the world just strips away.[i] For the longest time I saw my depression as a weakness. This was even after I had studied it is much as I have for the two and a half years since my diagnosis. Because by going into it, as Terrance Real says we must do, I could no longer function in the outside world like I had before. I considered that to be weak and inadequate on my part. It was only when I learned that Bill W. was immobilized for two years and that Eckardt Tolle sat on a park bench for two years that I finally give myself permission to truly sit in my feelings of pain, despair, hopelessness, fear, anger, rage,….
Depression is a treatable medical illness like cancer and heart disease. [iii] It is only in the last year where I have started to come out of the depression and vehemently staying as far away as possible from increasing the medications, despite the urging from a couple people who were close to me. What I believe happened was I as I was working through those, “deep-seated emotional conflicts that persist below the level of my consciousness,” I started to not live in fear all the time. A psychic change started. I believe that depression, even though based in suppressed anger or rage, manifests itself externally for me through fear. Even though I still have more fear than what I believe is necessary for me, it is, if I was to guess, more than 50% less than what it was before.
My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known — no wonder, then, that I return the love.[ii] . Here’s where I think my biggest struggle is. I’ve been depressed my whole life! No wonder that I return back to it so easily and unconsciously. It’s like an old glove that I don’t need anymore because my hand is strong enough to withstand the stickers from the roses. But I unconsciously reach for the glove. It’s like moving the tooth paste from one side of the sink to the other. I keep reaching to the same side of the sink for the tooth paste for a long time.
Where is home? I feel a sense, always, of trying to find my way back to a place that doesn’t exist.”[iv] There’s a saying that “negative attention is better than no attention.” To me that’s what depression is all about for me. I cant explain it any better than that. I am sorry that I cant, but I sat here and tried to explain it better but couldn’t.
Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold.[v] I am forever grateful that I found Joseph Campbell. He died on the day that I got sober, which is not a coincidence, and that also happens to be my dad’s birthday.
Campbell taught me to see the world, not in the realm of duality, but in the realm of the metaphor. Axiomatic statements about truths and declarations of good and bad, and right and wrong, and evil and good are nothing more than a reiteration of someone’s fear adopted by others and made into absolutes. That is why I don’t go to church. Much of my depression was about continuing to support those statements that came to me as absolutes early on in my life. It took a heavy toll to continue to unconsciously reiterate those statements.
But off my soapbox. I’ve made friends in the last months who are more wonder full than some of the people I have known my whole life. There is the gold.
[i]Bruce Springsteen Human Touch [ii] Soren Kierkegaard. [iii] Judith Peacock[iv] Sally Brampton Shoot the Damn Dog[v] Joseph Campbell. Photos: Sugar sent me a new picture of Barron the wolf below. Click on it and check that beautiful animal out!! Other pictures on loan from ajaytao2010.wordpress.com
It is better to seek forgiveness than it is permission. 123 Fanatic, Welcome Home!