Another chapter, another Life. The end of depression

After decades of gruesome depression, I am now free from it.

Imagine that… I have managed to heal myself with little or no
help at all, refusing to take any medicine.

It´s been a terrible journey in the most unthinkable barren desert.
Others with the same predicament have had the fortune of having
understanding people around them. Not me…I had no one beside me to give me a hand, except some indirect help I´ve been totally on my own, my only companion being my trustworthy inner voice – my saviour.

It´s been an Odyssey into utter loneliness and darkness.
In Hades – the worst thinkable hell. Hell, because no one was interested to know. To understand. To speak about it. No one wanted to listen. They all in some way or another face it, yet due to shame and twisted vanity they feign it away.

What is blatantly significant is that the true healing from depression entails deep spiritual transformation, with other words – this may sound far-fetched – if you want to heal thoroughly, you almost have to eventually get “enlightened”. My new and beloved consorts which seem to no longer leave me in the lurch – Joy, Tranquility and Ineffable Force – point that way. To illumination.

So I have found this post which in my opinion is until now the most articulate and well-formulated article about how depression feels.

Here it is:

Depression is humiliating.
It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune.
It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed.

You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it.

And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation.
If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier.
No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life. It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you.
If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself.

Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest yet be judge.

http://luna.typepad.com

About julienmatei
I feel an inner urge to express what I see, to communicate and share with others all these impressions. Often the things I see are there, not yet manifest, but waiting... to be observed, talked about, and embraced. These new insights need another approach, a more vivid curiosity... Due to fear and prejudice we prefer to see only "the official" truth - but THE OFFICIAL TRUTH IS DEAD - being dead, it has nothing to give... We can continue pretending Death is fascinating or... we can take the trouble to LIVE... THE NEW has no definition yet... Again, IT requires another "perception", the courage to apprehend everything differently, from a totally new angle, with new confidence and inquisitive touch. This blog is not about interesting concepts, it is about participation... finding new solutions, inspiration, togetherness.

13 Responses to Another chapter, another Life. The end of depression

  1. reikiheidi says:

    You capture it so well. I’ve been there, it is real and it is hell. Kudos to you for getting through it on your own – that takes real strength. I was lucky that I had a supportive partner.
    May Illumination continue to light your way 🙂

    • julienmatei says:

      You were lucky to have had that support. A blessing really.

      As for me, Fate has been very harsh leaving me on my own – but now as I am “through”, I can stand upright fearing nothing. I need no one. I am free…

  2. This is indeed so well written and articulate. I am depressed on most days and carry on with it , with no help. Some days i don’t want to get up from bed, even show my face to the world and I spend then day under the blanket. It gets too much…the meaningless and endless crying, the way food becomes revolting to my palate..But I keep hanging on, telling myself over and over again, ” Today i am feeling so weak and cornered, like I want to curl up in a dark place and die…but tomorrow I will be better, stronger and surer of myself “.
    I am still struggling with it, But I agree to what you wrote here, that in an attempt to heal oneself you have to get eventually enlightened. Dealing with depression is akin to a spiritual awakening for me. I am not yet there, but I have started the journey.
    Thank you for this post 🙂

    • julienmatei says:

      I so much recognize my experience in your words:

      “It gets too much…the meaningless and endless crying”

      It seems meaningless, but crying does help. I for one felt oftentimes that I even ran out of tears, so harsh was the sorrow.

      You say:

      “Today I am feeling so weak and cornered, like I want to curl up in a dark place and die…but tomorrow I will be better, stronger and surer of myself. I am still struggling with it. “

      Now, please pay attention.

      Depression is ultimately inner cleavage – the direct outcome of separation. Depression is duality at work.

      Time and thought creating distance from what is.

      To heal means actually to suspend time and thought staying with what is, surrendering.

      Thus, the greatest trial is to eliminate time, to meet and tenderly confront this pain in this moment, as if there was no tomorrow. You have to let go of trying to “be better, stronger and surer” of yourself. In fact you have to even let go of hope – I am aware this sounds truly paradoxical. That´s hard, really hard, because it´s like giving up everything – the false identity – you have been taught to believe in. It feels like dying. But that is the process I have been going through, I talk from experience.

      It is overwhelming, no doubt about that, above all when you are on your own with no guidance.

      Struggling “against” reinforces the pain, the separation, the inner cleavage – unbeknownst you enhance it, creating even more distance to it.

      You see, even the word “deal” loses its sense, because, after all, who is the entity who deals…?
      The very entity – ego – who created the pain you are in.

