Abstract

To the Deep and Back

The deep bottomless abyss of depression is so encompassing and devastating that the sweetness of being and living is lost and forgotten.  What is lost is hard to grasp, a deep breath when looking to the sky from under the water.  Desperately needed, yet unattainable; gasping for it sinks you further as would water in the lungs.  You hold, waiting for that which is missing, sinking deeper and further away until all that is seen is a shadow of the light and cold darkness becomes so familiar that it is the one comfort remaining.  The power in being cold, sunk, and empty is armor.  The weight of the water is more unforgiving and fortifying as depths increase.  Providing support and structure to stop fighting is the pressure of the depth.  One stops needing to be anything but a compressed shell with exponentially less capability for love, compassion, and joy than that same vessel when upon the surface in the sun’s radiant light.  Comfort in darkness becomes easier than returning.  The excruciating tingling of awakening sensations kills and tortures enough to consider remaining sunken for a lifetime, enough to consider leaving a life behind.  Like icy daggers, the sensation returns with new knowledge of how much was missed during the journey to the deep.  One remembers something is missing as tingling abates, knowing there is a fullness awaiting somewhere like awaking to the sweet smell of ocean water in the air.  Curiosity returns.  Pressure lightens.  The light is above and growing larger, yet still distorted through the watery lens.  Losing sight of the lens, only a thin layer of warm moving water covers the face before it emerges, no longer able to feel the cold, icy pressure of the depths.  Gasp reflexively and enjoy the pure simplicity of unencumbered breath.  After a moment, there is the realization – I am breathing, I am joy, I survived.

What remains from the journey is this: the deep, frightening knowledge that what was once sunk, may be sunk again.

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