Dark Waters Run Deep

Today, I had a major breakthrough – though I am still sorting my thoughts and feelings. The best way I know how to do that is to just write. Write it all down until it begins to take form and make sense – even when it becomes a shape that defies most logic. The only thing I know to do is to strip down and get naked on paper.

Where to begin? I guess the best place to start is with an explanation.

I have struggled with depression since I was 10 years old. I had my first reported anxiety attack at the tender age of 6. Darkness has been prominent in my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve become very accustomed to taking refuge within it’s arms – dancing with the shadows and demons that live inside. Many times, I found comfort there when I couldn’t feel it in the living around me. This darkness, it ebbs and flows like the tide. I’ve taken countless dips and strokes and allowed myself to be carried out to sea – only to land on shore time and time again. Refreshed, rejuvenated, renewed.

In December of this year, I had my third breast surgery and second biopsy and all the emotional ups and downs. On top of that I joined the Bhava Spiritual Mission and the healing and transformation began on a very deep level very quickly for me. Somewhere, in the midst of all of this – Spirit showed up for me in the most profound of ways. And yet, still, somehow, I found myself lost in the dark. I finally got past my own self-judgments, the fear of how I thought others may perceive me, and made my way back to a therapist and my psychiatrist while being completely emotionally supported by the entire Bhava community.

Anyone who has been on antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication knows that it can take some time to get the right dosages and right medications. In the beginning, it is really quite maddening. And lately, I have wanted to decrease the dosage as it has made me feel numb and disconnected. Or so I thought – and I suppose I was correct – though the disconnect was not in the way I first assumed…

Friday, in group, The Founder of Bhava, Ingrid Turner, did a guided meditation with us to tap into our passions. I made a statement that mine are being creative, writing, being in nature, doing readings, going to cemeteries, and meditating. Ingrid said she was surprised that I didn’t go inward as deeply as I normally do and I started crying. I cried most of Friday – all through the day and into the night. Why was I so bothered? Because I blamed the medication. Because I am the person who can always dig deep. It’s become part of my identity and it’s something I’ve always been praised for. Digging deeply is what has inspired most of my own writing. And now, now I have been feeling disconnected and numb and feeling like I couldn’t tap in.

Today, I saw my Psychiatrist. I asked her to lower the dosage of the medication. She disagreed as it’s the “happiest” she’s seen me in a very long time. She asked me to give it an additional six weeks and we’ll make our final decision at that time. She exclaimed that I finally have energy and motivation – which has been the exact opposite of what I have been feeling…

The guided meditation Ingrid led us through on Friday – well we’ve been each doing it daily on our own. This morning, during the meditation, my heart chakra opened as never before. I felt the energy fill the entire room. I’ve been personally meditating on “inner peace” as I’ve come to realize that IS my passion. I felt so good after meditation that I laid down for a moment and fell asleep for 20 minutes. When I awoke, I was feeling a deep sense of doom – anxious – and it slowly started creeping into a feeling of massive anxiety and panic but I wasn’t able to identify why.

I saw Ingrid for our 1:1 and I explained to her what I have been going through. As Ingrid is so good at doing, she helped me to pull the feelings through my body. I told her I felt disconnected and like energy wasn’t moving in my lower chakras and that I was having a hard time grounding in. As I moved the feeling through my body – I saw it as a  large black lava stone – about the size of a baseball and in the end, I felt it leave my body. Ingrid channeled that she was feeling this again, had something to do with my identity. I kept blaming the medication and insisting on holding tightly to my resistance. “What if, instead of resisting it, what if you see this as a blessing,” she asked. And while I couldn’t put it into words, I was noticing an emptiness inside. Something felt like it had gone missing. Namely, my creativity and motivation. I explained how calm I’ve been all week and how all I’ve wanted to do is go on nature walks or meditate. She pointed out how I am creating my own inner peace and life of ease. I realized that made me feel guilty. Like I haven’t “earned” it. “But I should…” I kept finding myself saying. I realized that while what I crave is inner peace – I don’t know how to embrace that life without feeling guilt. Isn’t life supposed to be hard?

After I got home, I decided to meditate again. And almost instantly I found myself dropping in, grounding, and going deep within. So much for blaming my doctor or the medication – because we’re working in the realm of radical responsibility – not self-blame (or blame of anyone or anything, for that matter). So I sat with it. “What am I feeling, exactly?” I asked myself. “Something is missing. I feel – empty. No not empty, exactly. Something is missing. But what is it?” I kept digging deeper – because this is what I do. I felt so grateful that I was dipping back into the deep – but – there was no darkness. The darkness I’ve come accustomed to knowing. The darkness that has lived inside since I was a small child. My long lost friend who had come to be a security blanket of sorts. When things felt too good, too uncomfortable, I could return to this darkness time and time again. I could wade my feet in her pool or dip my hand in and let the dark waters flow and drip from fingertips. And, in the best of times, I could always jump in for a swim. Because I always knew that at some point – the other shoe was bound to drop. I would return to her for her warm embrace. She has been my comfort – my confidant. She knows me better than any other.

And now, she is gone. Or at least right now I can’t feel it. Feel her. There is no more sadness or depression. Whether she’s really gone or I am just unable to feel her anymore because of the medication – I do not know. What I do know is that I can’t feel her. I can’t reach her. I can’t wade my feet or swim freely in her dark waters – vast and deep. I can’t see her rising in the night sky – going through the phases of the moon. I no longer feel the stars and constellations illuminating my soul. In her place stands another – a beautiful White Queen full of light. One who is full of prisms, diamonds, and rainbows – a sun emanating light.

And I realized this – THIS is what has been causing my anxiety. An identity crisis of sorts. How odd is it that this is what we all dream of achieving and yet here I am – feeling lost. Feeling abandoned. THIS is my tower moment. This is the destruction – the death that comes before a new life is born. And I can’t help but feel the grief of an old life gone – and the discomfort of a new life emerging. What am I if not darkness? Who am I if not a shadow worker – someone who loves to dance in the dark? As an Enneagram 4 – I realize just how attached I have become to her familiarity. And now – now, I’m wading in uncharted waters – bright and turquoise blue. And I should feel happy. I should feel at peace. I should be humbled by the White Queen’s presence. I should be happy for the expansion and the healing and the growth. I should be grateful for the new perception. And yet, I feel a missing. I feel a grief. Great Spirit, has filled that empty space with love and laughter and light. Who is this Regal Queen inside that I do not know – now living deep within my soul? I feel shy and insecure. And yet, there she stands – smiling – arms outstretched – just waiting. Waiting for me to feel safe. To feel comfortable. To feel at ease…

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