Imagine occupying a mind – say a building represents it. You are the landlord or “I” and make all the rules but a tenant lives in the basement where the boiler room is – and the circuit breakers and the fire alarm/sprinkler system. This person also has a key to every apartment in the building.
Who is the one in charge?
You, the landlord, have a certain way you want things to work but the tenant in the basement is an out-of-control four-year-old who runs around smashing buttons and tripping the sprinkler system (tears) with every perceived threat.
“You” are aware of this insidious, impulsive and destructive entity who is sabotaging every effort to feel happy and “normal” but in the end, you are completely helpless.
This is me.
I have experienced depression and anxiety all of my life with events that have happened along the way exacerbating the problem. I want so badly to rewire my brain, to change the chemistry, alter the genes or whatever has caused me to be this way.
I’ve had counselors tell me the cause isn’t the issue but I believe it is very relevant. Knowledge leads to understanding and understanding leads to acceptance and acceptance promotes change. I want to know what happened to make me like this so that I can better deal with the issue or issues.
I’m told my Grandfather had The Melancholy as they used to refer to depression and my Mother did also. Is it in the genes? I believe it is, in part.
There is also the environmental factor. Behavioral patterns are learned from family but logically, those more than likely occur as a result of the physical functions of the brain. If we can inherit red hair I don’t see why we can’t inherit faulty brain mechanisms. The brain is a biochemical and organic thing, after all.
But back to the wild-child in the basement.
This brat lurks in the background programs running in my mind and consumes precious resources. It often wears black and waits behind corners and in dark alleyways ready to jump out and overwhelm me. I know it’s there – at all times – and I’m afraid.
The scariest thing in life to me is myself.
The only protections I have against myself are counseling, the support of others, knowing that I’m not alone, writing, and believing in something bigger than myself. I’m spiritual, not religious.
I know (don’t ask me how), that there is something loving that has created us that we are a part of. I often wonder if us humans are all God – bits of God – split into an infinite number of perspectives through which it (?) experiences life. It’s a fascinating thought.
I think Taoism and other philosophies are spot-on in their teachings and I love the concept that letting go of the ego opens us up to infinite power.
How ironic that strength comes through humility.
It seems counter-intuitive but perhaps letting go of my stewardship of this receptacle called my mind (if I can do it), may be a path to restoring the happiness and tranquility missing from my life. It’s worth a try.
Let go and let God. I could use a break.
Maybe the being in the basement would settle down for a change.
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