In Two Minds

Coming to terms with depression is having an interesting effect on my thinking. I’ve had quite a nice day today, out and about, a walk and some nice food with friends. Internally though, it’s been a bit of a difficult day. I’ve had a rumbling undercurrent of mild anxiety throughout the whole day. Anxiety with no real focus, as is often the case on my low days. These can be some of the worst days, as it’s difficult to find the focus of the mood and to think my way around it, this makes me more anxious, and the slow spiralling downwards starts.

I’m learning to live with these days though, and I think I’m getting better at it. As I say, they are having an unexpected effect on my thought process though. I’ve almost started to watch these episodes from the outside in. I’m not sure whether this is some kind of subconscious coping mechanism, or whether I’m making the choice. I almost start to see myself from two different angles: one from the depressive’s point of view, trying to rationalise my fears, accentuating my doubts, grasping onto my lack of self-worth like it’s my identity; the other as an ethereal thought experiment, asking questions of the other guy, watching him spiral down and not understanding from where the motivation to keep punishing himself is borne from.

The one skill I’ve yet to develop is how to get these two guys talking to each other. There’s a barrier between us that I simply cannot break down. If I concentrate really hard, I can start to see the worries and self-loathing for what they are, but rather than do the sensible thing and help myself to see that they are irrational and often wrong, the other guy sort of steps in and starts to chuckle at the helplessness. It’s as if somewhere, on some level, I don’t actually want to get better and I’m throwing things in the way of recovery.

Seeing this happen from the outside is an interesting experience. One would thinking that if I could observe these odd quirks happening, which I can, I could put a stop to it, but the path seems barred and locked somehow, like the rational part of my mind no longer has the map and compass and is being led on by the irrational part. Sometimes, this is a good thing, but I think they should share, and I’m worried the clown is going to walk us into the sea.

The other thing I’m still missing is what triggers the low moods that kindle the depression. By the time I’ve caught myself in the act, we’re too far away from the source to analyse it properly. I think I’m slowly circling it though. Writing it down is helping me to eliminate certain things and question others, so perhaps given time, I’ll see what’s at the centre of the circle.

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