In the last two days, I’ve come across the reference to the Greek myth of labyrinth and the Minotaur. Once in the book Callings, Finding and Following an Authentic Life by Gregg Levoy and a blog entry here on WordPress by Kachaiweb – Food.for.Thoughts. Now this isn’t something that usually happens to me coming across Greek myths.
It’s a story of Theseus slaying a beast in an underground labyrinth, and guiding himself out by a length of thread given to him by the king’s daughter, Ariadne. Allison Stieger wrote a wonderful article on this where I found the quote above:
As Allison says, “Monsters are often the guardians of treasure, who must be slain in order to bring the treasure out. In a creative journey, we must often find our way through a labyrinth. We take wrong turns, hit walls, get lost. Often, this is what must happen to find the creative treasure at the center of ourselves, that one thing that must be brought into the world through our creative efforts.”
I know for myself and for many of you we feel like everyday we’re fighting a battle within. Many times the path ahead seems dark and bleak and we’re very much scared that if we go deeper we may not be able to return. I feel like these references pointing me back to this myth is indeed a sign to remind myself and you to keep finding the courage to take another step in our own labyrinth. This journey is so worth the rewards of finding our true self.
You are a treasure worth battling for,
So I’m going to talk about a couple of life events that many men who have experienced don’t usually open up about. Most just stoically hide it deeply within multiple layers hoping it will just go away. For me, that only leads to more men thinking they aren’t “man enough” when the depression/I don’t fit in dragon shows up. Many men don’t show or express their fears or emotions with other men. Why you might be asking would I want to? This is my attempt to take a small bite out of this disservice and hopefully inspire others to open up and more importantly to find freedom to JUST BE.
I was 16 years old when I attempted suicide. There had been no horrible event that pushed me nor no problems with my family upbringing. I was just depressed obviously to the point of no longer wanting to live. I didn’t feel like I fit in with everyone else and was just faking it by putting on a smile each day. My self confidence was at an all time low. I’d stop participating in sports and just came home every day and basically went to bed right after dinner. One night I had had enough and took 100 Tylenol pills and laid down to go sleep hoping I’d never have to suffer another day on this earth. As I laid there my heart was beating almost out of my chest. I tried to fall asleep, but it just wouldn’t happen. Something was not going to allow this. Call it God, Spirit, or maybe just my Soul which is the same thing was saying get up. This is all foggy memories but I remember waking my dad and telling him. My mom was working. One memory that stands out is us speeding to the hospital across town and me looking over at my father who had tears running down his cheek and the most love and sorrow in his eyes. Having my own children I now know that truest love.
I got pumped out and set home. The docs and my parents wanted to send me the “funny farm” and being a 16 year old male I’d have none of that. I went to see a shrink a couple of times and it then it was basically dropped and no longer openly discussed. My parents I’m sure walked on egg shells hoping no further attempts would be taken and also doing their best at the time unfortunately rewarded me with a sports car and more freedom then any teen should be allowed. Living in a small town I’m sure most people were aware, but nobody ever brought it up. I basically hid it deep within and started partying like I was in college and no longer cared what people thought of me.
Fast forward to when I was 51. Recently divorced from the love of my life and my best friend. I won’t speak to much about the divorce since my identity is public and I want to respect my kids and ex. To say it was earth shattering would be a disservice. It was the lowest I’ve been since back at 16. The first year after the divorce I was just numb, going through the emotions, and faking it. Yet again my self confidence and self worth was gone. In my eyes I was the biggest failure on fucking earth. I’ll always remember my young daughter crying and screaming no no! Inside I was doing the same. After the first year of being divorced I couldn’t fake it any longer. All I wanted to do was sleep and escape the pain. One morning I called into work sick, hung up, and then setup an appointment to meet with a counselor. This was via a program my work provided. I knew it was time to ask for help. I was granted a leave of absence of 6 weeks. I saw the counselor weekly, met with a shrink, tried a church, and got a shamanic healing and learned how to journey. I wasn’t healed after 6 weeks, but I was in a better place to start functioning in life again. I’m so thankful for my boss for sticking up for me and supporting me. Interesting enough I didn’t tell my best friends or loved ones. Another stupid male trait.
These experiences I don’t wish on anyone, but I am learning how to grow from them. Empathy has become a very prominent part of my living. I’ve gotten closer to my kids too. I had to tell them about my suicide attempt when they were teens just because of my past. That was one of the hardest things to do. I was taught dads should be strong and invincible. I don’t really know how to wrap this up and really I don’t want to wrap it up right? That’s what us males do so well. I know I just touched on suicide and depression but it’s a continued start of me being vulnerable and free. The only way to grow is to hold your breath, be vulnerable, and release your breath. It’s sent out and what I know is Love comes gushing in❤️
If anyone wants to talk more about these topics privately you can email me at HydeD66@gmail.com.
