Cavern Hunting with Pandora

It’s strange. I find that often if I’m quiet enough, and I listen hard enough, there are still echoes of a cavern in my soul. Of dank, cold water that soundlessly seeps into every crevice.

If you were to ask me if I was okay I would undoubtedly say yes. Because I am, and I’m doing so much better than before. But at the same time I am very much aware that there is a darkness that is yet to be lifted.

I sometimes describe myself as slightly suicidal which sounds like an insult to people on the brink of suicide. It seems like a dichotomy. You can’t be in that kind of a headspace only slightly, you’re probably thinking. It’s something that overtakes you completely.

And you’re right.

But you’re also wrong.

I’m at a place where most of the time I’m fine, happy even. The term mildly depressed no longer fits. I feel somewhat back to an equilibrium. And yet, I know I’m not one hundred percent. Like there may be demons I haven’t wrestled yet. Or worse, like because I’ve visited such dark places, I’ll never be able to fully leave them behind in my memories. Like there’s a Pandora’s box that has been opened and the potential for even denser darkness in the midst of light has been unleashed. I sense there is a kinetic reality whispering around the edges of my consciousness.

I fight these fears with, of all the lame techniques I could’ve chosen, positive thinking. Or better stated, no thinking. Distracted thinking. Since the path to the caverns are familiar, I can notice that I’m heading there more quickly and reroute myself, whether it’s with a trivial thought or an important one.

But I guess I worry that if I use this technique too often I might miss a battle that’s better to be had now rather than later. I’ve dealt with a lot of my issues in the last few years and am still dealing with them. It’s part of what contributed to getting to know my dark spaces so up close and personal. I decided it was time to climb out of the cavern, and when I was going to therapy my therapist seemed very intent on helping me put those thoughts and feelings into perspective. My emotions are valid, but they’re not as all encompassing and overwhelming as they feel. Don’t give them more importance than they deserve. If a thought’s not constructive throw it out. Simple as that. 

Only problem is sometimes it’s hard to tell the genuinely destructive ones from the ones that sting, but are building my character.

There are important things I’ve learned about managing my emotions and I know I can still continue to use them while working on my flaws, but I also can’t help wondering what secret things have slinked out of Pandora’s box that I’ve yet to have noticed. It’s hard learning how to exist in this new version of myself when I don’t actually know all my parts. Meanwhile, other parts I can’t forget and they contribute to my tendency to go cavern hunting. Unfortunately, being honest with myself includes admitting that part of me still savors the option of flicking to OFF, on account of all the beasties lurking in the dark.

Good thing hope is a flame and not an off switch.

~LDA

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