Being with the monster

Col’s monster

Once upon a time there was a girl who had depression. And it was baaaaaaad. He was a big, hairy monster that slept over every night and ate all her food.

RRRRrrraaAAWRH!

Ooh! y’scared me!

And he would not go away, no matter how hard she tried. I’ll tell you a secret. It hurt so much she wished she could die.

Craigie told me:

There are two ways of “doing” in life and they look the same but couldn’t be more different.

One is running away from the monster and the other is moving towards the light.

When you’re thinking, “I have to pay the bills, I have to do this, I have to do that” and that is pushing you and you’re going, going, going … that’s running from the monster. When you feel pain and you try to run from it, that’s running from the monster.

You’re running so it seems like you must be going somewhere but in truth you’re not getting anywhere. When you’re working at your computer and you begin to feel that stress in your belly … STOP.

Stop and do something. Go for a walk. Take a nap. Pick up the phone. Something which nurtures you.

Am I feeling …

  • Hungry?
  • Angry?
  • Lonely?
  • Tired?
  • If so, HALT … stop and go take care of that. Nurturing yourself is on the first floor and you can’t go rushing up to the thirty-eighth floor, you need to begin on the first floor.

    When you haven’t taken care of *you*, the monster starts whispering things in your ear and he’s a liar.

    He may tell you that you can’t deal with this. He may tell you you’re not good at living. The monster is lying to you, he wants you dead, the f*cker!

    So there are bills to pay. There are very few truly *big* things in life. Are you going to bed hungry? No. Are you living without a roof over your head? No. You’re safe. You’re ok. And if you’re not, then call me.

    When the pain and fear comes up, sit and meditate on it. Be with it. Don’t escape it, face it head on. It hurts but if you FEEL what the pain is like, you’ll realize that the FEAR of it was much worse and longer than the actual “labor pain” of hurt … it passes in about 30 minutes, I find, truly.

    At the end of the day, put a line down the middle of the piece of paper and ask yourself, “how much of this day was spent with the monster winning and how much of the day was spent moving towards the light?” and hopefully more than half will be the latter. That is your goal.

    Moving towards the light looks like doing things which feel right and good in your soul. Moving towards the light means taking care of *you*. Because if you don’t do that, you’re no good for anyone. You need to begin on the first floor.

    Feed, clothe, rest and comfort your mind and body the way you would an 8 year old you found in the rain in front of your house who had no memory where he/she belonged.

    Craigie wakes up in the morning and goes right down on his knees and thanks God in advance that more time is going to be spent today in moving towards the light. Then he reads something nurturing to line up how he wants his day to go. Before e-mail, before turning the phone on, before anything. Frame your day.

    When I hear the monster, it helps even just to recognize it as the monster and to know that the monster lies. When I hear, “there is so much to do, I can’t do it all, I can’t handle this” I know that there is only one thing to do and that is the one thing I am doing right now. Each moment there is only one thing. And everything is ok and everything will continue to *be* ok.

    my favorite little Depression Primer 

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Warm hugs and a huge “thank you” to Craigie for requesting the *long* version of my story, for taking the time to listen and to care and for showering me with such strong language and empowering words of wisdom.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Share on Facebook :: Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more Works-For-Me-Wednesday ideas! :: Lil’ monster illustration by moi!

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    ~ by gigablonde on May 21, 2008.

    5 Responses to “Being with the monster”

    1. Wow; there could not have been a better blog / post for me to stumble upon while I’m awake at 3 a.m. with my thoughts racing.

      Thanks for sharing!

    2. What a lovely story. Lots of feelings swirling around here, so I’ll just leave it at “you totally get it; you’ve been there.” Thank you.

    3. Thank you for sharing this … some of it sounded a little familiar to me. I’ll have to try this approach next time 🙂

    4. I really needed this today. I battle depression & anxiety constantly, and this was very comforting to read. Thank you.

    5. Thank you. what a great description of the depression that creeps up on me.

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