It seems strange to me, with all the writing I’ve done that I haven’t, somehow, exorcised all my demons by now.
I suppose I ought not to be surprised, knowing what I do, of myself, and the gravity (or “weight”) of my own expectations (?)
This little tale, perhaps, may give an insight to how, if you do suffer with depression, when walking that tight rope or that knife edge, just the slightest of “disturbance”, can cause one to plummet into the abyss.
THE EDGE OF EMOTIONAL EXISTENCE
I had been having a fairly productive few days and feeling like I have a reasonable grasp on reality. Then I had a call from my Sister (I love my Sister very much and always enjoy having a natter with her). We talked of a number of things and eventually the subject came up of my children.
I don’t really like talking of my children, because to me they may as well be dead. Sounds hard, sounds brutal, and sounds wrong. But I have grieved a long time over them. I only ever hear from them when they want money.
That’s just the way it is.
On the same day, I received an email from an old buddy of mine, who I used to “hang out” with on my monthly trips to Canada (he too has daughters of a similar age).
I explained in brevity how things were. This, along with talking with my Sister, brought all the pain back of having lost two children who I tried exceptionally hard to love, protect, support and all the things that parents do. Eventually to be told (I am paraphrasing) “we don’t want to see you anymore”.
Anyhow, 24 hours later I found myself in a terrible cess pit of darkness noticing in myself that I was being terse with my partner, and feeling very low.
I stopped to try and articulate to the wonderful lady in my life, why I was so pre-occupied and low.
This is how life on an “emotional knife edge” can so easily unbalance someone who suffers with depression.
AS A LOVED ONE.
On a practicable level, if you live with someone like me (who is prone to depression), maybe you can take some comfort in knowing that, it is highly possible, if your partner or friend is low, it may very well not be because of you. So, harsh words may be used in a tone that is upsetting, but in all likelihood it is not because of you.
We have talked about control before. The only thing “we” really can control is how we face, act, react, interact, or deal with life’s “servings”.
In the circumstances of your own challenges you may well find that sometimes you cope very well, and at other times, less so.
And that is because you are human.
However, the more “we” (me included) practice the skill of mindfulness (awareness of self) the more we become skilled. Like everything in life I guess.
So perhaps, the key is practice, and if practice is the key, then by default every challenge we face that threatens our state of mind, is an opportunity for growth, self-development and practice.
For the sake of completeness I would add the following:
There is no necessity to go looking for challenges!
Challenges to your mental wellbeing will find you, you can bet on it!
With that thought in mind, keep your “sword” of mindfulness by your side, practice regularly, and maybe one day, you will become a grand master.
Earlier this week I had a mail from another good mate of mine, who I met during my 3 trips to Nairobi and we have stayed in touch (although for my part I am terrible at staying in touch with folk). He mentioned he was trying to put together a team to go to Kenya to do a makeover on a community school.
I registered my interest in joining the team and offered to do a solo gig to try and raise money for the project.
Long story made short. I reflected to my friend I seem to repetitively volunteer myself for things that challenge my own abilities and/or state of mind.
Why is that?
I must conclude, as I have often, that this is because my formative years were spent in a stifling cocoon of safety, driven by the fear held by my parents.
From an early age I wanted, desperately, to step outside of this. (This is not a judgement of my parents. It’s just the way it was).
And so – I Do!!
RETURNING TO TURMOIL
Coming back to the subject of my children. I mentioned that they have usually (in the last 5 years or thereabouts) only contacted me when they have wanted something (money, passports, etc.)
At one time, my Sister was of a mind that my children would eventually come back to me. By contrast, I have always, in this regard held the view that hope is a dangerous thing, and, for me, it is. So I have never held out any hope that I would one day have a functional relationship with my children. This was one of a number of reasons that I went “AWOL” for three months – into the mountains of America – and nearly killed myself a number of times.
On talking with my Sister a few days ago she mentioned that for her, hope was something that she no longer had in respect of one particular aspect of her life.
And you, the reader, might very well say “but you sign off on your blogs with “love, peace and hope”, so how can you say this when you have no hope?”
It’s a reasonable question, and my answer is this:
I may hold no hope in my life, but I can hope for you.
So, with love, peace and hope for you all, sincerely.