the "Our Mental Health" collection:
after a crash
the cool thing about mania is that it happens at all. you get to race through life on waves of Brilliance and insight—or at least turbulent waves of frenzy and seeming productivity.
i'm not here to judge, i haven't the time. but i can marvel, perhaps better than ever.
mania rises, and seems to crest forever, words and notes fly forth as new ink on canvas, splattered still-wet oils peanut butter thick.
sleep can wait, and i barely imagine that score is still being kept b/c i know this goes on forever.
and it does, that's the brilliance of it—the radiant shining brilliance. Mania lasts forever—until it ends, and then it's just not mania any more, but something else to deal with.
the first sixth
the manic engine shuts down, that subdural adrenaline pump dissolves and no trace remains beyond an exhausted distemper deeper than any felt before. we know instantly this is the 'price' we have just paid, now that the show has ended.
and that's just the start of the story.
depression doesn't 'hit' in the bludgeoning sense; it's just one day there, miasmic, thick, unyielding and incurious. and you're in it, like you would in a thick slurry of heavy water, pond scum, spoiled maple syrup and excess gravity. whatever was light and moving before is now sodden and mired, and not only is no escape visible, limbs can't move fast enough to even climb out.
whatever, deflect. mania is, big bursts of energy, then depression can follow. that too seems natural, like it will last forever, but it won't. that's important to know, so take heed perhaps.
where all these words are going on this tuesday afternoon on hawthorne is toward release, or at least knowing.
it was suggested to me that perhaps inviting Grief was a good way to bust out of depression. i said i think not.
- Grief has a timeline all her own that you cannot shift but the tiniest, unknowable bit; there are better uses for your time, like getting ready
- become more aware of yourself, and your breathing, continually
i then noted to a dear soul that i rarely feel Loved, maybe 3-4 minutes every few days, often less; i know every day—and most moments—that i am Loved, fervently, but rarely does it translate into a full-on, or even semi felt experience.
so it is; i'm busy, surviving, and that takes 23:58 per day, so margins are thin for feeling Loved, and sometimes during those 100 seconds of down time i'm restlessly asleep.
near to far
we're close, but not there yet.
so if inviting Grief is not the way out of depression, what is?
actually, nothing, not even Love, b/c depression is one of those 3d and 4th dimension experiences that needs to be lived through to count, and if we're not here to experience stuff, then what else did we sign up for?
i want Love to cure everything, and in the end it does, but sometimes the end is decades hence, decades which can be filled with toxic swamps of despair and even graver horrors.
the ghost of mania persists.
why can't Love heal depression instantly, nor Grief?
i explain it thusly: mania into depression, that all makes sense; everything costs (except Love, which is awesome!).
Grief has a mind of her own.
So what then?
- don't make it worse; when depressed, act as if life will change (it will!) and stay fit. Move, breathe, pray, tend whatever you can—a plant, cat or dream. It will change, so stay ready. this is huge.
- mourn what you wish, and celebrate if you can. Grief is powerful, and inviting her without a solid grounding is inviting waves that might inundate. plus, Grief is complex.