Nineteenth Post

The Door, the Hermit and the Never-Ending Story

More introspective musings !

(If I ever repeat myself I apologise for that. Since there are months if not years between my individual posts, I might forget that I have mentioned something already.)

I found a new favourite image for my depression. A door. When I was young it was hidden behind the wallpaper; I noticed that there is something and it made me aware that there are aspects of myself that I cannot grasp yet. As I grew older the wallpaper slowly peeled away around it the more I questioned my surroundings, myself and life – but I was still content in my externally structured everyday life with school and later university. Once I encountered the first moments where true, autonomous decisions about my life were expected of me, the door swung open, and I found… nothing. Nothing that binds me to life like all others around me seem to be.

Now, I oscillate between phases of motivation, where I keep on trying for the sake of those who love me, where I get myself to more or less believe that I’ll find this “something” at some point, where “the needs of the many clearly outweigh the needs of the few” (or, in this case, one) – to quote one of my childhood heroes – and phases of despair, where nothing has meaning, there is no reason to fight, I feel the love of those around me as shackles chaining me to existence. Or, to get back to my metaphor, phases where the door is closed, the meaninglessness behind it is white noise in the background that I can ignore or distract myself from, and phases where it is wide open and the greyness behind it is seeping in every corner, stealing every colour away, the noise drowning out everything else.

The thought that scares me most is that my existence will be governed by these cycles, distraction and despair, searching and meaninglessness, battle and exhaustion.

Do not misunderstand me; I do enjoy things. Little things mainly, like baking a cake, seeing a beautiful autumn leaf, listening to a song I like, waking up and everything is shrouded in fog, watching a good film… When the door is closed. I probably seem very happy. Because listening to the white noise only makes it stronger, so I pretend it’s not there. I do have “dreams” for my future, but they’re all “snapshots”; having a child some day (although this is rather vague and a very controversial one, I believe I can be as much a terrible mother as a good one), travelling to the Himalayas, diving, seeing the aurora… now that I think of it, that’s it, really. A little pitiful, honestly. They’re not dreams of what I want to become, what I want to achieve. I don’t have those.

An analogy I, by now, told two friends, that I liked a lot is my “hermit problem”. Makes it sound really scientific.

From what I observe, people have this innate, inextinguishable will to live. If someone thinks of suicide it’s (almost) always not a wish to die, but a wish to escape whatever constitutes their current life/situation. No one I talked to actually wanted to die. They want to be somewhere they can be happy, but sometimes lose the belief that there is a way to ever be happy. My hermit analogy is then: Assume that there is a person who is happiest when they’re alone, no ties to anyone, no dependencies or influences either way. They move to a lonely hut in the woods with a garden and everything they need for living comfortably on their own terms.

Why do they go on living ?

Might sound silly, but I really don’t know.

If you have a few happy days there, where does this need to accumulate more and more happy memories come from ? You cannot really “accumulate” them. If you rule out something like writing a diary for someone to find some day, what’s the point ? I know religion has some answers here if you believe in a meritocratic afterlife. I don’t. I do hope that there might be some kind of continuation of existence, but that’s really my curiosity here. If there isn’t it’s just as well.

Sometimes, this makes me wonder if my depression is innate somehow. I have no external reason for being depressed, no traumata, no screwed up childhood, no mobbing, no relationship gone awry. I could be (or should be) really happy right now. I have everything most other people with depression crave.

And yet here I battle white suicide noise every bloody day.

But, as one of those “many” in the quote above put it, I’m “part of someone else’s happy memories.” Quite a few, actually. Sometimes more than I want. So I guess that’s that. You know, the never-ending story,

close the door;

hold it shut;

tire out;

resign, drown in grey, panic, fight, struggle, push;

close the door…

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Fifteenth Post – Spiritual Gravity

One of my boyfriends’ spiritual experience and the subsequent dialogue with him prompted me to try and put my thoughts into better words – i.e. written ones. I have trouble finding the right terms and expressions while speaking, “on the go”, so to say, but when I’m writing my brain seems to work more efficiently in conveying what I want to express.

The seminar – contemplation – was something that seemed to have left a lasting impression within him and I’m happy for that. I did notice he seemed increasingly restless and … lost … I guess, and if this is something that he can use to show himself the way, I’m grateful he found it (I might not have been very good in expressing that at that moment – my curiosity sometimes¬†usually takes over and pushes my empathy aside). I’m also not good at just unquestioningly accepting other people’s viewpoints without having them explained to me; not out of critique or doubt but out of curiosity. But I do know that, I make people think they need to defend themselves when I ask questions about what they say – despite my best efforts to express my judgement-free interest and probably due to my lacking sense of when to stop probing. However, I mainly just want to compare viewpoints to my own and see how they differ. Scientific interest, so to say.

