Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SNAPback - depression's backlash

I am doing intensive therapy right now, and it is kicking my ass.
 I felt like I was doing better for a couple of weeks, and then it was as though I'd been stretching a rubber band that had reached its out limit.
And SNAP I was back in pathetic depressed misery.

The therapy is interesting, not like anything I've done before.  It's a mixture of talking about patterns from my past and childhood (yaddy yadda), but also cranio-sacral therapy, which I don't understand but seems to help, meditation and concentration exercises, and work on changing my thought patterns.
 It's definitely both cognitive and behavioral, but with a different language from the CBT that just always pissed me off with its facile promises.

I wrote this in a cafe in La Jolla, on a January Saturday.  I think it's only part I, since it stops without really ending.  I hope to add a more hopeful part II!

In the land where everyone looks happy,
Fit, and fashionable,
My downcast demeanor is
Distinctly unattractive
The sleek hair, the beatific smiles
Directed at me with a tinge of
“Don’t infect me”

The gremlin inside me is hungry
I am increasingly sure he lives off my pain
Conditioning my nervous system to always turn
Toward the anguish
When given the option

In this land of eternal summer where men can wear
t-shirts in January and girls can wear sandals
I am trying mightily to retrain my brain, to
Coax it
Prod it
Drag it
Toward the chocolate scones and puppy dogs

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My mental count of imagined steps
On the sand
In a circle
The idea is to concentrate more on my counting than on
My anxieties
6, 7, 8, 9,
Laughter carries across the café
A two-year old gets tickled by his father

The gremlin inside me calls more insistently
He scrapes out my insides
With a spatula
I am all hollow despair

1, 2, 3, 4,
"What nourishes you?  What gives you pleasure?"
Even the words sound corny, or cheesy, or somehow dirty and inappropriate
I think of nourishing breakfast cereal, or
The pleasure they talk about in pornos not
hugs, or the easy comfort of being with friends because
I've withdrawn from warmth
as if it would burn me