When you live with depression and anxiety life can feel cacophonic.
There’s a lot to be said for being a hermit. You know, the person who lives in a cave, living off what the land provides and indulging one’s self in the comfort of his or her own thoughts. This utopia seems to me, to be an ideal location where I could live out my life. A place of isolation and freedom.
Of course those who know me, would laugh at my description of my utopia. Anyone who’s experienced my desire for strict personal hygiene routines will perhaps note an irony in my fantasies. It shows how easy it is to hide a private yearning behind a public persona. It makes me wonder how many of our lives are about the display of the peacock rather than the gentle neutrality of the peahen. Our desire to display a decorative exhibition of brilliance is in some ways perhaps preferable to walking discreetly through life, unnoticed.
For me this dichotomy is real. In essence, my personality is bigger than my physical size. My desire for notoriety is, quite frankly, annoying. (To almost everyone, including me!) And, my need to create humour takes the most sensitive of subjects and turns them into an opportunity to laugh (usually naughtily). But in spite of my own ‘quite obvious’ nature, I still long to hide. To be unseen and uncompromised.
For me, I think, this desire to hide comes from my inability to cope with the duplicity of others and the fact that perhaps I’m a bit naïve in my expectation that others would be all they seem. I’ve mentioned before that, as a general rule, you can expect me to tell you what I actually think. In fact, even blogging as I do places me at risk of; sharing too enthusiastically; exposing myself too willingly; and revealing too much. An interesting pastime for one whose secret desire is to live in a cave!
You see, the thing is, I’m inherently afraid. Notwithstanding I have a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I’m afraid there’s something I will not know; something I cannot learn and something that I cannot detect. I’m afraid, that my heart will be punctured through the seemingly essential act of trust. And because I want to believe in the fundamental goodness of others, I’m made vulnerable. Even those I would consider the ‘goodest’, hide heartbreaking secrets that once known cannot be unknown. That once contrived cannot be forgotten. And, that once played out, are etched indelibly on our heart.
How is it then that I can resolve these discordant parts of my own inner self? How is it that I can temper my natural self in order to brace for the heartache I know will come? How can I find peace without isolation?
Like a romantic symphony, the composition of life seems to move through themes of delight only to be varied, not to change the theme, but to restructure it in a way that introduces sadness and reflection until it’s been exhausted. Perhaps it’s now that the composer will introduce a new part. A new movement, in new time and with renewed energy. A new dance.
From Richard Ashcroft – Bittersweet Symphony:
Well I never pray
But tonight I’m on my knees yeah
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now
But the airways are clean and there’s nobody singing to me now
Not necessarily a romantic symphony but worth a listen anyway. Click to go to Youtube Bittersweet Symphony
If you need to talk to someone NOW call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Deb Shugg is an awarded businesswoman, wife & mother, author and a sufferer of depression and anxiety.
If you need help to deal with your symptoms see your doctor.
(Abuse of another person is NEVER okay. If you are being abused or, if you are an abuser please seek help.)