For the last couple of months I’ve been struggling with “lost the will to live” — the last stage of trauma when the organism has concluded that death is inevitable. Sometimes I’m OK with it, sometimes it’s really hard. I’m caught in the “Demoralization Box” and need someone else to help me out.
I told Karen how I’d been getting good feedback from people and really having trouble taking it in. Sal & Jan were just here, & Jan said “all the people at the Worry Tree love you.” Sal’s reading for me — I finally got the CD — says I’m a “world-server” just by my presence. So how do I prevent really connecting with this information? There have been moments when I’ve felt the truth of my being a good person who’s done a lot of good in the world, and been amazed at its truth, and then somehow it gets lost, I fall back into worthless-hopeless-no-will-to-live.
What do I feel in my body? squeezed heart, heaviness in my belly. How do I know I’ve lost the will to live? Difficulty deciding what to eat for lunch, difficulty putting together a shopping list. Wouldn’t it just be easier to stop eating? I’m sitting slumped over with my head stuck out in front. Too tired to sit up straight.
Make myself sit up straight. Actually I’m leaning back against the cushion. What is my resistance to letting myself know that I’m a good person who’s made a positive change in the world? What’s the voice in me that says it wouldn’t be OK for me to know that? What am I afraid would happen if I really took it in? I’d get conceited? (makes me laugh) I’d stop doing good? but if I’m doing good even when I’m not doing anything but being present, how can I stop? Is it possible that I’m angry at myself for not having the will to live? Well. There’s some resonance there. So I’m angry at myself for not being able to jack myself up into enthusiasm for my life. Well, I suppose it’s the same thing as being angry at myself for not being able to will myself out of depression. Am I holding onto the idea of “no will to live” because it sounds more grandiose than depression? What does my body want to do? I just want to lie down & do nothing. Might as well do it.
From today’s perspective, September 26, I can see that what gets in the way of my feeling good enough about myself to have the will to live is the fear that the being who is responsible for my continued existence (i.e. mother) will throw me out on the street where I can’t possibly take care of myself because I’m only an infant. That’s the fear. If I let myself feel good about myself —> I will die. No wonder I can’t take it in.
The “Demoralization Box” is described by Bruce Levine. The difficulty for me is that in order to regain my morale, I need someone else to validate me in some way.