I am coming out of a ‘state’. I am surfacing from a ‘space’. I am noticing a shift. My energy is moving.

This is the language that I use in session, as a therapist, to describe and understand emotions.

This is the language that I use with myself, to describe and understand emotions.

I find it comforting to remove the label of ‘depression’ (or other diagnostic language) and prefer to envision that we are continually moving in and out of places, to and from spaces (perhaps in a non-linear manner). And all these places and spaces, that we enter and reside in for a bit, provide us with valuable information. They contain seeds of knowledge from earlier versions of ourselves, past lives, the stories of our ancestors, and the tales of humanity. It is the residue of our personal psyche that periodically makes itself known as a reminder that there is more… that we can go deeper, and that WE can be more. When we associate these places, spaces, and states with a single word such as ‘depression’, we lose the nuance, texture, and beauty. We cheapen the experience.

Diving in, swimming about, sinking, floating, coming to surface…

Being in it.

Water is the element of emotion.

Today I am hovering below the surface, but my legs are now kicking, and bubbles are coming from my mouth as I see the glow of sunlight on the other side of the thin, permeable layer that separates the ‘under’ from the ‘above’. Once you get to this level, you become aware of how thin that separation is. You become aware that your mind has tricked you into believing otherwise (over a set period).

I have moved from the dark depths where it is eerily silent and there is not contact with sunlight. That place where the cold has a way of surprising you … “I am already that deep?” “Why am I so cold all of a sudden?” And the thought “maybe I will just sit on the bottom for a while” or “maybe I will surrender to the depth”, sneaks up on you. Some part of you has been seduced by the beauty at the bottom. There is something refreshingly soothing about the weight of the water surrounding your body and the deep dive inward and downward to a place of formlessness. Your body is heavy and limp and the responsibilities of ‘above’ are miles away.

Then there is the shockingly scary reality that the air in your lungs is beginning to run out. That need to gasp or refresh, acts as a reminder that there is something left ‘above’. In the state of disorientation and nothingness, that need to take a breath is a reminder from deep within, that you must go up.

Today the surface layer is thin and silky, and I know that what is on the other side is soft and warm. It will embrace me. Today I can trust that somewhere within me is the knowledge that I will always know how much air my lungs can hold. Today I can trust that my internal clock is aware on a deeper level, of when it is time to surface.

When my head breaches the surface, I will enter a new space with a shifted perspective. I will bring with me the knowledge that I gained from the depths.

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