I have suffered with obsessive-compulsive disorder and genetically-based clinical depression all my life. I first became medicated for these conditions, with SSRIs, in 1991, and the improvement was so drastic I never wanted to be without those medications again.
On or about December 6, 2015, however, it seemed as if they abruptly became ineffective. I was not in a position to find a medical doctor competent to change them. So, on the one hand, I’ve lived with clinical depression from then till now and continuing. On the other hand, a positive is that in this state I’ve obtained certain insights that I never could have “seen” any other way.
One insight in particular would have changed my entire course in life, had I only learned it as a child.
It occurred in four steps. The blue block quotes below are excerpts from my diary. However, I recall that C.S. Lewis referred to diary-keeping as a “time-wasting and foolish practice;” that a diary is, “even for autobiographical purposes,” far less useful than one might suppose. As to the first two steps below, I lost a good deal of time and effort searching for diary passages that didn’t exist.
In mid-December 2015 …
… it occurred to me that if I can use the “divine spark” (nitzotz) that is my soul, to incinerate or consume resentment and anger and release instead cheerfulness and goodwill; then I can probably also use it to consume sadness, and radiate positive energies for the people and world around me instead. I might not be able to keep my flesh from producing the sadness, but at least it need not engulf me. I began doing as indicated, and obtained much relief.
Related: Fire inside
This day saw the regular monthly church council (vestry) meeting. I serve as secretary. I was in considerable pain, but focusing on the task at hand, was able to function. Late in the meeting, as usual, I had to take a potty break; and now the task at hand could not distract me from the pain.
It came to me that if I can incinerate sadness so as to radiate light for others, why not do the incineration and then re-direct that light back into myself, as love and healing to soothe the very tissues that produced it? I obtained such astonishing relief, I said, “I may never need to be medicated again!”
Related: A short route to agony
17:10. It seems sometimes I can incinerate sadness and sometimes I can’t. In prayer time today, I was really, really feeling the blues — physically, too, throughout my upper torso — but somehow I came out of it OK. Am now imaging a fire at my heart, and the sadness as a fluid fuel flowing toward it.
Sometime over the weekend I found a way to comfort myself, console myself, love myself, that accomplishes the same thing as the fire image, only without having to use images or thought. Now, as I left [the library], sadness came on strong. I recalled the date: this is a new “monthly.” Across from the police station I paused to apply the new method. I felt a warmth in my chest and said, “Wow. That feels so much better.”
God grant that, in the next life, I may learn this before age six rather than at age 60.