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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Music Vibes

It’s powerful the amount of emotional attachment we can derive from or infuse into music. Usually we focus on what we take away from music, but I think it’s interesting what we pump into it as well.  It makes me sad when music that I once listened to in order to get me out of a sad funk ends up reminding me of unhappy times later on.

The music retains the memory of the dark cloud that was suffocating my consciousness when I last listened to it and now forever carries with it sad overtones.

I am trying to reverse some of that.

Rewrite it.

Partially because I’ve been in such a funk for such a long time that this symptom has oozed into too much of music library. Partially because it’s cool to experiment with how much power you wield over your mind.  

I’m not just talking about listening to sad music when you’re sad, mind you.  Most people tend gravitate toward bluer vocals when they’re in a blue mood and then that particular music might remind you a specific sad moment in your life later on.  But I’m talking about the opposite too.  Sometimes you listen to upbeat music to try to lift yourself out of your emotional muck and it works.  Or sort of works.  In reality you’re suppressing negative feelings with a temporary fog of lightheartedness and the dark is lurking not far beneath.  But it’s still nice to feel okay for a while.  

Of course, then a once happy tune later carries with it memories of the dark you tried to chase away, if the dark was grim enough.

If I listen to a song now which once used to invariably pull me out of an agonized self, will I be able to attach happier connotations to its notes if I am happier now?  Or will it only bring me down?  How many listens in a happy mode would it take to turn that trend around?

I am still finding out.  Wish me luck.  

~LDA