      “I am not yet there”, you say. Know that in this outlandish journey, there is no “there” anymore. If you want to recover, you have to give up time, thought and distance. Very difficult as these – time, thought and distance – are the very foundation of human identity and pursuit.

      That´s Enlightenment – to give up clinging to the Known and totally surrender.

      BE VERY CAREFUL, because ego will do anything in its power to prevent you from understanding and embracing this insight.

      Since I have been there and managed to come out, I might be able to help others. You may want to talk to me more.

      Tell me if my words make sense to you.

      • Thanks Julien…always good to talk to someone who knows what I am talking about.

        Yes your words do make sense, however I find it hard to relax and surrender. I am about to turn 24 this weekend, i am out of Post Grad school,in anew job and I burden myself with the responsibilities of my parents and my home. I feel i am duty bound to be happy and lively for the sake of others,like I don’t have time for my sorrow. I have to learn things at my job, do well, be fast,be up and about and all the while be cheerful and active…while in reality my mind wants to drown itself in whatever I am feeling today, stay indoors,cry,sit silent…but I can’t. Hence I end up telling myself “tomorrow you have to get better”

        The only thing that saves me is my over-awareness about depression…I saw a relative suffer, I have read on the topic I am careful when it starts creeping in…for me its more like periodic bouts of depression. My awareness about what is happening to me is what makes a portion of my brain go into repair mechanism even before I am fully hit with it.

        I hate this conscious vacillation of emotions…but I have made myself believe that i can’t afford the luxury of surrendering to my depressed mind.

        Also, I don’t know why but writing helps me a lot. I just automatically end up feeling better after I have written something, anything, whether related to my state of mind or not.

        I don’t know what will be the result of my surrendering to depression, to this state of my mind. But i am truly scared of it now because I don’t know if I let myself fall, how if at all I will ever, come back up to the surface.

      • julienmatei says:

        “I am duty bound to be happy and lively for the sake of others, like I don’t have time for my sorrow.”- you say.

        You see, I am far from giving you advises. Depression is an insidious process. It worsens, unless you consider it with loving attention. The thing is though that if you don´t have time for your sorrow now and deliberately postpone it, at some point, it will force you to take time and heed it. The more you flee, the more vehemently it will make itself heard in you.

        Whatever you suppress in your inner life will be played out as Destiny around you.

        The more you overlook the unpleasant emotions, the more complex and difficult to handle they will be, as they will sink into your subconscious mind, enhancing the gap within…

        To the extent you can, think a little more of yourself. Put your predicament on the first place, because if you get in real trouble, nobody will be able to help – as most of the psychologists or psychiatrists today are afraid of courageously delving into these levels of the soul, impartially and professionally shedding light on the problem. That because they all suffer from the same disease – like most people today.

        You say:

        “I don’t know what will be the result of my surrendering to depression. I am truly scared of it now because I don’t know if I let myself fall, how if at all I will ever, come back up to the surface.”

        Now – you may realize that it is the fear within you saying these words. It is this Fear which is afraid to look into its own nature, and lose the control over you.

        You see, there are regressive levels within us which are not very pleased if we recover. These energies are very sneaky, as your success to get well is their failure, and your failure to recover from depression is their success.

        So…this is what I can share with you, hoping you will hear with the heart.

  3. Casey says:

    Have you ever heard of Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration?

    http://positivedisintegration.com/

    Rather than summarize it, I’ll let you explore it on your own. You might find it interesting.

    • julienmatei says:

      Casey,

      I will defiinitely look to this link.

      Fact of the matter is that I prefer to hear your words about the matter, as your wording is very
      enlightening.

      So – what do you find worthwhile in his output?

      • Casey says:

        Most personality development theories (like Frued’s, Piaget’s, Erikson’s, Maslow’s) describe a process by which new developmental stages can only be reached after the preceding ones have been mastered. Additionally, the stages are almost always tied into chronological ages.

        Dabrowski’s theory is unique in that higher-level personality development can only proceed after existing psychic structures that have been ‘other-constructed’ by the social, cultural, and political influences/conditioning around the person are deconstructed and the individual begins to self-select desired qualities and moral values he or she wishes to incorporate into their personality, with higher-level thought and activity being favored over lower-level thought and activity.

        However, the emerging awareness of the conflict between the external environment and the developing internal environment creates intense psychoneuroses, which eventually, because it’s a sometimes excruciating and untenable situation for very long, causes breakdown. The process of individuation means a whole lot of conditioning needs to be undone first.

