it darkens our emotions. It generates thoughts that are harmful to ourselves and thus harms our way of conceiving ourselves, by undermining our esteem for ourselves.
This is important because the affection we express depends a lot on what we say and how we behave. That is, our thoughts, feelings and actions are affected so that they dictate our general condition.
As we will see, it is common not to maintain a healthy circle at all times. In addition, it should be noted that having a pattern of harmful thoughts, feelings and behaviors does not only result in being diagnosed as anxious or depressed, but that the range is very wide. and variegated. This is why the metaphor that we are going to see next is useful for everyone, whether or not we are suffering from these emotional issues.
The bus metaphor
There is a metaphor that is widely used in contextual therapy that helps us understand the importance of the personality triangle formed by our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Let’s develop it and pay attention to it:
“Imagine you are the driver of a bus with many passengers inside. Passengers are thoughts, feelings, memories and all of those things that you have in your life. It is a bus with only one entrance door, and which is only used to enter. Some of the passengers are very rude and have a dangerous appearance.
As you are driving the bus, passengers start threatening you, telling you what to do, where to go. “Now turn right ”, “Go faster ”, etc. They even go so far as to insult and discourage you: “You drive badly, you are less than nothing. Nobody likes you … ”You feel terrible and do almost anything they ask you to shut up, walk back to the back of the bus for a while and let you drive quietly.
But some days their threats get tired, and you want to get them off the bus. But you can’t, you argue and you confront them. Without realizing it, the first thing you did was stop. You’ve stopped driving, and now you’re not going anywhere. And besides, the passengers are very strong, they resist, and you can’t get them off the bus. So, resigned, you return to your seat and go where you are asked to calm them down.
This way, so that they don’t bother you and so as not to feel bad, you start doing whatever they tell you and direct the bus where you are asked so you don’t have to talk to them anymore or to see them. You do what they ask, and you anticipate each time, thinking of getting them out of your life. Quickly, almost without realizing it, they won’t even have to tell you: “Turn left” , because you will turn left to avoid the passengers throwing themselves on you and threatening you.
So, without too much delay, you will start to justify their decisions by almost believing that they are no longer on the bus and convincing yourself that you are driving the bus in the only possible direction. The power of these passengers rests on threats like: “If you don’t do as we tell you, we will appear, you will have to look at us and you will feel bad.” But that’s all they can do.
By trying to keep control over the passengers, in reality, you have lost control of the bus! They don’t turn the steering wheel, they don’t apply the accelerator or the brake, and they don’t decide where to stop. You are the driver. Don’t let your passengers decide for you. ”
Drawings that illustrate the difficulty of resisting them
The problems of anxiety and depression are shared by millions of people around the world. Despite this, we often come up against a great misunderstanding and a huge taboo around it and the people who suffer from it.
This is why the artist Nick Selçuk deals in a series of cartoons with the difficulty of fighting against these pathologies. He thus tackles in a simple way the grim reality experienced by a person suffering from problems of both anxiety and depression. This designer tries to overcome and understand the problem through his drawings and this can be positive for some people.
It is certain that suffering from these problems is no picnic. It is also not a choice or a sign of weakness. So we should always assume that depression and anxiety:
- Don’t define us.
- Should not be regarded as defects.
- Must be seen from the link we make with these postings.
It is important that we realize this and look around us. People who suffer from these problems need affection and understanding, as well as the opportunity to seek professional help and thus consistently control the emotional dysfunctions in which they are trapped.