Dark Night of the Soul, Again

Saturday, August 3
3rd cup of tea.  When I went out to walk Mocha, my legs felt very weak.  I decided I needed grounding, so tried to feel my legs and my feet contacting the earth.  Mocha went down the Yellow Brick Road, so I walked outside the campus, out Rte 10 and back through Rivercrest.  My mind felt very strange, like I was in some other dimension.  No words, lots of “felt senses,” I think once before I described them as “blobs.”  Visual and tactile things.  I’ve been reading Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum, and she describes interactions between people that carry a lot of hidden material, sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit.  Knowings, and lies, and objects, and stories interwoven.  Unexpected understandings.  I am slightly uncomfortable in this place, lost, “out of control” — although controlling things seems much less important than understanding the flow that’s going on.  Because that’s what it feels like — I’m being carried down a turbulent river in a little boat.  I have a paddle, so I can shift the boat, to stay in the central flow.  No way is that “in control.”  Something about being able to trust what I do in the moment, even if it looks “wrong” or has no result.  I understand that I am undergoing some huge shift in who I am and the shape of my life.  It makes sense that there would be times of confusion and lostness, and that it might take a long time.  I wish I had a traditional shaman to help me.

I’m attempting to describe the feeling hoping it would help me make sense of what I have been experiencing.  It didn’t.

The link gives a number of readers’ impressions of The Painted Drum, which really helped me understand why I was both moved and confused by it.  I had to stop reading because I got so triggered, I don’t know if it was by the book, or by a lot of other things.

Tuesday, August 6
3rd cup of tea.  I am dying to my old life, and I have no idea what the new one will be like.  Somewhere between finishing the second cup and starting this one, it occurred to me that the “dark night of the soul” involves the stripping away of all you are attached to.  So then it comes that “god” is doing this to me.  Then I feel a presence, oddly a masculine presence, also oddly it is very close outside me and inside as well.  “Because I love you so much,” says the masculine voice, and I feel such a sense of kindness and love toward me.  I feel myself both giving and receiving this intensely kind love.

Dr. May, a psychiatrist, says:  “… my experience is that people often experience depression and the dark night at the same time.  To say the least, the dark night can be depressing.  Even if most of the experience feels liberating, it still involves loss, and loss involves grief, and grief may at least temporarily become depression.  Conversely, a primary clinical depression can become part of a dark-night experience, just as any other illness can.” Dark Night of the Soul, p156

Talk with Erica:
Grieving the old life that’s dying
Grieving the life that never got to happen
Need community to help me grieve

Wednesday, August 7
One of the things I told Erica was that this collapse showed me how much I’m up against, how really damaged I am. I tend to trivialize it. I think because I’m white, and rich, and well-educated. I’ve got all that going for me, how can I complain. So I trivialize my difficulties, and blame myself for being lazy and incompetent.

Actually I think I may disappear my difficulties, just as my parents did.  See “Colonial Dames.”  Not only do others fail to see my pain, but I also fail to see it.

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