        But, whereas Freud, his followers, most psychotherapists and the entire pharmaceutical community sought and seek to eliminate the tension and avoid breakdown in order to fit in with society, Dabrowski saw this disintegrative process was THE critical step to higher level development and becoming an autonomous Self.

        However, Dabrowski was also very cognizant that not every person was able to successfully navigate this disintegrative process. Rather than passing through and reintegrating at a higher level, some individuals got stuck in psychosis (yes, it’s THAT disturbing a process), or, re-integrate at a lower level than they were before the disintegrative process.

        Dabrowski’s way of helping individuals was to re-frame what they were going through as a gift and focused heavily on autopsychotherapy.

        He wrote, “Psychoneuroses ‘especially those of a higher level’ provide an opportunity to ‘take one’s life in one’s own hands’. They are expressive of a drive for psychic autonomy, especially moral autonomy, through transformation of a more or less primitively integrated structure. This is a process in which the individual himself becomes an active agent in his disintegration, and even breakdown. Thus the person finds a ‘cure’ for himself, not in the sense of a rehabilitation but rather in the sense of reaching a higher level than the one at which he was prior to disintegration. This occurs through a process of an education of oneself and of an inner psychic transformation. One of the main mechanisms of this process is a continual sense of looking into oneself as if from outside, followed by a conscious affirmation or negation of conditions and values in both the internal and external environments. Through the constant creation of himself, though the development of the inner psychic milieu and development of discriminating power with respect to both the inner and outer milieus – an individual goes through ever higher levels of ‘neuroses’ and at the same time through ever higher levels of universal development of his personality” (Dabrowski, 1972, p. 4).

        This process was also not tied into external events (like divorce, death, or losing a job, etc), nor age, but it was a spontaneous occurrence, that happens spontaneously at ANY age, including childhood.

        Not everyone will pass through this process, only those who possess what is called “overexcitabilities” in one or more areas – intellectual, emotional, psychomotor, sensual and imaginational – AND only those with this ineffable “third factor” (an internal driving force).

        And, not everyone starts out in life at level One. There are some children who are already born at a level Two or Three.

        And while his theory applies to the entire spectrum of humans, it has been largely ignored (because there was two world wars going on at the time he was developing his theories, because his ideas were a radical departure from mainstream psychology, and he published in Polish) until recent years, when Dabrowski’s students have taken this theory into modernity by repackaging it for gifted students and adults. However, there has been some controversy about how Dabrowski’s theory and ideas are being currently applied. While one student of Dabrowski’s “intellectual heir” has all of Dabrowski’s published and unpublished works and is attempting to remain faithful to Dabrowski’s original intentions, there is a student of Dabrowski who is diluting and changing some things around and reinterpreting things.

        I have Dabrowski’s works and a video of him working with a patient on a DVD that was sent to me from that website. I had a thoroughly enjoyable personal correspondence with the owner of that website Bill Tillier for a short period of time…and it was fascinating to learn a few things from him about the theory.

        It’s best to learn Dabrowski’s work from the sources that are truest to his intentions, which is why I’m grateful to have the translated works from Bill Tillier and no one else. It’s not that I haven’t read other interpretations, but I do so knowing I’m being slightly misinformed.

        And, this is why by and large, I tend to believe that we are doing a disservice to ourselves by medicating away our neuroticism. We need to understand the great potential in this process and learn to get comfortable with the discomfort and educate ourselves as to what the gift is in this process.

        So, there. I’m only scratching the tip of the iceberg for you. If you want to learn more, peruse Tillier’s site. I recommend learning from him first before exploring other Dabrowski followers.

        It sounds as if you had gone through positive disintegration to me. =)

      • Casey says:

        oh, and I polished up my response a tad bit and reposted on my blog, just so that you know. thanks for the opportunity to share with you a little bit of what I have learned.

        All the best,

        Casey

      • julienmatei says:

        I am so grateful for your comment. You are so coherent and succinct. A pleasure to read.

        It´s a thrill to communicate like this in the traceless space about such life-altering and meaningful ideas.

        I will get back.

        Julien

      • Casey says:

        You are very welcome, Julien.

        There’s a treasure trove there (more refined than my meager attempts at it) and one in which I think will fascinate you and aide you in your self-understanding.

        And I concur on the thrill of sharing such ideas.

  4. Pingback: The ultimate cure of depression | Mirrors of Encounters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: