Sunday, December 16, 2012
Depression is not Present Reality
My own brain chemistry is such that I still wake up almost every morning of my life in deep despair, although it usually only lasts three or four minutes once I employ some simple mind tricks. I am seldom troubled this way by depression in the late afternoon or evening unless I take a nap. Anytime I take a nap, I am also likely to wake up in the “black hole.” But I no longer panic and fear to drown in those black depths.
I simply begin to swim for shore by doing some dumb nonsense exercise, unafraid (because I carry along any fear, "come on along, fear, I'll save you too"), regardless of the fact that I do not know how deep the water goes, nor how far away the shore might be. I know, now (since I have been doing these exercises for decades) that it is neither the water, nor the shore, nor my fear, but only swimming (doing the exercise) that is the present moment, and the present moment is our only reality.
This is what the dumb little exercises, "green frog," "hippity-hop," "yes, we have no bananas," are. They are a temporary reality of benign thinking that you are substituting for your reality of depressive thinking. Neither are a true reality because both nonsense thinking and depressive thinking are not connecting with with the people and the world around you. By themselves, the exercises do not "get you out of your head" but they are a quality of thinking which does not produce negative chemisty in your brain the way depressive thinking does.
It is easier to simply intrude an exercise upon your depression than to force yourself to be okay when you're, obviously, not okay. One learns in time to "hang in there" with not being okay for a while during your doing some dumb exercise. Then it is easier to move into some connection with the world from the point of nonsense thinking--do some small task, then the next, then the next.
Generally I find that along or about the third task I realize I am no longer depressed. I can then, if I remember to first move into gratitude for the grace of my relief, move from there into joy and enthusiam for the day ahead.
So here is a kind of dance program for depression
Depressive thinking to
Carry along the feeling of being not okay while doing a dumb exercise to
Continue with the dumb exercise to
Moving into Small tasks
Engage in moving ahead with your day