Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Depression, Myths, Fixing Things: A Stream of Consciousness

Before I begin, let me tell you I am feeling depressed. It does not help that I did not fall asleep until after 3 this morning, and did not sleep particularly well.

And. It sucks.

I am laying in bed, wanting to close my eyes on one hand, and wanting to write on the other. As a side note: my mind just thought about how writers actually used to write. But writing is now more an act of putting words together than an act of actual act writing.

Oh yes. The places my mind does wander.

So what is on my mind? I just saw yet another fundraising campaign raise thousands (20k+) in a matter of days. It was for a couple who has been through a lot, and I am sure they will benefit greatly from every penny.

When I compare their story to mine, mine lacks key elements: youth, romance, a seemingly conquerable situation, hope for a happy ending.

It got me thinking about many of the stories that actually make it to the media. Unless it is a shooting or an attack or war, the stories we see are mostly the "feel good" ones, the ones in which the humans involved have conquered their foe.

It is such a paradox. On one hand, we show how we can't control our lives and what happens, and on the other we show stories that sell us on the feel good illusion that we do.

No one wants to hear about the "bad" unless it can be neatly wrapped up in something that can make us feel good. Is it manipulation that got us here? Is the need for a "reward" that we get for our interest so deeply ingrained that we won't invest without some sort of "feel good" pay off? 

There are times it sure does seem that way. 

Given my mood, it feels like what I am writing could be construed as sounding whiney or negativr. Any time a person says something we are uncomfortable hearing, we have a way of labelling it, or the person, or both that isn't positive. It is likely our way of trying to minimize its occurrence that way, and keep people in line for fear of what others may say or think.

When you no longer care about those things, when your situation has been stretched to the limits, when you have said and done everything you can think of and have nothing to lose, you can say and do anything and it doesn't matter any more what anyone else thinks. You are no longer controlled or manipulated by what another thinks.

Odds are good that those who would be the most negative and verbal are the ones who have no clue about what they are judging. Anyone who has been on the side of the fence you have been on would likely understand.

In each and every case? Not necessarily, but probably more often than not. I would be willing to bet those unwilling to share many of life's rawest stories without the "feel good" components have never had to experience of standing where those people do, because if they did, they would likely do things differently.

Once you have stood in a place, you will never see it - or its occupants - the same way again. You stop seeing things as problems and attitudes to be fixed or altered, in part because many times you learn that a "fix" does not cut it. 

It is not the simple thing you thought it was. You realize that there are things about it you will never understand, and things about you others will only think they understand.

You will find some of your greatest allies will be those who are in a similar predicament as you. You will find definitions shifting. What was once a no, or was once a limit, changes borders. You will find you think of things differently. You will speak of things differently. Your life, that you thought was predictable, is anything but. The act of living life will never be the same. 

Those who are willing to speak their truth could be a gift to the rest of us, but it is not one we often are willing to accept because we want something else instead. We would readily exchange it, if we could. What we do not realize is that those who say what they really mean are showing us the way to what we want, the way to being fully ourselves. But instead of embracing it, we push it - and ultimately ourselves - away.

Those with major discomforts in life likely would not want them if they could look away from them like you can. But they have no choice but to face them, and interact with them, despite the fact that you as an outsider so wisely thinks otherwise.

Most times the things we have a good opportunity to learn come from the things we do not want to interact with and the painful things we experience. Perhaps we could do it some other way, but then again, without the contrasts and conflicts how do we figure things out? Is it possible to know what you like if you don't know what you don't like? Is it possible to know what you know if you aren't faced with ways to use, and challenge, the knowledge?

What if part of the "problem" is that we label anything a problem to start with? What if part of a "fix" means stopping trying to fix those things that make us uncomfortable?

I can hear some thinking that discomfort compells us to act, and there are things we should fix. Don't I think my situation is one that requires fixing?

I think it might be more of an awareness thing than a fixing thing. If you fix something, there seems to be a feeling that inherently you know better than what is. You are above it, and seek to elevate it. With awareness, you go the level of what is going on and seek to understand it. As a result you may come out of it differently than the way you went in.

I sure have a lot of questions these days. The less things seem to work, the more likely you are to question them. Anita Moorjani (who wrote Dying to be Me) posted something earlier about <a href="https://m.facebook.com/notes/anita-moorjani/what-are-the-invisible-myths-that-inform-your-thinking-by-anita-moorjani/732569806788020/">"Invisible Myths" that shape how we are</a>, and it would seem to me to be a part of what determines how we think we should be in all aspects of our lives.

Maybe those who speak aloud the things others would rather have silenced are playing a "mythbuster" role of sorts. And while it may seem that people hold onto myths for a reason, perhaps we have a better reasons to disperse them.

I am sure there is some better way to end this...but all it is going to do is end. 

Later gator :)

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