I’ve been going through it. Whatever “it” is has been clinging to me heavily for a while now. I mean, the whole kit and kaboodle from questioning my faith/chosen path, to questioning myself and morals and whether or not I should keep on keeping on, to wondering why I even bother anymore. Why try? Why care? Why blah blah blah. You get it. I was low. Real fucking low. All the things came home to roost and it was not a pleasant or welcoming homecoming to say the least. Plus, they ate all the food and shat all over the lawn.
Let me tell you a secret. I’m glad they came. (WHAT?!) For one, my cupboards are now empty and in the same vein my fields have been fertilized, just in time for spring. For a lot of people, winter is used as a way to turn inward. Revisit (or begin to visit) shadow and all the dark cold places within ourselves that make our hearts hurt just to see what’s there. Some people do this voluntarily. Others, well… We get drug through it because of this thing called seasonal depression that likes to kick us in the goolies because we aren’t getting enough sun or outdoor time. (Seriously, see a trained individual if you think you suffer from this, they can make it easier).
But, if you’re like me, and you get drug down to those dark deep places, sometimes you get stuck. Like, proper stuck and you can’t get out. Storm, you had us create a bug out bag for this exact reason! I can just use the things on that list to… Why are you shaking your head? Storm!…
These are the times when the bag doesn’t work. In fact, sometimes the things on the list make it worse because you no longer feel satisfaction towards what’s there and you begin to feel discouraged and it becomes a whole big thing. (I have to say this every time, because I’m me, I am not a trained or licensed individual. If you are seriously struggling, please seek a professional. I have and you should too). What I’m about to talk about is simply my method of kicking myself in the ass to get moving.
My big thing is disassociation and depression. (DND! Sorry… *hem*) I can wallow and submerge myself in these for so long while wearing it like a brand-new coat, thinking nothing is wrong. The good thing about this current round, is I know what tripped it. This is an important thing to note. Without the prior use of the Bug out bag and the entire shadow work series, I would have never been able to see it AS IT HAPPENED. I received news one morning about two weeks ago that made me into that Willy Wonka meme “No, wait, don’t, come back…” as I slowly descended down into the darkness because I knew I wasn’t willing to reopen that wound.
While this can be seen as a survival tactic, utilized by the brain to “save” us from experiencing hurt, I’m also abundantly aware of how dangerous and damaging it is to myself and the relationships I have with others for me to stay in this place for too long. I could feel myself floating at times in the darkened sea, food no longer satisfying, I wasn’t really sleeping, hot showers were just meh, and the motions of everyday life were simply exhausting.
I knew I had to get out of it. I tried everything on my list. Nothing worked. Painting was a chore, writing was impossible, playing guitar hurt my fingers and the songs were all wrong to how I was feeling, the movies and tv shows I tried watching weren’t engaging like they used to be, and I simply checked out. I had a moment where I practically split into two people. One who was suffering, and one who knew the suffering would become manageable given time, but only if we were able to move forward out of this funk.
It was like I was gut punched. Move. How do I move? I thought it wasn’t possible. I really thought I was stuck there, until Freyja’s words drifted through my mind. Advice given to me a while ago that told me “Big emotions are useful if you know how to use them.” Reminding me of how the berserkers would amp themselves up before rushing off to battle, I mustered as much anger as I could and pulled myself out of the black hole I call my couch and began pacing around my house. I imagined a caged animal, looking for an escape, when a door opened because I am not only the animal, I’m also it’s keeper.
Movement has always been important to me on my spiritual path. When I chant, my body sways with the flow of energy, when I sing, I sing with my whole body, when I paint, I tend to rock back and forth as I’m choosing colors, when I write I have to get up and walk around to get all the ideas in place. Why on earth would I think my recovery from the dark place could be handled any differently. Movement is my healing; I implore you to find yours. I needed to get angry in order to start moving again, to get the momentum to unstick myself. Be aware of letting “I need to rest” become an excuse to not face that which you need to.
The important thing is, I needed momentum. I needed to be able to feel like I was moving forward somehow, gaining ground where I thought there was nothing left to gain. I needed myself to get the energy moving so that the “rest” I was having actually became restful and not stagnant. I got my confirmation through Instagram (one of many different ways Gods and Spirits communicate with me, and to all you nay sayers, whose to say they can’t do that?). It was a screen shot of a tumbler post by redadhdventures that said “Shout out to my Arabic teacher that looked at us yesterday mid-lesson and said, “I’m worried. You all look exhausted and depressed.” Of course, we were all like, “Oh, yeah, we’re dead inside, you haven’t noticed?” And he snapped shut the textbook, threw up his hands and said, “That’s not healthy! No more vocab! Time for dancing!” And he taught us a dance from Iraq and we danced instead of doing vocab. We didn’t stop dancing until he saw all of us laughing and was satisfied that we were all feeling better. It was perhaps the coolest, most kind hearted thing I’ve ever seen a college instructor do.”
So, the next time you feel down, I want you to do what I’m going to do. Throw your hands up and yell “Time for dancing!” and get yourself moving in whatever way necessary. Life needs movement in order to be healthy. There’s a reason why we all talk about the flow of energy and why it’s necessary to let it. Be beautiful and remember, it’s time for dancing.