Sending love to all of you,
I’m realizing as I write out my thoughts a little context goes a long way. Many of you who read my blog battle with depression as I do. My hope is this post surrounds you all with light and helps you get through some of the storms. I post this only with the goal of sending love to all and mean no disrespect to anyone’s faith.
No matter what I label myself.
No matter what others label me.
At my core I Am God. I am infinite love.
As I repeat these words, I AM GOD, peace overcomes me and I welcome back my highest self.
I hope this helps someone as it has me,
How do you slay a dragon when it brings forth fire breathing depression on your ass? First, you find the courage to face it. Second, you use every tool you have in your arsenal. Third, it’s impossible to completely slay, but the sooner you deal with it the sooner you start feeling better. For me, the depression starts getting smaller and smaller and eventually flies away. I know it will come again, but next time I will be more prepared.
Tools I used the last 4 days battling my dragon:
- This online community
- Stabilize sleep patterns
- Drink apple cider vinegar
- Decaf coffee
- Morning stretches
- Cold showers
- Taking dogs and me for walks
- Give thanks/prayer
- Strength training
- Exercise bike
- Turmeric tea
- Being kind to self
- Cleaned my house
- Spend time with loved ones
This time around I forced myself to deal with it by making the commitment and documenting it here. Usually I would of road it out hiding in bed with a pillow over my head. I didn’t succeed every day, but each day the tools helped me emotionally and physically which relieved some of the pressure of depression. One insight was my sleep patterns need much help. I had one night where I got 5 straight hours of sleep and felt like a different person. Imagine 6 hours straight🤪. After much thought, I am going to inquire from my doc about going to a sleep lab. Lastly, I’m discovering the food I consume definitely comes into play with all of this. I need to get disciplined in that area for sure. I’m going to also explore incorporating fasting once every so often. It did seem to help like a type of cleanse.
On Day 1, I was regretting making this commitment to myself and you all. Now it’s Day 5 and I’m so glad I did it. Who knows maybe in the future you’ll see more “daily journal” posts on healthy eating or working on my sleep. I’m very grateful for all of you reading, commenting, and supporting me these last days. Thank you🤗
Howdy! Okay this is my last day of documenting. I didn’t get a great night sleep, but it wasn’t as bad as the night before. I actually started googling sleep labs last night while I couldn’t sleep🤪. I just can’t imagine having to sleep with a machine over my nose, but something has to change in that area. I’m just trying to stay “natural”. Today I’m experimenting with fasting for part of the day. I’ve never used this as a tool before so the verdict is still out. I’m attempting to see how it affects my sleep tonight. I think my diet has a lot to do with my physical and mental health and it could even improve my sleep.
Alrighty, so today is Saturday and I got up at 7 and actually didn’t feel that bad even though I hadn’t gotten much sleep. I started the morning of with a turmeric tea(tool). It has many benefits, but the main one I’m shooting for is it’s benefits against depression. I just took it easy and brought my doggie to the vet and put on some Barry White and cleaned my house(tool). For me, I feel much calmer when things are in order and it does give me some satisfaction when I’m done. No, I won’t come to your house to clean.
Took my daughter to the Fine Art Center for prom pictures later in the afternoon. My little girl isn’t a little girl anymore. We got yelled out about 5 times because of the flash, but it was worth it. Got some giggles out of that. Spending time with her(tool) is precious. Didn’t do much in the evening other then chill and read(tool).
Thoughts for the day:
I can honestly say I’m not depressed today. My depression does usually start hitting the road by day four, but I guess the key here in this experiment is that day 1, 2, and 3 were definitely not as intense as in the past dealing with my depression bouts. Usually I would of stayed in bed day 1 and 2. Getting out of bed and using my tools as best I can has made it more tolerable and help keep my mind off of it. I’ll write up a summary tomorrow. Thanks for following along❤️
I’ll cut to the chase. Day 3 of using my tools to work myself out my current depression state was a bust. I got to bed on day 2 around 10:00, but woke up at 12:30 and didn’t fall back to sleep until 4:30. When my alarm went off at 6, I took care of my dogs and instead of doing my morning routine, I went back to bed until 8. Woke up still groggy and skipped my midday tools too. After work I did make it out for a walk.
Thoughts on day 3:
- I need to figure out this sleep. I did a lot on day 2 and figured I’d sleep with no problem. I may lump the issue in with eating better?? I did go to bed a bit stressed out. When I woke up at 12:30 I tried listening to a sleep meditation, but that didn’t work. I tossed and turned and finally just got on social media. I know, not a smart move.
- I have nobody to blame for this other then myself. I chose to not take the extra effort needed today to help me feel better later. I see that and own it.
I’m going to do one more day of this since tomorrow is a weekend and I’d like to see how that may differ. Thanks for hanging with me❤️