I was reminded today when reading back a post I wrote but didn’t post yesterday of the very real reasons I felt suicidal and went through a painful dark night of the soul over at least 10 years. I was reminded that I didn’t end up in that state for no reason and that without the constant realistic loving presence of a very good therapist that took me so many years to find I would not today be feeling the degree of joy that I am feeling and the sense that I have in some way emerged, even though at times on certain days I can get a pull back into that deep dark space where my mind remembers all the pain and the long time this journey has taken.
I was reminded that I didn’t make it all up and that my loneliness was so bone crushing because it was deeply real. It wasn’t something I chose but something that happened to me out of unresolved experiences of being so very far away in my consciousness from connection with others who could not understand and due to having been left alone so many times without protection that I had to look to unsafe things and places and spaces for it. I was also reminded of how all along even when it hasn’t felt like it some force or power has been taking care of me from behind the scenes.
This is most certainly not something I could prove to anyone, but I have had some very challenging things happen over years in terms of danger or loss or confusion and at some stage an angel has stepped in at the eleventh hour to help. It has happened to me too many times now for me to doubt that I am cared for and loved and that feeling is such a long way from the feelings of deepest aloneness and lack of care that at times have tried inside my mind to lead me to take my life.
When I start to recover my sense of happiness and the feeling that I do have the power to make healthy choices on days which will bring me light and life and joy it can sometimes seem to me that in some way what went before was a kind of aberration, that I have been crazy or stupid to have lost trust in life, other people and love. But I have to keep reminding myself that those feelings came from somewhere. I hope never to lose a sense of gratitude that on many days now I simply do not have to live deep down in that dark night space so much now as I used to in the past. Consciousness is always changing.
Recovery to me doesn’t mean I am suddenly bullet proof or impervious to pain, most especially when those I love are suffering, recovery means I can feel those feelings at great depth but they no longer place such a strangle hold on my consciousness. On the days such pain visits, that I feel capable of taking some action to express love and care for myself and for others, while knowing realistically that so much of what happens for others is not my fault and outside of my power to control.
And the other miracle now is that I no longer see the world in such black/white terms. I can see some of the deep human complexity in people who have been ‘bad’ to or hurt me in life. I can see some of the shadow and insecurity even in those who appear to be so strong and have it all together and I am aware that both positive and negative forces and powers and manners of perception reside inside my own consciousness and can dominate on different days.
There can be days when I am tempted to judge my insides by others outsides, by the happy image they present to the world. On these days I see myself as so inherently flawed and lacking that a dark cloud comes down but the miracle now is that on those days and in those dark moments a loving voice comes to me and tells me where I am seeing things incorrectly or incompletely. This voice inside me encourages me to focus on what is good, while not ignoring what hurts, it encourages me to put some good into my day to soothe any pain or hurt or fear or doubting that is trying to lay claim to and imprison my soul in negativity.
And I can understand and accept that others suffer too from all the same fears and doubts and insecurities that I do and that often those people on any day may be fighting a battle I can not fully see or recognise. When I am tempted to view things from a difficult or more painful perspective I can remind myself to pray to see things more realistically, more lovingly and more meaningfully. I can pray to be relieved of the bondage of self centred or unrealistic perfectionism that may lay love, a sense of value and a sense of connection to waste. And at the end of those days on which that force turns my life and day around I can go to bed grateful for all that I have survived, even the most painful of experiences for each and every one has made me who I am.