Now, where to begin, I suppose there must be a beginning, but really it’s hard to define, you know? I mean you go along day by day. Then, suddenly, someone points out that your current behaviour, or misbehavior, as the case may be, is the result of some childhood trauma if you please. Well, let me tell you; I always thought trauma was a word you used whilst talking about a road accident, or wars and such like, nothing to do with childhood thank you very much. You tell yourself “no, my childhood was fine, very normal in fact”. But, when your doctor can’t account for your depression, and he, or she for that matter, decides you need to see a counselor, you can’t be rude, can you? I mean you think to yourself, well, they’re the expert, they must know what they’re talking about. So you toddle off and attend your appointment like the good patient that you are and hope they’re right, don’t you?
No one tells you what a can of worms is going to spill open though. No one says “now, be careful here, this might hurt”. No, they just expect you to follow the formula set down by so-called experts and ‘it will all be all right on the night’ so to speak. See, they have this list of procedures they work to. If this happened, then here’s the cure. If that happened, we do this and everything will be ok.
But it’s not and I’ll tell you why; we are not machines. Having been through that particular mill I can tell you there is no mathematical formula for feelings. There’s not even a scientific formula because psychology is not an exact science is it? Feelings are as unpredictable as the weather. Sure, you can look at the data from the instruments and hazard a guess that what happened last time is likely to happen again this time but it isn’t a certainty. It’s just an educated guess. So, what works for one person might work for many but then again it might not. Everyone is different; everyone has their own way of dealing with the problems life throws at them.
I’ve tried all their fixes and very few were any good. So, now, when I’m faced with a problem I tend to sleep at first, because while I’m sleeping I don’t have to consciously think about it. Now, this makes the powers that be think I’m in a deep depression but I think my mind and body is just gathering strength. Strength to fight or accept what is going on. Sometimes I fight, sometimes I have to accept and it all depends on the situation. The trick is in deciding which is which. So, I mostly write, not for publication you understand but writing it down and talking to myself. I ask myself questions, and then answer as truthfully as I can.
When I first tried this I lied through my teeth, yeah, daft I know. I mean how can you lie to yourself? Well take it from one who knows it’s easy, very easy. So, I decided to try writing the truth just once and promised myself if I could do it I would immediately burn it so no one else would ever be able to see it. I’d love to be able to tell you it was easy but I’d be lying to you then. It wasn’t easy it was very hard. When you’ve been lying to yourself most of your life, it’s akin to brain washing. A learned behavior if you like.
I mean how long does it take a child to learn to walk and talk? Then go on to learn all the other skills it takes to survive in the world. Well, that’s how long some of us have been lying to ourselves. So, getting to speak or write the truth, even to ourselves, is not going to happen over night. But it does get easer, in the beginning I could maybe just write a one word list of two or three things. Then, as I got stronger I would take one thought and turn it into a sentence. Little by little those sentences grew but I still burned them.
There was one other problem I had with writing things down, I can’t spell and my handwriting and sentence construction leaves a lot to be desired. However, the computer solved that one for me and also got rid of the need to burn stuff. I just open a new word document and off I go. When I’ve finished I just don’t save it, ever. Considering the amount I turn out nowadays it’s a good thing I don’t have to burn stuff ‘cause I’d probably have burnt the house down by now.
I also read a lot, another strategy to escape or gather strength. Sometimes I need just to escape if things are tough to deal with. Nothing wrong with that, we all need a little escapism from time to time, as long as we get back to dealing with the problem and don’t let it drift. We moved house a few months ago and that was when I realized just how many books I’d accumulated over the years. Some, my favorites, I remember the stories and plot well; others were read while gathering strength so, I can re-read them with the joy I always get from a new book. I estimated I have over three thousand books and the bonus is most of them are strength gathering reads.
To all the friends who’ve contacted me lately and asked where I’ve been thank you all for your concern and kind words. As you can probably tell, I’ve been on one of my strength gathering exercises so, don’t worry I’m back, I think.