Part 7: It's Depression, Stupid!
My journey towards creating joy continues. I’m now probably a third of the way done writing my new book, The Book of The One. It’s shaping up quite nicely and really just flowing out of me. I have to stop quite regularly to take care of the other stuff that fills my life but things are going well with the writing.
So far so good.
Except I have now hit a snag. I have found I can’t go forward without getting really honest with myself – and while I am at it, I might as well share this moment of honesty with you. You see, I am working so hard all the time to find and create this joy in my life because, at base, it seems to be really totally absent. If I don’t WORK at it, then I don’t feel it. And when I am working at it then I get joyful feelings but… it somehow doesn’t feel real. And as soon as I stop working at it and stop self-emoting I feel empty and joyless again.
Time for even more honesty: you know… my whole life I have felt like I don’t really belong here. I suppose I felt like I was born on the wrong planet. Or born in the wrong reality. I’ve always felt a yearning for “home” and that home was nowhere to be found on this planet. I’ve always felt that the way things are done here, the way life works here, business as normal… all of this is just not right for me. I don’t belong. And I want to go home.
I don’t want to belabour you with my whining so I’ll leave it at that: the point made that I haven’t really found life to be “happy”. I’ve always thought “happy people” were either putting on a mask or deluding themselves.
And so, yesterday, I was having a real deep heart-to-heart conversation with Lisa about this and she said to me: “you’re obviously depressed”.
At first I resisted the idea. I even got a little angry. I felt like she was dismissing the underlying reasons for my pain, saying something like “it’s not real, it’s all just in your head”. And of course, that response showed me that there was something there for me. We don’t get angry when someone says something untrue or irrelevant. We get angry when someone says something true that we don’t want to hear!
So I went looking. I did some reading and research and, yes, symptom for symptom, I checked out. I am depressed and I have been so, to one degree or another, for my whole life.
So how about THAT!?!
It’s been quite an interesting thing to admit this to myself. I actually feel a great deal of relief. What it means for me is that there is actually something I can (and should) do about the symptoms. I can deal with my depression. It also means that I still need to work on the cause. And I am very clear and sure about this. The origin of my pain is spiritual. And I will heal that spiritual origin or find help to do so.
The way I see it is this: Something in my spiritual make-up is hurt. In my soul I am carrying huge number of beliefs, choices and decisions and I carried all of them into this life when I was born here. Many of them are beautiful and right for me. Some of them less so. And the less helpful beliefs, choices and decisions show themselves to me in emotional and also physical discomfort. I know this and have dealt with a vast number of those ancient beliefs, choices and decisions. I have released and replaced them as I discovered them and become more whole. But clearly there is still more work to do. There exists, deep within my soul, some belief that I am hanging on to that I have avoided looking at that has caused this suffering that I have felt my whole life.
The thing is that this deep belief has cause me to create certain thinking-patterns that go round and round and have become ingrained in me. They have become normal. I have come to always see myself, my life and the world in this way. And it became ingrained so early on that I never thought to question it. Feeling this way has become “normal” for me.
Up to now I have been misdirecting myself. Up to now, if I admitted to myself that I actually felt deeply soul-sad, then I told myself a lie about why it was that I felt this way. There was always a reason. At age 5 it was because my parents split and my father left. At 6 it was because I lost my dog. By 7 it was that I hated school. Then, from about 8 to 13 I was bullied and teased by a group of kids. And then… well... there was always a reason. And the reasons didn't stop... they just changed. So by the time I was in my mid-thirties I was a fairly successful entrepreneur with my own business doing quite well for myself. Why was I not happy? I told myself it was because I hated the city (traffic, crime, grime and bad energy). I told myself I hated the lies and hypocrisy of “doing business”. These are the things that, I told myself, were making me unhappy. Misdirection upon misdirection, I kept this up my whole life always looking outside of myself for the cause of my unhappiness.
Well here I am now. Now I have eliminated every little unhappiness that is outside of me: I live a beautiful life in a natural paradise, I do what I love to do and I engage only with wonderful people all day. There is nothing “wrong” that I can point to any more that I blame for my own pain. I can misdirect myself no longer. I cannot lie to myself any more. I finally have to get honest with myself.
I’m depressed! Pretty much always have been!
So I’ve shared this discovery with a few people. Almost universally the response has been ”You?!? Depressed?!? No, man, that can’t be! You are the most upbeat person I know. And look at your life… what have you got to be unhappy about? Never... you can’t be depressed.”
I guess there is a mistaken idea that all depression is one thing and that it always equals a listless couch potato. But this is simply not true. As unique and varied as we each are… just so different are our responses to depression. Some people are high-functioning depressives. They deal with their deep well of sadness by throwing themselves at their work. They become workaholics. I’m certainly not like that! But I have become, I suppose, a spiritual workaholic of a sort. I do endless internal processing. And when something good comes of that I try to share it with others. And hence The Ascension Papers, Soul re-Integration and other such offerings. These things are actually developed out of my own striving to cope to with my own suffering - not least of which has been my depression. This is me coping with my suffering.
So I do see and affirm that a lot of good has come from this. But that does NOT mean I am willing to spend the rest of my life doing stuff to deal with depression! I want to move forward and do things because it brings greater joy, love and peace! So I have decided to deal with this now. I see that I am depressed, I see that I have brought this to myself, I see that it has been useful and valuable, I am grateful for that. Now I am MOVING ON!
How I Plan To Beat My Depression
I have already taken the first step. This was, quite simply, to get honest with myself. No more hiding. The second step was to share this with some close friends that I trust... to talk about it. This includes you, obviously! Which is ironic because someone I know who works in the mental-health profession was aghast when I said I was going to write this up and share it with everyone. She shared with me that in the mental-health professions there is a firmly held ideal that the practitioner should never reveal personal information about himself to his patients. And, above all, he should NEVER admit to his patients that he himself has emotional or psychological issues. I suppose they fear they will lose credibility… lose their air of professional dignity, perhaps.
Well, I think this is exactly wrong. I am not a clinical technician. I am not here to apply techniques, mechanisms and perhaps medications to make a patient's symptoms "go away". I am here to bring compassion and empathy to bear, to KNOW what my client's pain is, so that I can be a part of the journey to real wholeness and wellness with them. It's an entirely different approach.
And having BEEN THERE I can be of assistance not only to those who are struggling with depression but as a result of this I also gain HUGE compassion for those struggling with other oft-misunderstood ailments of the psyche. So, obviously, hiding behind a false air of impermeable superiority is exactly the opposite of what I am about.
And then there is the other benefit: talking about it openly and honestly helps to lift the veil of silence and misunderstanding on depression and other such ailments.
So that was the second step: sharing and talking about it.
Now what’s next?
I’m going to deal with my depression by recognising that it is actually nothing more than a psychological habit that can be broken and, as I kick that habit so I am also going to find and deal with the deep-seated spiritual issue that has caused it. First I shall deal with the symptoms, then I shall deal with the cause.
I’ll keep you posted with how that goes...