Tuesday, April 10, 2007

That which I am

Back in January, I fell apart. Not for the first time, and I’m guessing not for the last, but it was a more dramatic and obvious sort of disintegration than I’d ever experienced before. There was a complete vicissitude in my thinking, my coping abilities. Depression has been with me in various forms for years, but this was the first time I ever reacted to it with irresponsibility (I got in my car without telling anyone and drove three states away), and seemingly irrevocable despondency (for real? I don’t know, but it seemed easier than waking up the next morning). In Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel wrote of her depression: “I wonder if any of them can tell from just looking at me that all I am is the sum total of my pain, a raw woundedness so extreme that it might be terminal…what if I am stuck down here for good?” For GOOD. It was one of the most terrifying concepts I could imagine -- being forever trapped in a hell not necessarily of my own chemical devising, but one contributed to by the very real situation I was facing at home. A failure of my life plan. A hell that no doctor, no meds, no amount of meditation of yoga or prayer would improve. I sat in my car at the edge of the ocean in a little town far, far north of where I live, watching the shadows in the gloaming (were those angels or devils I saw beckoning?), thinking about what a fucking hot mess my life had become.

Drove home.

Intervention of sorts.

A week in the Caymans.

Yoga.

Tweaking of the meds.

Sleep. More yoga.

Stillness.

Buddha.

Spring.

And now, for the first time in almost a year, spaciousness.

Look. This is your world! You can't not look. There is no other world. This is your world; it is your feast. You inherited this; you inherited these eyeballs; you inherited this world of color. Look at the greatness of the whole thing. Look! Don't hesitate - look! Open your eyes. Don't blink, and look, look - look further. — Trungpa

9 comments:

Gwen said...

I do think hopelessness is the worst part of depression. It's not just the pain, it's the thought that this misery will never end, that it's now my certain, un-ending reality. Or at least that's how I felt.

It's good to hear that you're feeling better, now. You give hope, you know, to others who are wandering in the bleak fog.

Lindyloo said...

I just stumbled upon your site. It brings back memories of my own dark time. Nights of drinking in the shower, crying, with all the lights off. Ya, it wasn't pretty. It took a while but it passed. I didn't think it would and I was scared out of my friggin mind. Have faith in yourself. Your a strong woman and you'll get through it.

kellypea said...

I don't know what to say but wow. My melt down took longer and when I finally wrote about it, all the terror was lost from the experience. Self-deprecating humor helps me a bit. And quitting my job.

slouching mom said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm so glad you can look at it from the other side now.

Adrienne Zurub said...

Great Quote.

I have had periods of depression that I think were tied essentially to my evolution as a person and a full being.
Looking back, I looked outside myself more than in.

Which reminds now of this quote from Hugh McLeod (gapingvoid.com)
"Don't judge your insides by someone elses outside."

I love quotes as they seem to come and mean something to me when I need them most.

I leave you with this:
"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone." --Coco Chanel

Peace of mind to your on your continuing evolution.

Adrienne Zurub
http://www.adriennezurub.typepad.com/link_addiction

Jackal said...

Thank you for sharing your experience.

VelVerb said...

Hmmmm....Just a little note. First, I can relate. Two, I know Trungpa...not personally, but lived in the meditation center he founded in Vermont.

I found you because you found me, not sure how, but then I came here and discovered that we had a couple of points of commonality.

I struggle with these ins and outs, and I hate them and love them, am frightened of them and revel in them.

VelVerb said...

Gah! I forgot the most important point of contact! Joni Mitchell who has been a poet and influence in my life since I was a wee thing and my mother would use her lyrics to explain life to me.

I Hope So said...

so i'm going through your blog, month by month. i hope that doesn't make you nervous. my god, why didn't i know about you before now?