Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Long and Winding Road

A few years ago, I started working with a therapist due to a deep depression triggered by a serious loss in my life. After some time the depression came under control and lifted. I, however, wanted to work to relieve the underlying issues and stresses that had formed the basis for the depressive trigger exploding into a life-darkening mushroom cloud. I knew the issues were there because I had been impaired by depression at an earlier time. I found out through the effects of my therapy that I had a basic and chronic low grade depression that was with me at all times throughout my life. I did not recognize it until I was dealing with it, because I had no comparative memory of another way of being that would allow me to know that I was depressed. In other words, I did not know what living without chronic depression was. Being depressed was “my normal”.

I will not take you through the “scary” details of the work that I did with my first ever therapist in the year that followed. Suffice it to say that it was frightening at times; that I resisted it at some times, that it was exciting at most times and that it was life changing in the end.

It was life changing, because depression for me was based solidly on my perception of myself as not being OK – i.e. I had/have low self esteem. My inner work helped me to allow me to change those perceptions/beliefs about my self and will continue to be a focus for a long time to come.

I began this work years before this therapy and had invigorated my self esteem to the point that I was able to speak comfortably in front of groups. I became a reasonably effective adults educator, even enjoyed working for 15 month as a professional seminar leader. I experienced it as a great freeing up of part of my self – a liberating and jubilant experience of self discovery. And now some people claim that they cannot shut me up!

This liberation was limited, however, to areas that were reasonably impersonal and "safe", i.e. I did not expose much of the inner me – my emotions and core beliefs. My sexuality was/is the core of self disregard and needed/needs to be reconciled with my deepest beliefs about myself, some what like a realignment to run more smoothly on life’s road. This has been the work that I am now more seriously engaged in and have made great steps forward as a result.

This work, like most of life, is layered, and is accomplished by working through one level at a time. And it is not always what it seems, either internally or how it manifests in actions and reactions!

One of the big issues that came up after I started to integrate my rational knowledge of myself with my emotional and spiritual knowledge and acceptance, was the anger contained in me that has been suppressed and repressed for my whole life. I went through considerable self analysis to understand the causes of the rage I have and actively worked a conscious forgiveness process to clear it away. I did reasonably well because I was consciously very eager and ready to do the work, no matter how tough it felt or was. I felt that I finished much of this about 14 months ago and was ready to move to other things – and I did.

About three months ago, shortly after my return from Africa – trying to reintegrate myself back into my life routines in Vancouver; I reflected and, in hindsight, saw that I had let the genie out of the bottle a year earlier!

No comments:

Post a Comment