Deep Depressing Quotes

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At heart, I have always been a coper, I've mostly been able to walk around with my wounds safely hidden, and I've always stored up my deep depressive episodes for the weeks off when there was time to have an abbreviated version of a complete breakdown. But in the end, I'd be able to get up and on with it, could always do what little must be done to scratch by.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
When you experience loss, people say you’ll move through the 5 stages of grief…. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance ….. What they don’t tell you is that you’ll cycle through them all every day.
Ranata Suzuki
A phenomenon that a number of people have noted while in deep depression is the sense of being accompanied by a second self — a wraithlike observer who, not sharing the dementia of his double, is able to watch with dispassionate curiosity as his companion struggles against the oncoming disaster, or decides to embrace it. There is a theatrical quality about all this, and during the next several days, as I went about stolidly preparing for extinction, I couldn't shake off a sense of melodrama — a melodrama in which I, the victim-to-be of self-murder, was both the solitary actor and lone member of the audience.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
In every way that counted, I was dead. Inside somewhere maybe I was screaming and weeping and howling like an animal, but that was another person deep inside, another person who had no access to the lips and face and mouth and head, so on the surface I just shrugged and smile and kept moving. If I could have physically passed away, just let it all go, like that, without doing anything, stepped out of life as easily as walking through a door I would have done. But I was going to sleep at night and waking in the morning, disappointed to be there and resigned to existence.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
I look out into the water and up deep into the stars. I beg the sparkling lanterns of light to cure me of myself — my past and the kaleidoscope of mistakes, failures and wrong turns that have stacked unbearable regret upon my shoulders.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
I have deep feelings of depression... What can I do about this?' 'Snap out of it! Five cents, please.
Charles M. Schulz (The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960)
You have a morbid aversion to dying. You probably resent the fact that you're at war and might get your head blown off any second." "I more than resent it, sir. I'm absolutely incensed." "You have deep-seated survival anxieties. And you don't like bigots, bullies, snobs, or hypocrites. Subconsciously there are many people you hate." "Consciously, sir, consciously," Yossarian corrected in an effort to help. "I hate them consciously." "You're antagonistic to the idea of being robbed, exploited, degraded, humiliated, or deceived. Misery depresses you. Ignorance depresses you. Persecution depresses you. Violence depresses you. Corruption depresses you. You know, it wouldn't surprise me if you're a manic-depressive!" "Yes, sir. Perhaps I am." "Don't try to deny it." "I'm not denying it, sir," said Yossarian, pleased with the miraculous rapport that finally existed between them. "I agree with all you've said.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Some people avoid thinking deeply in public, only because they are afraid of coming across as suicidal.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
She tried to remind herself that beauty was only skin deep, but that didn't offer any helpful excuses when she was berating herself for never knowing what to say to people. There was nothing more depressing than an ugly girl with no personality.
Julia Quinn (Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4))
You are constantly told in depression that your judgment is compromised, but a part of depression is that it touches cognition. That you are having a breakdown does not mean that your life isn't a mess. If there are issues you have successfully skirted or avoided for years, they come cropping back up and stare you full in the face, and one aspect of depression is a deep knowledge that the comforting doctors who assure you that your judgment is bad are wrong. You are in touch with the real terribleness of your life. You can accept rationally that later, after the medication sets in, you will be better able to deal with the terribleness, but you will not be free of it. When you are depressed, the past and future are absorbed entirely by the present moment, as in the world of a three-year-old. You cannot remember a time when you felt better, at least not clearly; and you certainly cannot imagine a future time when you will feel better.
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
If someone told me that I could live my life again free of depression provided I was willing to give up the gifts depression has given me--the depth of awareness, the expanded consciousness, the increased sensitivity, the awareness of limitation, the tenderness of love, the meaning of friendship, the apreciation of life, the joy of a passionate heart--I would say, 'This is a Faustian bargain! Give me my depressions. Let the darkness descend. But do not take away the gifts that depression, with the help of some unseen hand, has dredged up from the deep ocean of my soul and strewn along the shores of my life. I can endure darkness if I must; but I cannot lie without these gifts. I cannot live without my soul.' (p. 188)
David Elkins (Beyond Religion: A Personal Program for Building a Spiritual Life Outside the Walls of Traditional Religion)
If the financial system has a defect, it is that it reflects and magnifies what we human beings are like. Money amplifies our tendency to overreact, to swing from exuberance when things are going well to deep depression when they go wrong. Booms and busts are products, at root, of our emotional volatility.
Niall Ferguson
When the black thing was at its worst, when the illicit cocktails and the ten-mile runs stopped working, I would feel numb as if dead to the world. I moved unconsciously, with heavy limbs, like a zombie from a horror film. I felt a pain so fierce and persistent deep inside me, I was tempted to take the chopping knife in the kitchen and cut the black thing out I would lie on my bed staring at the ceiling thinking about that knife and using all my limited powers of self-control to stop myself from going downstairs to get it.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
I keep moving ahead, as always, knowing deep down inside that I am a good person and that I am worthy of a good life.
