“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.”[i]
Depression looks like that picture to the right,…on a good day.
Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder almost five years ago, I, and I am shoe1000 and am just one of the people who post on this blog, I thought that I had received THE answer. I thought I could get the information I needed and put it to use to alleviate the free floating anxiety, the deep seated fear, or the lack of ability to function in the world that had dominated my recent life up to that point. I thought I could go to my doctor and get and take one of “mothers little helpers,”[iv]and life would be better. Little did I know I had just been given the hardest task I had ever been given in my life, because as Terrence Real wrote in his book “I Dont Want to Talk About It,” “[t]he only real cure for covert depression is overt depression.”
My journey with overt depression, all the while staying clean and sober, isn’t some static endeavor which proceeds in a linear fashion from one point to another, like college and law school. I have shied away from the meds, because they did not work for me. I have no opinion on whether anyone else should take meds. Many of my closest friends get a lot of relief from them and I support them 100%.
“YOU HAVE BEEN DEPRESSED YOUR WHOLE LIFE, YOU JUST PICKED UP THE WRONG MEDICINE.”
I am ill because of wounds deep to the soul, to the deep emotional self, and the wounds to the soul take a long, long time, only time can help[**]
I suffered from very deep, mostly quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts that persisted below the level of my consciousness. These conflicts gave my emotions violent twists which discolored my personality and altered my life for the worse.[v] Ggod that sounds so damn depressing!
Fritz Perls said, “The only way out is through.” Working through depression was and is a process that can be fraught with uncertainty, anxiety, unpredictability, fear and can challenge my belief system about who I am and why I’m here. I have walked away from my career, lost my family and most of my fortune because I chose not to run from the depression any longer.
I am more alive now in many ways than I have ever been. I have more of an ability to be intimate with others in my life. I am more vulnerable with the women in my life than I have ever been. It is so freeing to finally not have to do the “I don’t want to talk about it,”routine that I knew so well.
I have found a multitude of ways to work through what I believe to be the underlying cause of “IT” and will reveal them if you ask me. Friends, new ones as well as old ones, are helping me heal and some of them don’t even know it. I am blessed to have finally understood and been given the key that I have looked for my whole life. The key to “being” me, the real me!
There are people out there like me, who struggle with the fact that despite their sobriety and successes in the world, they “ran into the wall,” as they say. I want to help them walk through this. I don’t believe that it’s some thing we have to, “live with,” numbly the rest of our lives.
Let me say in conclusion that I would not wish depression upon my worst enemy. It is a living hell. It is so painful at times that dying seems a better alternative. I have been blessed in that I am not suicidal like many of my best and truest friends in the world. There are so many who suffer with “mental health,” issues in silence and just want the pain to stop.
But working through the deep seated emotional conflicts that I believe to be the cause of my depression has given me a new chance and world view which I would never have attained had I continued down the path of life I was on five years ago.
It is better to seek forgiveness than to seek permission
[*]James Hillman[**] D.H. Lawrence. The Healing [i]Albert Einstein [ii]James Hillman [iii]Joseph Campbell who coincidentally died on the day I got sober, October 30, 1987[iv] Rolling Stones 19th Nervous Breakdown.[v] I suffer from emotional and physical abuse. How they were perpetrated on me, whether through violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or any other form is not relevant to this forum [vi]author unknown
***I AM NOT THE ONLY PERSON WHO POSTS HERE. THIS IS FOR PEOPLE IN SOBRIETY WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM “MENTAL HEALTH,” DIS-EASES. I only write under the name shoe1000. There are a number of other people who write and post on her also. I invite your comments about everything you read in this section or after every blog entry. I don’t want to put out “stuff” that is not important or timely. There is going to be some “dark” writings in here. I would like to put your materials on this blog, whether “dark” or “light.” Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and title it “POST” It is not for me. It is for us. I am going to try and put something up at least once a day. The only requirement to post here is the desire to feel better about your life……………. This dis-ease is the most stigmatized one I know, even more so than “alcoholism.” If you can, please lets others know about this blog who you think would benefit from it. *****
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