Sunday, January 24, 2010

Darkness - Not a Peaceful Hiding Place, Treading Depression

Darkness, in the dark clouds on the horizon. I see them coming. Can I dispel them before they get too close? I get depressed by just seeing them there. Go away.

Darkness is not a peaceful hiding place. It’s not a time to sleep. It is a tumultuous place. Pandora’s box is opened every night. The pain was searing, I seek distraction to quiet the emotions and the never-ending stream of questions and answers that are in my head.

Depression comes as dark moments. It envelops me completely. No matter what direction I turn there is total darkness. It is my darkest moment, the moment when my mind turns from peace to anguish.

It is a heavy presence. It presses on my head and drapes over my shoulders. It throws its hood over my head and impedes my sight. It drapes all the way to floor.

It soon becomes warm and comfortable. Soon the abnormal seems normal. The paradox becomes truth.

But I am treading. Why am I treading? My darkness has volume. Besides completeness there is depth and breath to the darkness like a vast sea.

But I never look down. Why not?

It was a place I did not want to go. I couldn’t acknowledge that space. It was as though I was treading above a slow moving vortex; one I couldn’t see but could feel was there.

No, I look straight ahead, turning my head back and forth looking. I’m barely there above the darkness. Why is there no darkness when I look up? Why am I treading? Am I trying to survive?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dark Clouds on the Horizon

My depression would come in that way, like dark clouds on the horizon. I could see the stormy clouds and sometimes tried to avoid them by distraction. I would try to build up a high-pressure system to keep the low one at the horizon line. I could sense them. Could I talk myself out of it? Could something happen that would shift the winds in another direction?

Other times the depression would come in a snap. A word, a voice, a comment, a delay, a laugh, an interruption, a dream was the trigger and I would hear the sound “snap” in my head and my neck would involuntarily twitch to the right, or was it my neck that snapped from the sheer force of it?

Keeping the clouds at bay meant distractions. It’s a human’s answer to an overactive negative mind. I need to stop thinking and during daylight hours there is more than enough distractions to keep my mind busy with other pressing matters. Attending class, doing homework, later working at the office, reading practically non-stop, doing sudoku for hours, and watching television long into the night until exhaustion put me to sleep.

If the storm clouds stayed away, I was relieved that only a few stray clouds rolled in and created only a few days of shadow.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Remission from Depression

When did the torture stop?

How different I feel than a decade ago. My mind was in constant anguish, a fiery anguish I myself kept lit for many years. I feel so different now. The torture I put myself through, the constant barrage of negative thoughts I spoon-fed to my psyche no longer plagues me today. I no longer feel that my life is a waste. But I am a realist, so in essence I still do, but I don’t seem to care about it anymore. I almost revel that my supposed punishment for a life wasted is not what I expected. What happened? Why did I stop berating myself? When did it shift? How did I stop the torture?

Was it when I looked around and found that the things that were supposed to go wrong didn’t? Was it when I realized that who I really was had become known finally and totally, and I still found acceptance? Was it when after living almost a half century I realize that my self-loathing was a fantasy? No. It was real enough, but why did it change? What happened to those thoughts? What happened to the hate?

Was it because I was becoming older? My anguish tempered because I no longer felt I had to compete. Were my hormones changing relieving me of my mental pain?

Was it that I still had love and will always have love from my man? Yes, that helped so much. I love him for waiting it out with me.

At one time I loathed him for it, for his apparent shortsightedness, for his unceasing gestures to soothe me, for his total lack of judgment in this need of his for such a girl, his weakness. My self-centered loathing did not deter him. Maybe his complete acceptance was really the example, the lesson I had to learn. Was that when I stopped the torture?

My soul and mind are taking a break. They are finally taking a few cleansing breaths, deeply inhaling while they can.

I think I can say that I’m in remission.

Are there dark clouds on the horizon of my mind? I can’t see any, at least not of my own making. I don’t feel any either. The knowledge was certain a decade before that they would be there again, dark clouds signaling the approach of a tsunami that would hit shore with a deafening crash and awash my brain with mayhem. But now I don’t feel any doom.

With fifty years behind me, the scale of life is tipping. My experiences are tallied and the scale tips more on heaven than in hell. In truth, my life overall has been pretty good. My life as an adult has been better, so much more than that of my youth. There is a distance now from my youth and my thinking processes of that time.

As an adult I am a different version of myself, at least it is different. I can live with different.