If I could be magically transported to any place, any “room”, there’s no doubt where I would want to go. It would be my own brain.
As you can see from the beautiful map above of my brain there are lots of rivers and tributaries to explore. There might even be a lake or two. And we all know about those deep, wet, swampy folded areas.
This isn’t just a pleasure journey. Oh, no. This is a rehab job. You’ve seen those DIY shows on TV? Well, this is like that. We’re going in there and fix some things up. We might have to knock down some walls and change out plumbing but that’s okay. We’ve got the budget.
I’m taking along some apprentices. Anna and Tanya are deeply depressed. Denise has bipolar. Ted deals with suicidal urges, and Gina with wild mania. Ron is just real sad. We’re going to have to watch Gina but the rest of them will be easy to have along. They’re not complainers. They’re pretty tough people. The good news is that we have a guide. He’s seen it all twice.
We’re going in a raft-like vehicle. Sort of a cross between “The Magic School Bus” and whitewater rafting. We’ve got tools…lots of them.
A small snip and we’re in. We paddle away like crazy and let our guide know we want to get to “hunger”. We’re sick of hunger. We all take meds and they make us hungry. After we get everything fixed today, we won’t need meds (we hope!) but we’re not taking chances. We get to the right valve and make a quick turn. No more overeating! No craving sweets. No embarrassment over weight gain. Some depression is lifting already.
It’s hard to hang on with the rapid water but we’re going to get on to exercise. With less hunger, we’ll be thinner. And able to move more freely. Our guide uses his machete to cut a piece of the depression net away.
As we go, there’s an overlay of black net. It has a pulsing quality to it. Everyone except Gina recognizes it. But when we hit it, we just chop and keep moving. I look back and I’m getting a grin from the depressed people. I know I’m on the right track.
Gina can’t wait to get to our next stop…hypomania…and Ron has to hold her in the raft. But we’re not interested at all in that dangerous mania, the overspending, hypersexual, job losing mania…we just want a slight hypomania. I’m going to use it to maintain my energy and get a lot of good done.
All of us smile at the next stop, kindness. There’s a wall to knock down here. It’s fear. Fear from years of hiding with depression and not really being able to show my true self. There’s a lot of excitement in the boat about kindness. At the last minute, Anna nails up a shelf for forgiveness. We all approve. The smiles are getting a tiny bit bigger.
There’s clot of depression up ahead. It’s a bad tangle. But we are patient and we get through it. We have some time to think and we decide to head to good memories. We jury rig some sort of wire thing up to replay a loop over and over of good memories. Not too far down the river, we hit bad memories. There’s a lot of fear here, but our guide says we can make it. He leads us into making a one time loop of bad memories. I pick out the ones I can fix and throw the rest away. I save that loop for later. I know I will fix the memories I can fix.
We’re getting better with our machetes. The depression is becoming almost fun to cut away. We sail around to intelligence and artistry. There isn’t a whole lot to do here, just some cosmetic changes.
Oh, god. I knew it would be here. The one I was dreading, anxiety. But Ted tells me the “bones” of it are good and it just needs the floors refinished. Sure, we can do that. We adjust it so we only have anxiety at the right times.
We’re on a roll now. There’s a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the boat. One more stop, faith, and we all give a huge sigh of relief. We knew it was there, it was just hard to find.
Amongst a round of hugs, we reorganize our gear and take a breath. Gina’s brain is waiting.