Psyche. The totality of the mind; conscious and unconscious – Nicola O’Hanlon

 

It’s been a tricky week. A week where I’ve been evaluating the triggers of a deep depression I’ve experienced for a month or two. Perhaps a bit longer. Gladly I seem to be out the other side of it, but boy was it brutal.

It rendered me breathless, thoughtless and bottomless. It felt like a roller-coaster that was plummeting really fast, but I didn’t know when it would stop.

However, I knew that it would. Stop.

I don’t really get to the point of hopelessness anymore.

Experience has taught me that it eventually ends. I’ve had bouts of serious depression which lasted years. I stopped questioning when it would end, because I’d forgotten what it was like to be depression free.

I’d forgotten that there was a place where I could breathe, think and be grounded.

The breathless, thoughtless, bottomless existence was normal then. I’d stopped looking for relief. I was convinced I was a damaged, broken human with no escape. I told myself over and over again I was damaged and broken. Unfixable. Now that is hopelessness.

Such awful things to reinforce within myself. Sick, broken, diseased, flawed. It’s hard to fully embrace yourself when that concept is entrenched in your psyche. I mean what’s the point of anything then?

I’m grateful to understand now that the human condition is not sick, broken, diseased or flawed. These words misrepresent in a vicious manner what it is we are. They are words born from ignorance and manipulation when speaking about another being.

Psyche. The totality of the mind; conscious and unconscious.

And it’s when these two parts, the conscious and unconscious, are not aligned within me that the depression sets in. It’s such a relief for me to be aware of that. So, when depression or anxiety are present, I know I’m in conflict internally about something.

My internal world takes care of me brilliantly. It lets me know I’m going against myself in some way.

Usually something big.

Usually something hugely important.

It’s fascinating to me since I’ve recognised and begun to understand this in myself. What I once thought of as complete disordered behaviour, now looks like total functional and ordered behaviour. It’s like a fight or flight response for my mind and emotions, which won’t let me ignore it, and won’t let me live in situations that suppress my true self.

How completely incredible!

It took some time for this internal mechanism to start turning again after years of numbing with alcohol and anti-depressants. That part of me was wounded and didn’t trust itself anymore. But practice makes perfect, as they say, and it’s firing on all cylinders again.

It’s impossible for me to hear myself when chemicals are present in my body.

And still, it can sometimes be a laborious task to figure out what that conflict is about within me. I have so much interest in so many things. I read so much and expose myself to so much, that the information in my head takes some time to settle into opinions and organise itself.

Depression, for me, also may mean that I’m allowing myself to be dragged away from my highest good on a surface level. Perhaps I’m being manipulated or lied to. My unconscious knows, but my conscious is in denial and wants something to be real or true when it’s not.

I cannot get away with surface living anymore. Actually, I never could. That’s why I tried to numb everything and anything that was truly me. It’s a huge responsibility to be aligned. It means you have to do something about it. Once you know, you cannot unknow.

Is ignorance bliss after all?

Anyway, after much emotional purging through tears and moments of deep grief, putting on a few pounds from fuelling my body and sleeping more than normal to combat the exhaustion of that inner conflict, I finally discovered what the issue was.

And as I always do, I wrote about it.

And the reason I know I’m out the other side of this last bout of depression is because I still feel grounded and strong in what I wrote despite the unpopularity of it. I felt the crush of the backlash energetically, but the depression lifted.

I’m aligned again.

Mind, body, heart and soul.

And nothing can touch me when I’m aligned.

Nicola O'Hanlon

About Nicola O'Hanlon

Meet our Editor-In-Chief, Nicola O'Hanlon. She created this website, along with the help of the InTheRooms team in September 2015. Her work has been published in several recovery magazines, including Recovery Today, In Recovery Magazine, AfterPartyChat.com, Psychology Today and Reach Out Recovery to name but a few. She has also had her work published in two Feminist anthologies and a book of personal recovery stories. Born and raised in Wexford, Ireland she still lives there with her two children, Christopher and Jessica. Her background is in healing through Massage Therapy, Reflexology and Sechiem Energy Healer. She has combined her professional and life experience and now coaches women on how to empower themselves. She runs the Womens Wisdom Healing Circle meeting, on InTheRooms.com every Sunday (Noon est 5pm UK & Ireland), which is a non program specific gathering of women seeking support, encouragement and healing. Already an expert on how not to live life she is a constant seeker of new and better ways of being. Nature is her Higher Power and she believes in magic, crystals and blames the phases of the moon for her multiple personalities.
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2 Comments

  1. Does anyone have an suggestions for me about this?

  2. Yeah, can I relate to Depression, and overcoming it. A number of years ago, while seeing a Psychiatrist, I was on Paxil for about one year, then one day, before going to work, I noticed that I had not been feeling any better, or that it was not working for me (the medication). I called my Dr., talked with him for about 10 minutes about my feeling and how I did not feel that my thinking had been any different. The Dr., told me that if I did not feel that it was helping, to stop taking the drug so I did with no bad effects. What I did was started working the AA program only with a different slant, wherever the word alcohol was I substituted depression. It worked and basically, I have had a couple of bouts with it, but other than that, life is pretty stable for me now. My husband on the other hand, threatened to commit suicide just last evening. To which I had to call 911, living in a small town, I had nowhere else to turn. Of course, he worked in mental health for 20 years, so he was able to talk his way out of them taking him away, now they want me to go to the courthouse, which is about 20 miles from my house and sign to have him put into a mental ward for 96 hours, which in his state of mind, I don’t believe would be of much help.

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