Have you ever wondered why you got a Dis-eased mind and what’s the Grand purpose, if any at all, behind Life making you fight, Day in and day out, a fierce battle against mental health dis-orders you face? I have. Often. Found my answer too. But none of the answers serve to cheer one up on rather bluer and cloud cast days. On those days questions regarding if this life is worth living with such glaring and remission-less mental health issues keep resurfacing. What is the meaning of suffering excruciating mental health issues for as long as you can remember and yet live on? What’s the purpose of a Dis-eased life and mind?
I know the answer somewhat. Somewhat I also don’t know The Answer. But I know this – each of us has to find our own purpose. IF not a long term purpose, which becomes particularly difficult during blue days or relapse phases or tough times revisiting – at least the short term, more ‘in the Now’ purpose.
So here’s a rather personal how-to..
P-onder over the helpful questions : Existential questions, especially for people with chronic or cyclical depression or bipolar disorder or any of the dissociative disorders, tend to be Neverending. From a more personal and exhausted “Why ME??” it can go on to “Why life form on earth?”.. “Who decided what’s Reality?”.. “Is there meaning in Existence?” ..”Is there no escape?” ..and a torrential downpour of other equally impossible questions. Often resulting, with extreme cases, in relapse of more depression, or dissociation and existential crisis, with risks of suicidal thoughts being back. I learnt after years of therapy that in moments such as these asking the more constructive and helpful questions, while deliberately saying No to the mind repeating self-sabotaging questions help. Just might help. Why me? If you have a helpful hypothesis, use it. Or Chuck that question. Meaning behind the Universe existing? You might NEVER find out Mr/Ms Einstein Jr. Nor will I ever. So Chuck that question too. What is my purpose in living on this way? Ah, now that’s slightly easier to find out or decide on. Asking the right and helpful questions while minutely choosing to ignore the harmful and no good ones Do help I guess.
U-nderthinking may nag the mind but Overthinking will kill : In fact, the more I overthink any questions, the more obsessively tangled I get in it has been my experience. So I may ask. I may try introspect. After a point, I also drop it if no rays shine through – and Get My Booty Moving out if my Contemplation Couch – to become busy in even a simplest chore. Make tea. Wash the vessels. Finish showering. If needed come back to the brooding and heavy questions only later. When you start overthinking, perhaps remind yourself overthinking CANNOT help you find meaning behind anything, rather will hinder your perspective farther. Ask. Seek. Take a break. Get moving physically. Revisit later.
R-oot for yourself : I often in such dilemma moments look back at my entire life journey and take stocks. Of course, there lies a slight risk of triggering all our self pity and victimhood remembering how miserably tough a journey it has been and perhaps still is. But here too, I try take stocks of more constructive memories than sabotaging ones. What have been the strengths? Which milestones? Which small achievement? Perhaps just a tiny patch of sunshine amidst a vast dark and muddy dungeon. But I latch on to that and ask – Is there any way that small kernel be seeded and left behind? (Yes, I know even in that the operative ‘Blue’ word Very much still there is “..leave behind. Let’s be honest. When depression or a sense of endless purposeless suffering resurfaces, it’s not magic wand to get rid of a “I am tired. I want to leave!” sensation. But Question that Does help one Pause on that note is perhaps that one potential sunny kernel to be planted “Before” we leave it behind. Trust me that’s a Key I find helpful when exhaustion to continue and neaninglessness of it hits me.)
P-assion Paves the Path : So, even for finding a rather Short Term goal and purpose behind an exhausting battle and journey, that one or two sun-kissed kernels we could plant and leave behind serves as a good deed. For me, leaving behind as much recorded material on my mental health battle on my blog (or if ever in future, in a book) is one such seed of a short term fuel. (That’s why even this evening I am back here utilizing another episode of exhaustion and meaninglessness to “leave behind” this blogpost. I run a food and a poetry blog too. Leaving behind some yum recipes and some deeply resonating poems too at times give me that extra reason to “seed before I leave”. I am a psychic medium too and recently took up a very special personal endeavour to leave behind something potentially useful for later day fellow psychic students or practitioners and that too has been helping me put in the extra time with a sense of short term purpose. So find that one thing or two you feel passionate about. May be the way you are suffering. May be your Very pain has enough passion in it for you to redirect it to leave behind valuable seeds for fellow strugglers. Love your pain? It’s common. No probs. Make that pain your Passion BUT to a productive end, not to wallow and relish it. Do that first. “Leave” will by default get postponed for that episode busy over what you can “leave behind”.
