November 19th, 2012
I resumed doing something I haven’t done in a looooong time.
Add to that a bit more prayer, and I’ve been feeling a lot more…peaceful.
My walk-in closet holds my meditative/prayer sanctuary but it had become quite unkempt. Clothes everywhere. An altar whose dust silently reprimanded me every time I looked at it. A meditative chair that had seen far less of my butt in recent months and way more of my clothes.
Not good. Not good at all.
I love meditation. It gives me the opportunity to do what so many avoid doing: going inward. But it allows me to go inward in a constructive fashion, so that instead of approaching myself with the You-are-worthless-and-shouldn’t-exist attitude, I go in with the how-can-you-grow attitude. It’s one in which even those faults that become glaringly apparent become great opportunities for positive change.
And lest you thought, given my recent posts, that I think I am faultless, if you could possibly think that then you haven’t read enough of my posts. I condemn myself constantly, and see condemnation in the actions (or inactions) of others. These are the positions that lead to nothing but defeat and feelings of worthlessness.
The thing about being depressed is that it’s a constant battle. You have days where you feel great. When you first accept depression, and then you hit your first period of happiness, you make the mistake of thinking it’s permanent, that you’ve somehow slain the dragon.
Then that fucker comes back with a vengeance and you feel awful because you thought you had won, you thought it was over, and the fact that you have to fight again – or, as sometimes happens, you have to lie there and get the shit beaten out of you – makes you feel absolutely awful, absolutely defeated.
It took a few cycles of that to realize how insidious depression is. When Punksin was first starting pre-school, her love for it was eclipsed by her fear at my leaving. Every morning at her classroom door, I hugged her fiercely, looked her in the eye, and made her repeat after me: Mommy always comes back. ALWAYS. She in turn passed on that nugget of comfort to Pudding: Mommy always comes back.
Well, so does depression, I’ve learned. It goes away for a time, sometimes days, sometimes several months. But I learned to keep sentries at my spiritual and emotional doorways, stalwart soldiers who would stand guard through sunny days, rainy days, summery breezes, winter storms, moonlit nights, blackest midnights, and whose job was to remain ever vigilant.
And when they hear the distant sussuration of dragon wings on the night sky…
They come running.
We bar the doors with pillars of iron. The drawbridge is quickly raised and enforced with crosses of steel. The moat is set ablaze with the holiest of fires, the turrets are manned with archers whose aim is sure and true.
Sometimes, all of that keeps the dragon at bay. Sometimes, he sees the protective fort from afar and turns back.
Sometimes, he maintains his approach and takes down a few archers but is quickly bested by the fire that surpasses his own.
Sometimes he comes and wipes out my best archers in a sweep of fire. His beating wings raise enough of a wind to send the moat’s flames back towards the castle and the heat becomes unbearable. Meanwhile he flies over the bending flames and lands on a turret and roars, and I cower in a corner, awaiting his inevitable approach. And he flies throughout the castle, seeking me, taunting me, breathing fire into remote corners and the highest rafters, knowing that now that he has overcome my protections, he will, at last find me.
And find me he does, and he does unspeakable things, and yet…
I am still here.
I am still here.
He has not killed me.
And THAT is the worst of it all, the insult of it all, because the dragon NEVER kills you. He NEVER NEVER WILL. What he does, is make life so unbearable, that you want to kill yourself.
And yet, that worst-of-all is actually the BEST of all, because I realized….he CAN’T kill me. He absolutely can’t. If I wait long enough, he always leaves. And I am left to rebuild my fortress, taking what I have learned from the latest attack to make it stronger, sturdier, more impenetrable.
Right now, I am focusing on ONE room in my fortress, that one room in which I sit and pray, sit and meditate, sit and see the dragon in his lair thousands of miles away. In this room, I can do the work necessary to keep him at bay. I can often keep him chained to his lair, and on those occasions where he breaks free of his chains, I can keep him from approaching the fortress. My archers in the surrounding forest shoot arrows magicked with prayers and meditations and he turns back, bested for a time.
I will never kill that dragon, but I can certainly work on seeing him less often, and on making his visits less destructive. And I can always always remind myself that he can’t kill me either, that as long as I fight, I may be battered, broken, severely injured, maimed, blinded for a time, but I am not killed. I can remind myself that I am a dragon in my own right. I have my own fire, my own roar, my own wings, my own scales of armor, my own fiery eyes that glisten with cunning strategy.
This week right here, this is a tough tough week for me. My birthday, Thanksgiving, my wanted child, the darker days of fall and winter, my parents, misunderstandings and arguments, there is so so much that that fucking dragon is launching at me, much of it ammunition I allowed because I let down my guard.
That’s okay. The fortress may have been unprepared but we are taking it back to basics. And this time, if he makes it past the forest and arrives at the gates, he will not find me on my rampart with my archers slain around me, the wind whipping my hair into a frenzy as his breath scorches my clothes and sears my skin.
Oh no no no no no.
He will get here, and find a dragon with scales of pearlescent white and eyes of golden topaz, breathing fire of her own.
“We’re waiting for you,” she whispers, as her eyes threateningly narrow to slits.