“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
-T. S. Eliot
“As a Wanderer, an apprentice to the unknown, you long to be initiated into the fully embodied life of your soul. You will have to wait. The fallow time of the second cocoon, the time between death and rebirth, cannot be dodged. To catch up to your soul, you will have to learn, as T. S. Eliot did, to place your faith and love and hope in the waiting.”
-Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin
These two quotes reasonate with me. There have been multiple times in my life where everything within just shut down going into safety mode to cause no further damage. I’d scream come on already, but nothing. Just darkness. Eventually I’d start back uP, and think I died and re-birthed. Like a one way trip from caterpillar to butterfly. Oh how I was wrong. How many re-births will it take? For the waiting isn’t something I do very well. The thought arises there are still parts that obviously never died, and I indeed have some catching up to do. Now I attempt to sit with and trust the waiting 😊
Be it a pill
Or even a walk on a cold snowy day
Take what works for you!
The dragon is always ready to pounce.
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🤗