What he told me about his experience made me think about how I see/sense/feel the world around me, because much of what he said he’s searching/trying to get closer to are impressions (for the lack of a better word) that I just experience as integrated within my being/experience. Maybe that is why I don’t have the feeling of missing something in a spiritual sense. To me, what he described as the view behind the scene, the experience of what is behind the existence you just see and feel every day, is like.. spiritual gravity (is that then… spirity?). I don’t always consciously think about this spiritual gravity but I sense/feel it and some experiences make me focus on it – but it’s nonetheless always there, surrounding and permeating. And from what I know, it’s always been like that. I’ve never felt that there’s something missing in my existence or that there has to be “more”. To me, I know that there is “more”; I feel it every day. (Reminding me of the “Agents of Shield” episode with the berserker staff…).

Thus, it’s not something.. special, in that sense. It’s not something I have to talk about or feel the need to share with others. You wouldn’t have the urge to share with your neighbors how you felt gravity today, would you? Besides, I’m not a very extrovertedly oriented person – in this case, socially-spiritually, not emotionally; feeling the need to connect with others through spirituality. That is why I don’t understand the need of people to convince others about their beliefs. Isn’t that something.. internal? My beliefs, this (sub)conscious sense for – I can’t think of a better term – spiritual gravity, is a part of my being, my soul, if you will. I don’t have to find a group of people to have it confirmed, strengthened or reinforced, much less feel the urge to throw it at other people. Just spiritually, I know¬†sense my place in this universe with all its connections, layers and complexity and it feels awesomely beautiful – it also makes me feel amazingly tiny and paradoxically totally insignificant and hugely significant at the same time. Does that sound presumptuous? I don’t know. I never thought myself better than anyone else just because I don’t need a religious construct to feel like that. Actually, I’ve never thought about that this might be what other people are searching for their entire life – and maybe it isn’t after all. I just know that it makes me feel … in safe hands.

Just without the personification. To me, that … gravity… doesn’t have a consciousness. I don’t say it’s like a physical force that follows fixed, mathematical rules, or so, but it doesn’t have a true consciousness, something that thinks and observes. Maybe it senses… I should call it semi-conscious, I guess. It’s hard to explain; I think it can be attracted and influenced but it doesn’t “think”.

I think an inherit trait of consciousness is to reflect, to question, to develop, to decide in one way and not the other, to feel. And to me, it’s a strange thought that the upmost, supreme .. existence/force/power is “someone”, rather than “something”. I understand that people feel safer then, taken care of. But I also see it as very… human, this need ( I always said, I don’t feel like one ;) ). It’s a little hard to describe but when my mind looks at religion, it’s a wonderfully complex, elaborate, sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly construct (still in progress) but it’s very plainly (being) constructed by humans. And even this construct and its builders are, to me, permeated by this spiritual gravity and if I want to engage with it, I do that on a curious, analytical level, because spiritually/emotionally I already feel myself sensing the underlying force itself. It’s just interesting to see what other people/cultures make out of it – and sometimes it’s horrifying, too…

I do understand the social aspect and its importance, especially for whole cultures as humans seem to need these guidelines to feel safe, protected, connected and also to look after each other. I just.. don’t. I observe these needs and know where they come from but, spiritually, I don’t feel that. I do need connections. I don’t think I’d be able to live in isolation, although I believe I’d be better with that than many, but I have my connections to special people, people I love, and those are perfect. If the world was empty but for those few, I’d be just as happy as I am now (and sometimes happier) – obviously at an emotional level, not counting the material inconveniences like no internet or new video games (*gasp*). And I don’t say that in arrogance or think that my “way” is better. I just don’t function like that and thus occasionally clash with cultural/religious/social human behaviour and opinions (but at least the world would be more peaceful if more people felt like me).

A rather daring theory would be now that I am good at “touching”/comforting people emotionally because I sense and/or focus this gravity. I’ve always wondered how it is that I seem to be able to make the people I care for comforted and calmed even though I can’t relate to many things on an emotional level. I can either analyse the issue or try to … softly stroke their agitated souls, so to speak. It much feels like comforting a hurt animal, to me, something fragile and fluttering that is injured. I want to wrap a protective and healing gravity cloak around it and the words I say are usually just secondary – it’s actually much like what everyone else would say in this situation, I think. But as I said, that’s a very colourful interpretation. It was fun thinking about it, though.

PS. I chose gravity because it is something that is all-permeating. There’s no way to shield off gravity. But it could also be described as a kind of spiritual cosmic background radiation, of course. Furthermore, my choice was inspired by watching “Interstellar” recently (a very long but also very good film that is less a science-fiction and more a story about .. exactly this kind of spiritual search). There, all these basic questions are touched in connection with time – and a human life span – and one of the lasting answers is that there is only one thing that can permeate time and space: gravity. But then, they find a second one: Love. :)