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A Walk on the Wild Side

October 26, 2010

Gosh! Wow! It’s over a month since I posted! OK, a lot of that was trying to deal with a spinal implant that ran out of bionicity (is that a neologism?). Well the batteries went flat and the charger didn’t work. But, after a week in the care of DHL, it was replaced and I am now ticking over smoothly.
What a time to overlook blogging? Government cuts lashed out at all and sundry and me quiet as a mouse! What happened to the guy who supported the miners? I now know three people who have been served their notice as a result of the cutbacks and I wonder where it will end in my little community.

When I am feeling fed up, which includes straying too near to the borders of the land of Dark Despair, I usually withdraw and I think maybe the extra pain and my following closely all the news about the economics in blogs and newspapers led me to my other strategy. This used to be one of getting out my equipment for some high risk pastime and pushing myself to the limit and over. Basically frightening myself out of depression by overdosing on adrenalin!

Nowadays the most I can do is go for a walk, haltingly, with the dog. Last week I still tried the old game; walked the dog at night and managed to push it too far and ended up in a situation which could have been very tricky if it hadn’t been for the dog. But that’s another story for another time.

The other thing that happened was, having got myself (and, through the dog, having been got) together, I reached the edge of the wood and stopped. The adrenalin was still running and I sat down to fuss the dog and enjoy the buzz. I had only ventured in because it was nearly a full moon and here, close to the edge the moon was piercing through the sparser branches overhead. And a thought came to me as I admired the large silvery halo round the moon, that I had been spending a lot of the time I had been seated, peering fruitlessly into the undergrowth. For what, I am unsure, small mammals? The Horned God? The ghost of the guy or gal buried in the nearby barrow?

But that’s what I and so many folk do when they are depressed isn’t it? The world of fiction and pop psychology have never really acknowledged their debt to Freud. So many of us, and I confess to being up there with the leaders, have signed up to the myth that if we poke around long enough in the unconscious, we will turn up the philosophers’ stone which will remarkably cure us of our overbearing neuroses. I am becoming less and less convinced, both about the vaunted possibilities of catharsis, and of the usefulness of poking round in the trash bin and reliving nasty and depressing incidents and atmospheres. The change in my mood as I looked from the rustling undergrowth to the moon was so marked that it crept up on me unawares like one of those times when one tingles from head to toe. And it was the moon that prompted the suggestion that I should just stop reading all this crap, smoke and mirrors and wait till it all becomes clearer and some sort of consensus of the current situation emerges.
In spite of having injured myself in the adrenaline-hunting adventure beyond my capabilities, my step was jauntier on the way back.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2010 5:27 pm

    In my world, the undergrowth is usually more interesting and entertaining than anything else, and usually does include small mammals.
    Since I have never had the chance to poke about in the metaphorical undergrowth under the supervision of a qualified guide, I usually do what you talk about and simple weather the storm. The powers of something to distract us at least temporarily from pain is not to be underestimated; most modern medicine is about stilling the pain long enough for the body to heal itself. The same may also be true of medicine for the mind.
    I am deeply glad you had Buska to lead you safely back.

  2. November 10, 2010 2:29 pm

    Been away a long time Viv and somehow was not notified of your reply. I did have a guide a few years ago but I wonder if my colluding with her poking around in the undergrowth was actually helpful. I have an unsubstantiated hunch that sometimes we are looking for a small rodent that is giving us trouble but wake up a sleeping wolf!
    And speaking of wolves; yes, I was glad of Buska. I had fallen and when I stood, I was disoriented – although I knew the place well in daylight. So I thought I should trust his better instincts. I just said “Car”, and he upped and headed down a nearby (correct) path stopping every few seconds and looking over his shoulder to check on me. It was wonderful to watch. Yes, thanks old chap.

    • November 10, 2010 2:48 pm

      I am thinking at the moment about whether this obsession with Happiness and being perpetually happy is actually what is creating a vast amount of unhappiness, in the same way that the media constantly bombarding us with airbrushed images of size zero models makes most women hyperaware of their own imperfections.
      Glad you’re back.

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