I want to share something personal, in interest of both moving away from stigmatizing mental dis-ease and moving toward celebrating the human experience in its entirety, as well as creating unity around a common core issue of humanity. I believe there is power in sharing our stories, and even though it makes 99% of us uncomfortable, it is healing, it is connecting.
Depression has been a friend of mine I have known all too well. From the many years of darkness I endured as a child and teenager, to the lineage of Women before and beside me in my blood family who also courageously stand in the same battlefield, and have, their whole lives. I do not know where the chain links began, or what trauma catalyzed their formation, but I know I carry the links of many maternal elders before me. For the past several years I have been genuinely happy, free of the weight of depression, but after a very dark, traumatic experience immediately followed by losing someone I loved very much last year, and with that losing a vision, a plan, a future- I was catapulted back in to the depths of it- the deep waves of grief that floated me off in the current of depression. And for months (and what seems like a lifetime) I have been struggling to survive, having no creative force to share my words with you all, to write my stories, my blogs, my poems. I have had so many ideas and very little life force to incubate them within. Very little strength to give birth to anything, except the breath that strung together each moment.
Today is different. After proving insane strength and courage, Today I am again basking in the light of Being. Feeling able to incubate my ideas, birth my passions and share my story, a story that goes far deeper than any words could ever articulate.
I wrote this “poem” about my experience to acknowledge that you cannot will your way out of darkness, depression, grief. There is no choice, something you often hear people tell you who have not experienced depression or other forms of darkness. It is not as simple as “choosing to be happy” or “changing your perspective.” There is a certain aspect of surrender this path requires, and in my very personal and unique experience, the only way out is through. And by walking through, we see it, we explore it, we heal it, perhaps without ever knowing what “it” is.
There is no shame or weakness in sadness, or an inability to extract yourself from darkness. We are brought there to incubate for reasons beyond our logical knowing. It is okay to stay there, it is okay to get so fucking sick of staying there, it is okay to ask for help to get out of there, and its really okay and really beautiful to share your story so that all of us walking this path, healing wounds, losing loved ones, facing depression, ALL OF US, know that we are never alone.
The only way out is through
When you arrive in the darkplace
Start by setting up a bed,
Gather some water,
Make your self at home.
You are the guest, yet you do not control
How you arrive
Or when you leave.
Its like you are floating out at sea,
And the current is dragging you out, far out.
And the abyss of darkness gets scarier and scarier,
So you want to thrash around, swim to shore,
Or better yet,
But instead you trust the navigation of the current.
You're in the darkplace
And the corners are calling your name.
But Goddess knows what terrors lie in those unseen crevices-
But you must explore, it becomes a requirement.
You must walk the perimeter of the room,
Over and over again.
And rats scurry from their clever hiding places, nipping at your heals.
And each moment you are absolutely convinced you cannot take one more second of this darkness.
So you sit, and pray or breath, or dance, or visualize-
But every tool of light you've learned is ripped from you.
You cannot will your own exit.
You must simply endure.
And if you run to the TV room, or the bar, nothing will change.
You will keep waking up here.
You will keep riding this cosmic wave of darkness out to sea,
Until you trust it.
You face every corner, you acknowledge every rat at your feet.
And you almost start to feel at home here.
Like you are the Goddess of Darkness and Death herself.
At this point you have forgotten where you came from.
The sensation of light is unfamiliar, far far removed.
And the vacuum keeps sucking from your core.
You forget the freedom of breath.
You forget the feeling of hunger.
And its still so dark.
But you've surrendered.
You are walking through it, so fucking bravely.
And you rest your eyes,
For even in the void they need sleep.
And this becomes the final rest, this moments becomes your death.
For as you open your eyes again
You are blinded by the light of Love itself.
A little seed of light planted itself in the fertile compost of your heart
And took root, now blooming with such profound beauty
The darkplace now seems like a lifetime ago.
And in fact it is.
It was all a lifetime ago.
So you stand there,
In awe of the freedom in your chest to breath,
Starving for the milk of your cosmic mother,
Withered, but strong.
Saying, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
The only way out is through.
Praying that wherever your find yourself, you unconditionally celebrate and surrender to everything you are, and everything you feel. Xo