The time between selves – or depression

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I am familiar with this but it is a long time since I have been in the depths of it.

To anyone who does feel this way however I would just say: This too shall pass. It represents a time of grieving and that needs to be honoured.

In this superficial and ‘quick-fix’ age, such experiences are labelled depression and people are advised to remove the symptoms as quickly as possible with pills, attitude, or some kind of treatment. But this just disguises and denies the experience itself and drives it deeper.
Although I would add that if we suddenly find ourselves in such a place, for some people, not all, a prescribed drug can be useful and necessary in the short-term. It can get us over the hump for three to six months, but that is all. It merely allows us to gather our strength and muster our reserves to do the work which must be done.

When we deny and ‘hide’ the experience, we end up in a ‘no- wo/man’s’ land where we are neither one thing or the other – not who we once were and not who we are called to be. That truly is the path to madness.

These times are akin to the snake shedding its skin, or the crab, its shell – who we are, or who we have been, no longer fits and that Self must be discarded so a new one can ‘grow.’ It is during the time between Selves, when we are vulnerable, without our ‘skin’ or our ‘shell’ that we feel this way – but it is temporary and it is necessary.

 I likened it to jelly melting, and the liquid time is the hardest of all, when you feel as if all that you are has been reduced to something insubstantial, uncontrollable (as it has) and that you are ‘sloshing’ dangerously around in your life (as you are.) But slowly the jelly begins to ‘set’ and in time, long or short but always hard, you can feel and know the substance of yourself.

Much of this work must be done alone, for that is the nature of true growth as all of the ancient mystery schools knew. But we can find help along the way in someone to talk to – preferably someone with whom we do not have baggage; homeopathic remedies, which will act on physiological, psychological, spiritual levels and help us to re-balance as we make our way; herbal remedies which can sooth our physical pain; Reiki and acupuncture which can ease our energetic imbalance and creativity, which can help us express that which needs to be expressed – through painting, writing, craft, cooking, gardening, music, meditating.

Remembering always the words of Hildegard of Bingen: All is well and all is well and all manner of things are well.

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About rosross

Editor, writer, poet.
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4 Responses to The time between selves – or depression

  1. dondeg says:

    “This too shall pass.” is such an important thing in my thinking. And citing Hildegard of Bingen is very cool. That woman is way underrated!

    Nice post. Thank you. -Don

  2. hastywords says:

    This too shall pass… is a very logical thought but if you remember in the depths of depression you say that day after day as your mind is screaming that it never will.

    You say “quick fix” but I am not sure what you mean, maybe that doctors are prescribing without healing? It took me 6 months of hiding my depression because I was too embarrassed, it took 6 months before I found a knife in my hands desperate to let the blood with the voices flow out of me. (craziest thought I had EVER had and it brought peace and comfort which is crazier to me know on the other side of it all). So sometimes it doesn’t pass.

    I woke my husband up and asked him to take me to the hospital because I was about to kill myself and he laughed. Why? because I was good at hiding it and he thought I meant I need you to hold me because I feel sad. He did for a bit but I got up to finish the job. They would be better off without me (a voice I don’t claim as mine kept screaming). Someone else saved me that night.

    The point is…sometimes (if you feel weak because others will think you are not strong enough) you hide it because that is just one more thing people will say is wrong with you and then it is too late. And I know that everything I tried (calming music, meditation, cutting out people who made me feel bad, vitamins, minerals, exercise, running; the list is long…. didn’t work.

    Sometimes it doesn’t pass… sometimes you need a bandaid until you can find better tools and other solutions.

    I love your writing, you think out your posts…something I need to learn to do. I hope any of this makes sense to you. I am not disputing, and I know you say everyone is different, but I hope you realize sometimes our body does try to kill us. Cancer, auto-immune diseases, heart attacks and sometimes our brains.

    All could be traced back to things we have done, eaten, activities we engage in…maybe…and some just naturally and unexplainable happen.

    🙂 I never write long comments 🙂

    • rosross says:

      Thanks for your reply. In truth, I suspect I gained an edge growing up with a chronically depressed and at times, hospitalised mother because when she was grounded, she had enormous levels of common sense and wisdom and I learned from her and from observing her.

      I was also of a different generation and nature and that made me better able to work with and learn from such experiences in ways she could not.

      I remember fearing at times I would go mad and a wise GP I saw, said, no, the people who go mad are those who do not know or admit there is something wrong. And that was the truth of my mother. So, having awareness, even if you choose to hide it is important.

      I also believe as a journalist by profession I was both inclined and able to read, research, study, ponder, analyse and find ways to manage the experience.

      My reference to quick fix is the Allopathic mentality of pop a pill to fix your problems. Depression in particular and mental illness in general does not have a quick fix.

      I found enormous support and comfort in the many books I read which helped me to understand, and also in the books I read on myth, psyche, symbol which could give additional and deeper meaning.

      What we crave is meaning for that makes most things bearable.

      As to our body trying to kill us, I disagree. I also study mind-body, health, disease and various non-Allopathic medical methodologies and while I know the Allopathic view is your body is your enemy and it is trying to kill you, the truth is that every symptom and disease exists because your body is trying to heal you. Some MD’s have realised this and written books on it. Others have trained as Homeopaths or Acupuncturists.

      What we eat, do and experience can and does have impacts to various degrees but are not the cause of any disease – mental or physical. Disease of all kinds are sourced in a huge variety of factors.

      Remember this, if you got from there to here you have strength and resilience. This is a journey. It has meaning and purpose. If you can see it as a warrior quest to which you have been called, it can help. I know it did me. Take care.

    • rosross says:

      p.s. if you ever want to talk I am happy to listen. You can email me on rosross@hotmail.com

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