My psychologist, she extends her hand as if to shake someone else’s, but then stands her hand at the edge of the table and teeters it back and forth. The gesture is a visual aid, a representation of my plight with depression.
I, by virtue of biology and environment, exist precariously close to the ‘edge’ and with the use of my tools of awareness and self-management, though my path is rocky, I am able to stay atop and not fall over. However, it takes tremendous effort to do this and she readily acknowledges that it shouldn’t be this difficult. I would agree, though not through any direct evidence but through a deep knowledge, a knowing, that this is not my true nature. There is a part of me that knows I am a being of joy and love. It’s in me somewhere, I just don’t know how to access it.
My psychologist then draws her hand in towards the center of the table slightly, explaining how some people live further away from the edge but can, through situations and events combined with a prevalence towards depression, slide quickly to the edge. Her hand moves with her description and falls off the edge of the table.
She then places her hand right in the middle of the table. This is the person who, despite any circumstances experienced in life, will never be drawn towards that dangerous ‘edge’. I understand what she is telling me, it’s not news to me. But, I sit wishing to be the hand in the middle of the table yet not even being able to know what that would feel like.
I exist on a continuum of gray – fifty shades of gray.
Today is black. I lie in a fetal position on the floor, tears streaming down my face, and my head feeling like it’s going to explode. I feel trapped. I can’t explain it either. My husband asks what’s wrong and what he can do. The only answer to both questions is, “Nothing.”
It’s strange. How can someone feel so acutely awful and there not be anything ‘wrong’?
The more I fight the entrapment, the worse it gets and the pressure builds. I eventually surrender to it. I don’t know what else to do.
I lay on the floor, exhausted, staring at the ceiling. Tears still roll down my cheeks.
Ye, though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
I find solace in these verses that come to my forethought. I reach for my bible and lay my head on it like a pillow and allow the words to permeate my mind.
Sleep finds me.
I awake in the morning, a lighter shade of black. I think back to last night. I do not understand.
The attack was torturous yet, the more I fought it, the worse it got. And when the realization dawned that there was actually nothing that could happen to me, that there was actually nothing happening to me, I was able to let go.
There is no epiphany here. The remembrance of the attack fills me with fear. I don’t want it to happen again. But I wonder, what am I really afraid of if nothing actually happened to me? What is the attack?
My mind goes back to the hand and the table; the hilltop, the edge, and the fall into oblivion.
It all started with a pull to the edge but what hurt the most was the incessant struggle to keep from falling. Yet, when I let myself fall, that’s when the voice of God spoke to me.
So, I’m curious now. What’s in this cavernous valley below? Is it the dark and menacing place I’ve believed it to be? Why is the hilltop the ‘place to be’?
Perhaps there’s another world worth exploring…perhaps the pull is a calling to find out…