Session 1: Week 2
Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
Too much has died inside me to want to live.
She hugged me a little tighter and a little longer than usual. No words passed between us, yet I heard everything in the silence: her raw sorrow; the recent matrimony of her relief with resolution, attended by peace; her weathered concerns and exhaustion. The interaction of her overdosed emotions were birthed from her dad’s recent death, just last week. She was glad his suffering was at last over. She believes, as I do, that he’s joined her “great cloud of witness” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV), and is sporting a perfect, ageless body with a fully unveiled mind, and living high on the hog in the euphoric place we believe is heaven. My friend had been ready for her dad to pass over into perfection, and he had been ready, but his wife had not. Some would say she had behaved selfishly and others would say her wails for him to not leave her were desperation for her agonizing emotional pain to end.
Today marks two weeks since my meet-n-greet session with Nate, and two weeks until the next session, at which date I hope we’ll actually begin EMDR. While I’m still gingerly carrying those petals of hope that EMDR will be successful, I must admit I’m also skeptical, and wondering to what degree of success, if any, EMDR might have in me; there’s been such extensive trauma over so many years. That’s not to say I don’t feel or know how blessed I am. There is so very, very much I’m thankful for, the list of my gratitude is endless and even miraculously amazing. But those are not what prompted me to take this EMDR journey, so not the purpose of this blog. The fact is, each and every day, minute by minute, I expend exorbitant amounts of energy fighting to stay afloat in the wake of a great black abyss: suicidal depression. It’s simply a fact of my life, in hand with the many blessings for which I am fully thankful, including supportive family, friends, and physicians, The Tiny Tablet, and the Don’t Dream Drug that help to keep me afloat. I’m exhausted of this life, ready to go, and unafraid of death. And guess what? I can say that honestly while also sharing that I’m a deeply-rooted-in believer in God and a supremely perfect afterlife. Despite some popular religious beliefs that shame the depressed, I know personally that being a believer and also being severely depressed is not mutually exclusive. But that’s a whole different blog . . . .
There’s no mistaking it, I’m on this EMDR journey because I’m in the twilight of my life—either the twilight of dawn or dusk (new life on earth or new life through death).
On average, there are 880,000 suicides per year; and those are just the ones reported. That’s one suicide every 40 seconds. The stance that suicide is a “selfish act” is not truth but a harming deceit propagated by those who have never experienced the darkest depths of depression and thereby have no valid base to label this tragic act at all. The truth is, suicide is a desperate act to stop incessant emotional and/or physical pain. If you were on fire, or had just lost the life of your child, would your screaming pleas for your pain to end be a selfish act or a desperate act? Just because one cannot physically see or experience the depth of emotional or physical pain inside of another does NOT diminish its fact, nor does it lessen the intensity of pain that leads to such a desperate act to make the pain STOP. If you reside in the camp that suicide is a selfish act, I urge you to pack up quickly and move in with an individual who is disparaging of this life. Take seriously to heart those who are in such a deep and dark well of pain that they are UNABLE at times to see or feel any other way out except to end their lives.
♥ ♥ ♥
I wonder . . . , where will I be this time next year? How will I have changed through EMDR, and how much? Will the nightmares be a thing of the past? Will I no longer need The Tiny Tablet and the Don’t Dream Drug? A year from today, will I even be alive on this earth? I say “on this earth” because, again, I’m unwavering in my belief that once I exhale my last earthly breath, I will begin to breathe the celestial oxygen of a perfect, whole existence with God, and with those who are among my “great cloud of witnesses.” Who wouldn’t want to go?!
Suicide aside, probability says I’ll still be alive this time next year, based on my age and physical health, but still I wonder. There are no guarantees. The “unlikely” events I’ve experienced and witnessed among my solar system of family and friends makes “unlikely” not so improbable to me. A year from now, borrowing no tragic events beyond my control, will I still wish to no longer be alive on this earth? Or will my desire to die have been changed by the EMDR journey?
While I have no answers for tomorrow, there are things I proactively strive to do to combat depression:
- Speak positive affirmations to myself. One that instantaneously lifts me is: “I am enough.” It’s true, and this affirmation is like magic words to my spirit!
- Attend yoga class regularly. Since an important antidote to depression is getting up and getting out, I recommend taking a yoga class in addition to yoga stretching at home.
- Walk outdoors for the added benefit of fresh air and sunshine.
- Maintain a near NO SUGAR diet (including the exclusion of high-sugar fruits like bananas and grapes). Once a week or so I will allow myself the pleasure of a bite-size chocolate because little pleasures in life are also important in combating depression. All-in-all, sugar is BAD, BAD, BAD for everyone, and especially for those of us who suffer from “major depressive disorder”¹ with suicidal tendencies; so I choose BERRIES as a natural sweet alternative, and they’re loaded with nutrients² and use Steevia in low quantities as a sugar substitute.
- Schedule sufficient sleep time. This has a been a harder one for me because I love nighttime in all it’s quite undisturbances. Since a byproduct of severe depression is fatigue with the desire to sleep through life, getting sleep is not a problem for some depression sufferers. However, for those of us who have insomnia and nightmare issues, we may find it necessary to seek help from our doctors to aid us in getting the deep and restorative sleep we need.
- Daily take a potent Vitamin D supplement and other supplements recommended for battling depression. Here are a few others to consider with your doctor*:
- Omega 3 Fish Oil
- B Complex
- 5-HTP (an amino acid)
- Theanne (an amino acid)
- St. John’s Wart (herb)
- SAMe (synthetic form of a chemical naturally produced in the body)
- Push myself to get out and do the things I enjoy—not just the things I have to do as responsibilities and commitments.
- Counseling, journaling / blogging
*Always consult your doctor before adding a new supplement to your diet.
Perhaps my EMDR journey will in some way aid you in your own.
Wisteria Cove, North Atlantic
¹”Major Depressive Disorder,” http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/natural-remedies-for-depression/faq-20058026
²”The Total-Body Benefits of Berries,” http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/the_total_body_benefits_of_berries