O-pt for Small Steps But Take a Step After All : Beyond asking and finding a short term meaning to live on and leave behind some valuable by product of our miserable and Dis-eased journey, now comes taking the action. When down with severe depression or dissociation episodes I Know it may seem impossible to even Lift a hand. But after two rigorous and painstaking years under my able mental health expert, I Also Know by now that lifting that finger (or head) is, honestly, a bit easier than I/we may “feel” it is. With practise and repeated practise today I have come somewhat closer to jerking myself out of a bluest and numb inaction and vegging out in pain to a snap “Ok! Get up! Move your ass. Get this done first.” skill. Pain numbs. Depression numbs. Derealization rages and weakens every cell. But if mind can make us So Terribly Weak it can Also turn around to a “Get up! Let’s do this!” battle cry. I have personally experienced it. So next time try it. It’s difficult but not impossible to acquire and master this skill. Am still halfway but I hope to master it someday.
S-et an Intention of Your Legacy : My life experiences haven’t been easy nor very prosperous (in any sense of the word, and only from a distorted dis-order PoV I mean, for it’s just we/our minds who decide what’s ‘prosperity’and what’s lack after all!) and definitely not a “legacy leaving” one per se. But again, it’s I who decide what I define as my legacy left behind. It’s each of you who decide the legacy value of whatever tiny bit you decide to leave behind I guess. One single blogpost has a potential to touch hundred lives some day. What if I am not around that day? Does my not witnessing lessen my legacy? One single painting you paint and leave behind has the potential to infuse hope in someone who’s almost giving up on life some distant future. One poem, one paper, one song or musical composition, one vlog, one YouTube upload, one meeting with a friend who’s struggling too, one experience shared, one smile, one hug – is As Potentially Huge a Legacy as any treasure of Tatunkhamen, I tell you. We may Never know what of us touched which one life and that life in turn touched how many hundreds later. But there’s NO need to know. Mysteries of Life are Magical. Yes! This a 34 years of torturous and glaring mental health battle, abuse, trauma and what-not survivor is saying. I believe in it. Staunchly. So before wondering why not leave decide what legacy to leave behind.
E-merge as an Unsung Hero But Hero Nonetheless : Today unsung. Tomorrow perhaps defeated in this battle and gone. (I am NOT supporting OR propagating pro-suicide. I AM Very Much Pro-life. Having said that, let’s say under some unfortunate moment, anyone loses just one battle. It’s being realistic about the serious risks of mental health issues the world needs to re-realize and not being any defeatist and anti-life.) But even if one person found that one buried and germinating seed of each of our legacy we choose to leave behind that’s enough to make this torturous and “seemingly” purposeless journey of suffering and battle against mental health dis-orders Worthwhile. Even if you’re a hero to just one human life, still a hero indeed! IF not that too (and that’s 99.99% unlikely if I/you Have done the above bits!) even then I/you shall emerge as heroes in our own eyes. Is that any less?
Also, want to know my passion and purpose I keep going back to? It’s this one quote below –
Once again, my blogpost is done. Draft-less. At one go. Just talking to you all, my dear dear fellow survivors, and Again, Like each time, am feeling so much fog-lifted and at peace. So I tell you – Ask the right questions, find a short term purpose, using your Passion, even if around your sordid pain, redirect and Get Going to work on a legacy. Trust me, the mind Will grow quieter and perhaps even happier as you keep taking those small but steady steps.
Love you all,
© & Author : Nivedita Dey, 2016
Image courtesy & © : Google stock photos/original websites