……..but emotional suffering[i]
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep
I must be lookin’ for something
Something sacred i lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross
even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and stand on the shore
I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find what I’ve been looking for.[ii]
I was talking with a friend of mine the other day. We were talking about things that we did which brought us comfort when we were kids. One of the things I remembered clearly was how I would get up in the middle of the night, get out of bed and take my blanket, and go lay by the wall heater in our house. I would wait for the heater to come on and then I would take my blanket and make like a tent so that heat instead of rising to the ceiling would come down on to me.
The metaphor of the river being too wide and too hard to cross is what depression seemed like and seems like at times when I am“in” it. I have only in the last few months been able to do anything that resembles continuous effort. Bill W. himself during a certain stage of his recovery was debilitated so much with his depression that he would only be able to deal with situations that required simple answers such as yes or no.
“He’d try and cooperate if you had a question, but to try and sit down and do any planning with him at that time was useless. His whole face would fall; he looked sad, sad, very sad.”[iii]
What I have learned is that I didn’t have to cross any river to find what I had been looking for. What I was looking for was the mirror that I needed to show me that I am okay, that I am whole, that I can love and be loved. I found that in many facets, but one of the most important one was with my buddy JJ. He is one of two people, my painter friend being the other, that Anom Cara, a entry a few days ago, is about.
This is not to say that this joy that I am experiencing in the moment sufficient enough to write the last paragraph stays with me all the time.
As I am getting more comfortable inside of myself I am going to bed early, but getting up early also. I’m going to give you an example of how quickly it can change from that of being okay to that of being, “oh my God, you might as well give up.”
Last night a wonderful friend of mine suggested the idea that maybe I should try ECT to get relief from depression. Now mind you, when I saw those words, I thought of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” So I woke up this morning around 2:30 AM. I rolled over and looked at the clock like I normally do, but there was no clock. My mind immediately went to you need to get ECT because you’re going nuts, you are in eternal darkness if you keep doing this.!
The power had gone out. Nothing more than that. But my mind said, “Oh my Ggod, you are screwed!”[iv] So I got out of bed, got my blackberry, went and sat in my recliner and started banging out with my thumbs what was going through my mind. The power came on about a half hour after I had started creating my memoir. I just looked at it for the first time since then and the last line said, “I am so crazy that I need to get my mind shocked into being normal.” L
[i] Dan Blazer [ii] Billy Joel In the Middle of the Night.[iii] ‘Pass it On’ Bill Wilson and the A.A. Message. [iv] Yes I have created a new spelling for Ggod!.