“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the very first time”
Mystical lines from, at times, a mystical and mysterious poet, but lines which, I think, sum up this post and life perfectly
We all have our own journeys in life and some, going from A-B do have a final completion, but what about our own personal journey through life, whatever that may be?
Do we ever finish that journey, do we ever want to truly finish that journey, and even in death do we really want to envisage a complete and utter void ? Deep in our hearts and minds do we really want to envisage no kind of future, for all the rest of time?
Well, some of us do feel that way, and it is to such individuals that this post is directed. I refer, very simply, to those who feel no hope for the future, and for those who, often smiling and chatting to all those around them, live their lives in the stormy shadows of mental illness; that cursed debilitating basket of pain and mind numbing misery which all to often never seems to come to an end
I’m no expert, and I’m not here to convert you to any faith or deity, and I do not pretend to have any or all the answers, but by my own experiences I do now how such a journey feels. Through having to truly understand and face up to who I am, I firmly believe that although such a journey has no end it can release a new realisation and thereby a new beginning which can eventually lead, if we are lucky, to happier times to come.
How are such things done, well, there are no easy solutions. Hard work, grit, determination to begin with, as well as tackling our personal demons one step at a time; that’s the foundation of any progress to come
Yet foundations are no good without any subsequent building, and, yes, that is where the hard work really begins.
Call it reinvention, call it laying your stripped and naked mind before a complete stranger, call it undergoing one of so many mental illness treatments, call it what you will; you have to start from the beginning and be honest with yourself, otherwise, like trying to draw out only half the venom from a box jellyfish sting, how can you go forward while some of the venom still stays inside.
Sure it’s hard, in fact, as I recall, its bloody painfull and humiliating, and the deeper you open up about who you are and what you have become, the more excruruiating and degrading it becomes; yet, if you can do so, step back a moment, and think of what benefits may accrue
Yes, that’s right, I have used the sometimes unbelievable word of benefits. I know that in the depths of depression and other related illnesses, there seems to be no hope, and no prospect of improvement.
There is no silver lining, no end to the storm, and deadened or crushed by so much pain and pointless misery, it seems ridiculous and cruel to use such a word; yet such a word will stay and I hope grow in strength and intensity as you carry on reading this post
There is no one solution or even a series of solutions to guide you through such a process, but, for what it is worth this is the kind of recognition that went through my mind during treatment after a suicide attempt aged 25
- If my life was well and truly messed up, why worry.
- I couldn’t go any lower unless I died, yet if I died there was no certainty that things would get any better, so why not stumble on as best as I knew how
- If I didn’t face up to who I was, I couldn’t deal with who I was, and I couldn’t envisage any future
- No-one but me could enter my mind, so I had to do the real work, and eventually come with the real solutions; regardless of any help coming in from outside.
- I needed outside help though, as some battles are too big to fight alone
- whatever this thing was that had nearly killed me, was going to be with me for a very long time, so why make it my greatest freeing rather than my greatest enemy
- Hoping and trying wasn’t good enough, someone had to do something, and to at least get things going, that someone had to be me
- Finally, I was alive, I had thrown up a dose of 60 paracetamol, and though I had no friends that I recognised or knew about, (knowing nothing about friendship) my mother and family still cared for me, so even for her sake, I had to give it a try
This is where others, who have not been through such an experience, would tell you that all such thoughts have gone, I have beaten the blues, and that through some God or deity all is fine with the world; but my answer to such dreamers is to quite simply say bollocks!
Such thoughts never entirely go away, and once seeded, such fears and insecurities reemerge and sometimes grow; but if you know about them, and, through such knowledge, learn how to minimise their impact, then real growth can occur, albeit very slowly at times, and a new journey can begin.
Sound easy doesn’t it, and I can already hear some bloggers saying ,
“that’s all very well, but I can’t do it,” and ” you don’t understand”,
but my answer is
” If I can do it, then maybe you can do it, and I do understand”
So why not make your old journey into a new journey
Sure it will be hard, sure you will probably stumble along the way, and, at times, such a a journey may well seem pointless, unachievable, and never ending, but is the old destination really worth hanging onto?
Is that grim and battered old destination really so wonderful, and is it really where you want to be?
I don’t know how bloggers will reach; I know even less whether my words and thoughts will help anyone cope or even turn the corner, but if just one person finds relief from my words that is good enough for me
I have been lucky, very lucky, and through the love of my wife, my mother, our cats, and the support of so many around me, I stand before you know. Not “cured”, not always feeling wonderful, and still bung full of inner unresolved issues and insecurities; yet equipped, as best as I know how to be equipped, to deal with an illness that so nearly ended my days
By doing so I have embarked upon a new journey. Wether through my words, or through the words of others, I hope that you might one day do the same.
In the meantime, I hope you find solace and some comfort from the videos below
With utter sincerity