“…not just between people but between one’s mind and one’s feelings.“(6) To try and get someone to understand this who has not experienced it first hand, to have walked through the fire of emptiness, self-loathing, and despair that the conflict between our mind and our emotional stability and expression is almost impossible. All of my friends good-willed advice which didn’t take this almost Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde existence hurt me more than it helped me. My friends would come over and try to get me to go to meetings, work the steps, go for walks, get a job, etc., etc., etc..
“One of the most painful discoveries I made in the midst of the dark woods of depression was that a part of me wanted to stay depressed.” (1) I went to talk to my dear friend the Colonel yesterday. I went there because I need help to get out of the rut I am in. I had asked others to help me get out of it before, but as my friend the Painter has said, it can only come about when I am ready to get out of it, not just when I want to get out of it. It has been three and a half years since my “Dark Night,” as my friend Meg so aptly called her depression, began as an overt expression of my emotional, psychological and psychic pain I have carried my whole life.
My mind is just running with this one right now, saying I should have been done a long time ago with this journey into depression. I should have not lost my law practice, not lost my financial empire, not lost my marriage. It is so sad for me but something I have to deal with in the here and now. I am doing the best I can.
“As long as I clung to this living death, life became easier, little was expected of me, certainly not serving others.” (2) I dont know if I agree with this statement in it’s entirety. For three years of that journey, I was doing a lot of emotional/psychological work to walk through the emotional traumas that I had stuffed down so far in my unconscious. The last six months or so has felt like I was a hamster on a wheel. Writing, going to school, blogging are wonderful expressions of what my inner world is like, but I need and want to engage in the outside world in a more physical and not just intellectual or emotional way.
Please dont get me wrong. I have found my calling by doing this work, but it is time to take what I have learned and start to use it to not only support my dear friends, and they know who they are, but to help those people who I have “left behind,” by my journey into depression.
123 Steve, Rhonda, Pam, Renee, Jim!
(1) Parker J. Palmer Let Your Life Speak p. 71 (2) Id. (6) Id. p 62