Monday, 2 February 2015

Dizzying depths

Whoa! The world won't keep still.  I managed to avoid falling on my dog and clutched at the bedroom doorframe, turning then throwing myself back on to the bed.  Pulling myself over I tried calling for help.  Even as I did so I realised how pointless this was, with my hearing-impaired husband at the opposite end of the house. In the end, I phoned my daughter to ask her to ring back so that my husband would pick up the phone downstairs and know that I needed help.

So no playing my cello in church today. I phoned Nigel, music leader and elder.  "Oh that sounds like labyrinthitis," he told me cheerfully, reciting names and symptoms of sufferers he knew.  The world was still swimming about so I was half-listening with my mind twirling around the word 'labyrinths'.  I knew that parts of the inner ear were called 'labyrinths' but I was thinking of depths and dungeons.

When I work with people with depression, I often describe how negative thoughts have us swirling into more negative thoughts in a downward spiral.  Climbing out is difficult, but involves countering those thoughts with positive ones.  Some people are stuck in the depth of their depression for some time.  The dizziness I experienced, where the world was distorted and unreal, mirrored their experience.  People trying to help them find that their suggestions become condemnations when received by the depressed person; the chaos of their minds causing confusion.

So what is the answer?  Can we talk about the love of friends and relatives, or of God?  The depressed person may feel as if he or she is not adequate to receive that love.  But we can be consistent, we can be there, showing the love of friends, of God.  The person may need the help of a doctor as well, but most of all he or she will need to know they are not alone.

Isn't that what we all need to keep us steady when the world is spinning around us?

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