I posted this out on my Instagram page last year. As many of you know, I have quite the history with my dragon.
This dragon isn’t being sent to me from beyond.
It’s coming from within.
Sometimes it’s the only way my soul can get my attention.
Each time I’m forced to battle, I get stronger.
Our soul is quite the teacher.
You were intended here by a Great Spirit.
Call it what you will.
Your freedom is that you are Perfect – Whole – Complete
The dragon is back. Currently noise and triggers within my mind is winning. Any breeze can toss me about with ease. A comment, a tone, an image, feeling,…be whatever strikes with intense precision brining me to my knees. Think Harry Potter with death eaters or dueling wands. Except I don’t even raise my wand.
It’s not a fun place to be. Shocked, offended, and surprised. There’s nowhere to run and hide, since everyone is pointing me out…or that’s how it seems.
If I could just reach my soul, I know I’ll have a chance.
…Depression just sucks. I thought I’d share my current spell with others just to let you know you’re not alone. I usually write about this after the fact when I kicked it’s ass, but thought being vulnerable and open may help me through and others. It feels so low and very cold where I can barely move in fear it strikes again and again.
Playing events out in my mind shine clues of how I’ve arrived here again. My defenses were nil – why – given my past ..no clue.
Writing it out helps connect some dots. No cries of poor Dwight please..that isn’t this intent.
The dragon is quiet. It’s time to form a new plan.
A huge voice is screaming don’t publish this you fool. You’re not anonymous! Another small faint voice says go ahead.
In my endeavor to do five actions daily for 30 days, I completely ignored most of them in week 2. There wasn’t one activity I did consistently each day. I have no excuses. I just didn’t feel like doing them. The interesting thing though is I feel absolutely no guilt and actually feel better then I have in months.
I did go mountain biking twice last week and that actually propelled me up. As shitty as it can be at times huffing and puffing up hills it’s actually fun in a sick way pushing myself beyond my controlled comfortable numbness. There’s no faking it. It’s also a rush to try to stay balanced wizzing down a hill going over rocks and roots and trying to take sharp turns…all at the age of 54. You can hear me nervously giggle the whole way. And even though I’ve only gone three times now I feel like I’m improving.
I feel frickin alive. I feel challenged. I feel good.
So, I’ll eat that up for week 2!
“There is only one person that’s responsible for your life and that is YOU! Not your boss, not your spouse, not your parents, not your friends, not your clients, not the economy, not the weather. YOU!”
– Marc Reklau, 30 Days Change your habits Change your life
For those who don’t know, I’ve been down/off I’d say for the last month and a half. All appearances I act and look fine, but behind the scene I’m doing a lot of lying in bed with a pillow over my head hiding from life and craving peace and to just check out. I’m not about to analyze all that here, but I am going to discuss next steps.
For me, I eventually get to a point where I’m basically sick and tired of being sick and tired, and realize I need to pick myself up. No magic fairy dust is in sight. I’m so beyond “these are interesting trying times”. So I came up with this 30 five ACTIONS idea to share out here.
Here are my five actions that I’m committing to daily for the next 30 days:
- Eat better
I purposely didn’t get specific on these. My goal is just to take action and make small changes that will improve my human experience. After each week, I’ll create a new post with an update on my progress. If you’d like to participate and come up with actions of your own, I’d love to hear about it in posts from you. The number 1 rule though is..there are no rules. Whatever works for you. Yours might be the 20 two actions. You get the point.
Peace my friends,
“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,