03 October, 2013

the anatomy of sadness part deux

one rather important aspect of depression that i forgot to mention in the last post (other than loss of focus and crazy ass forgetfulness, evidently) is the temporary loss of one's internal compass.

i am a big believer in cultivating intuition or gut feelings or what tom calls "inner promptings." one of the most dangerous effects of depression for me is the loss of my ability to trust myself. when the world is coloured with the darkest and foulest crayons in the box, when hope fails in things both big and small, it is difficult, if not impossible, to make decisions based on that small inner voice, because all it ever says, in varying shades of panic and doom, is "we're all gonna die! it's all going to hell!" and you know that can't very well be true, especially when you're trying to figure out something as simple as what you want to have for lunch*.

and since i've been trying very hard to strengthen my working relationship with my gut compass, listening to it, coddling it, making sure it is comfortable and feels loved and acknowledged, it is incredibly stressful when it goes off the deep end at precisely the same time that i do, though hardly surprising. all metaphorical talk of duality aside, i am it, and it is me; where i go, it goes, so off the deep end it is! and then when i return, when i manage to crawl up the side of the pool and drop exhausted and dripping on the tiles, it takes a longish while to re-establish that trust again. there is residual wariness, a left-over feeling of unease that those inner promptings are still not entirely trustworthy, still water-logged, if we're to take this entirely unexpected and odd analogy way past its expiry date.

during these islands of calm, these days of relative normalcy, i try to take my intuition out for a test drive. small little trips, nothing too taxing. i ease into it. if i'm to be able to trust it again, we need to make sure we're on the same page, and that we've wrung out the water, unclogged our ears, washed the chlorine off our skin (whoa, waaaaay pst its expiry date, that one, but why the hell not?).

i suppose the flip side, the gratitude side, is that depression is giving me insight into how important that internal compass is. and so i can pile this knowledge up along with the other epiphanies, those small rounded rocks that i've been gathering along this journey.

*maybe i'm wrong, but "we're all gonna die! it's all going to hell!" doesn't strike me as an appropriate response to "shall i have a sandwich or a salad?" but you know what? that is precisely how depression works. at least in my own head.


Tom said...

And it isn't only depression that has that effect. Whenever we become unglued from our inner reality, the intuitive ground of our Beingness, it happens.

This was a brilliantly descriptive post of this and similar spiritual problems. Rarely have I read anything this good, this expressive.

polish chick said...

wow, tom, i'm all a-blush. that is very kind of you.

i suppose that's the upside of excessive navel-gazing: you can describe the lint therein in dazzling detail!