Just the other night I finished reading the book All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable, and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache by Paula Kamen.
I learned a very valuable lesson while reading this book. You see, I’ve been a chronic daily sufferer of depression. For the last 20 years I’ve been in therapy, taking drugs, doing what Western doctors and holistic practitioners have told me to do and have only ended up worse, doped, and/or unable to function. Like the authoress, I’ve had my brain chemistry scrambled by drugs, gained 30 pounds in three months, been ignored and insulted by doctors, only to be left more depressed than I was in the first place.
It’s not that I want to be depressed all the time, it’s that I don’t know how not to be. It seems to me I’ve been depressed for so long it’s the only way my brain knows how to function, so in reality, it’s who I am. And I have to accept it. I’ve been traveling on the “acceptance” road for a while now. Despite 20 years of therapy, I’m still depressed. I still lack self-worth and am very, very sensitive to criticism. Suicidal thoughts still cross my mind pretty regularly although I don’t want to die actively, but on a passive level I do.
Just yesterday I was having one of those days where the thought of driving my car into a tree was all I could think about. I was fine and happy until I got an email from criticizing me on something I thought I had done right. After I read the email, I felt my self-worth, what little I have, plummet along with my stomach. My self-respect and esteem also took a hit. I could taste the fear in my mouth and feel it churning around in the place where my stomach usually lives. I just kept saying to myself “this too will pass. This too will pass. It always does.”
In the past I’ve considered trying to ritualize the elimination of the depression from my soul, spirit, and mind, but I’m not sure that’s the best way to overcome depression. I think there would be such a deep hole inside me because the depression has eaten away at so much, kinda like termites. Sure, the house is still standing but hammer a nail in it and the whole thing falls to pieces before your eyes. So instead of slaying the depression, I’m going to accept it through ritual.
Now I have to figure out how to ritualize the acceptance of major depression.