THE PUNGENT SMELL OF DEPRESSION

THE PUNGENT SMELL OF DEPRESSION

 

For almost ten years

I stood on that unsafe edge

of my psychic abyss.

This downward spiral

had no reigns to tug,

no brakes to halt

my incessant

descent

into delusion

and despair.

My cells caught

these psychic plights

and enhanced my

fear and anxiety

into agony and

the “normality” of

discomfort.

Great charismatic

camouflage,

Herculean creativity

and compulsive humor

served to armor

me from the

Spirit of my Depths.

Eventually, after ten years

of dark nights of depression

and ignored signs,

I caved in;

I wore out;

I stopped bargaining…

too weak to try

one more time.

(Thankfully, without

knowing it,

my sickness

was already in the process

of making me well.)

I did not know the Way;

I merely realized that I

craved and yearned for

Something so illusive

and so realistic,

so impossible

and quite probable.

I vividly recall

waking up one morning

after a big dream

saying aloud,

“Oh God!! 

The pain of my existence

is too heavy to bear.  Heal

me or 

please 

let me die.”

Would you know, in that stark

millisecond of spontaneous

heart-cry from my

unconscious inner knowing,

I somehow “knew,”

beyond any rational knowledge,

that this unbearable psychic

wrenching was

an angel of truth

dressed up like

a demon from hell.

I cried out to Someone

within, Something beyond.

I saw myself standing on the

sharp edge of a gigantic abyss.

My toes overhanging the rim

of a bottomless darkness, I

had this stark fearful urge…

to jump!!

I stood there, it seemed like

a timeless endless moment;

I stood there on the brink of

that precipice.

Suddenly, I let go of my fear

and fell forward

into the

black

empty

void.

I swirled and twirled downward,

into a endless darkness.

In desperation and weakness,

I let myself free fall.

Slowly the darkness changed.

Dark purple, then blood red.

Finally a tiny light seemed to

form at once both

a sense of dawn and twilight.

Gradually more light expanded

into what now seemed like

a birth canal.

Like a stunned Jonah vomited

upon the shoreline

of Nivinah,

I awakened from the

ordeal,

sweating and vibrant and exhausted

from intensity.

I turned onto my back,

glanced upward

into the clear blue skies

and felt the welcomed brush of

a summer breeze

cooling the nervous

sweat from my drained body.

I knew something was different,

but words or thoughts failed to

capture that moment.

Only years later

have I come to

see the miracle

and mystery

of that moment.

All I know is,

fear fell into that

dark abyss

and love was

born from

that birth canal.

Despair caved into hope,

I fell upward

out of emptiness

into fullness,

out of not understanding

into the inexplicable experience

of knowing.

Reflecting now,

on that

epiphany some decades ago,

I drew desolate depression

to transform

and guide my

beloved shadow,

only

to discover that

the graces of the gods,

(not my own trying harder)

was my true Essence.

In time this shifted

my worldview, my reality.

Shame, blame and trying harder

were no longer my warders.

Like clear skies after

the flashes of lightening

and rumbling of thunder,

the landscape of my soul

felt refined and cleansed.

Now, after many a free-fall

and many surprises,

I now see

how transforming

that darkness has become.

It was my dark depression

that lit up the night

of my depression.

Only in the experience of

leaning into my own darkness,

surprised by the Unknown Knower,

trusting beyond reason,

letting go into the abyss

of incredible gentleness,

did I come to myself.

It was Refining Love hidden away

in my suffering

all along!

Thank you, Depression.

Thank you, bottomless Abyss.

Thank you, camouflaged Shadowlands.

Thank you, Emptiness.

Thank you for edging me out of my nest.

Thank you for showing me

that I can fly

with the wings

of the wind.

February 6, 2016

Hal Edwards

Wauconda