Can you get better too fast?
Not really. Ask anyone in pain how much longer they’d like to hurt, given a choice.
There’s this thing.
When you are sick for a long time (I’ve had depression for decades) and then the fog starts to lift, it leaves you with a bit of a dilemma. You don’t know that at first. At first you’re all,
WOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I’m FREEEEEE! (picture me running around in circles on the lawn, flapping my arms.)
Because holy shit, the transformation is incredible. My brain started functioning again after years of scraping by. I didn’t even know I WAS scraping by. I knew I was mildly muted by my depression, but holy hell.
At first, between homeopathic treatments, I had one, glorious, clear-brained day. It was like the sun coming out after a Seattle winter. I had energy. I wanted to run a thousand miles. I had ideas, and plans, and I got ALL THE THINGS done. I was fucking superman.
Not every day has been like that, but I’m having more of them. And I had NO IDEA how much the depression was hampering my ability…even just my ability to THINK. It was amazing to emerge from the equivalent of pea soup fog and chest-crushing oxygen deprivation to run along the ocean in the sun.
But about a week later, I had a thought. It went like this:
Who am I without depression?
It stopped me in my tracks. As long as I have been forming an adult identity, depression, or the spectre of its return, has been part of my identity. I’ve been Person (With Depression) or Depressed Person or Person (Trying To Be Happy) or Person (Probably Happy For The Moment).
The idea that I might have found a combination of treatments and experiences (homeopathy, hypnosis, etc) that had the potential to change my brain structure such that I might no longer be as vulnerable to depression, and that adding therapy, diet, exercise, reiki, touch immersion, extra sleep, creativity, etc would only enhance my quality of (not depressed!) life…stunned me.
If I am not depressed, I thought, can I just make plans and assume I’ll be functional? Can I exert myself and only run the risk of sleeping well that night? What have I assumed was not possible for me, that is actually possible? What is my identity without the sisyphean overlay?
Who am I when I am not pushing that boulder up the mountain all the time?
Ordinarily, if you’re getting treatment under the old models, you change slowly. It’s like walking to your destination. You have time to adjust to the idea of being in the new place, and your body keeps pace with your brain.
Now, though, we can literally fix it in an hour, sometimes. Certainly we can create dramatic change in the time it takes to cook and eat a single meal. When you get there that fast, there’s a transitional period. Most people will resist, be disoriented, try old things and find they no longer fit. Most people will need time to adjust, even though the problem is actually gone right away.
that’s ok, we just need to know that. We just need to give ourselves time and space for that. We need to grow into the new version of ourselves. And we need to give people around us that kind of slack as well. We’ll get there, we promise. But first, we need to breathe.
WANT TO HEAR MORE? I’m doing a call with Marcia Baczynski, called Embodiment for Brainiacs, about how intuition and energy make sense in a geeky, logic-oriented context. Join us!