Jonathan Harnisch
A premature death does not only rob one of the countless instances where one would have experienced pleasure, it also saves one from the innumerable instances where one would have experienced pain.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Like a wild animal, the soul is tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy, and self-sufficient: it knows how to survive in hard places. I learned about these qualities during my bouts with depression. In that deadly darkness, the faculties I had always depended on collapsed. My intellect was useless; my emotions were dead; my will was impotent; my ego was shattered. But from time to time, deep in the thickets of my inner wilderness, I could sense the presence of something that knew how to stay alive even when the rest of me wanted to die. That something was my tough and tenacious soul.
Parker J. Palmer (A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life)
Just because you feel lost doesn't mean that you are. Sometimes you just have to relax, breathe deep, and trust the path you're on.
Lalah Delia
Loneliness is difficult to confess; difficult too to categorise. Like depression, a state with which it often intersects, it can run deep in the fabric of a person, as much a part of one’s being as laughing easily or having red hair.
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
Today I hit rock bottom but didn’t busy myself with activity to take my mind off it, like I usually do. I allowed myself to sink as deep as possible. It’s like an infection: let it run its course and be done with it. Rising, I felt cleansed.
Larry Godwin (Transcending Depression: Quest Without a Compass)
Not depressing. We’re deep. There’s a difference.
Colleen Hoover (Heart Bones)
Because you’ve probably been depressed yourself, you’ve had days when you’ve been in terrible pain in places that don’t show up in X-rays, when you can’t find the words to explain it even to the people who love you. Deep down, in memories that we might prefer to suppress even from ourselves, a lot of us know that the difference between us and that man on the bridge is smaller than we might wish.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
I try to fill the emptiness deep inside me with Cheetos, but I am still depressed. Only now my fingers are stained orange. I am blue. And I am orange.
Karen Salmansohn
The Lord's way builds individual self esteem and develops and heals the dignity of the individual, whereas the world's way depresses the individual's view of himself and causes deep resentment
Spencer W. Kimball
I am so angry with myself because I cannot do what I should like to do, and at such a moment one feels as if one were lying bound hand and foot at the bottom of a deep dark well, utterly helpless.
Vincent van Gogh
Depression is a deep, black wave—so powerful, building from a swell and rising … rising
Tarryn Fisher (Marrow)
The word “depressed” is spoken phonetically as “deep rest”. We can view depression not as a mental illness, but on a deeper level, as a profound, and very misunderstood, state of deep rest, entered into when we are completely exhausted by the weight of our own identity.
Jeff Foster
These must be the most depressing words in the history of love. I tried really hard to love you.
Cath Crowley (Words in Deep Blue)
Negativity is totally unnatural. It is a psychic pollutant, and there is a deep link between the poisoning and destruction of nature and the vast negativity that has accumulated in the collective human psyche. No other life-form on the planet knows negativity, only humans, just as no other life-form violates and poisons the Earth that sustains it. Have you ever seen an unhappy flower or a stressed oak tree? Have you some across a depressed dolphin, a frog that has a problem with self-esteem, a cat that cannot relax, or a bird that carries hatred and resentment? The only animals that may occasionally experience something akin to negativity or show signs of neurotic behavior are those that live in close contact with humans and so link into the humans mind and its insanity.
Eckhart Tolle
So you mean to tell me you won't fuck anyone you don't share some kind of deep emotional connection with? What a sad, depressing, truly horrible life you must lead...
Dave Matthes (Bar Nights (The Mire Man Trilogy, #1))
We dig holes for ourselves, of comfortable living, and it’s hard to see just how deep down you are until you suddenly want to take a look at the world up there, some fresh air and realise you can’t get up. You’re too far down.
Charlotte Eriksson
To me, socializing was like sinking to the bottom of a deep, deep ocean... Until eventually you couldn't take it anymore, and had to come up for air" - Shimamura - Adachi to Shimamura
Hitoma Iruma (電波女と青春男 1)
You might want someone else to save you, or might want to save someone so badly. But no one else can save you, not really, not from yourself.
Ava Dellaira (Love Letters to the Dead)
When a child receives the message, even subtly or indirectly, that his emotions don't matter, he will grow up feeling, somewhere deep inside, that he himself doesn't matter.
Jonice Webb
An event of great agony is bearable only in the belief that it will bring about a better world. When it does not, as in the aftermath of another vast calamity in 1914-18, disillusion is deep and moves on to self-doubt and self-disgust.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Look at Charlie Brown's face. Would you please hold still a minute Charlie Brown? I want Linus to study your face. Now this is what you call a failure face, Linus. Notice how it has failure written all over it. Study it carefully Linus. You rarely see such a good example. Notice the deep lines, the dull vacant look in the eyes. Yes, I would say this is one of the finest examples of a failure face that your liable to see for a long while.
Charles M. Schulz
I shunned the face of man; all sound of joy or complacency was torture to me; solitude was my only consolation—deep, dark, death-like solitude.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein 1818)
I live to enjoy life by the littlest things, feeling the grass between my toes, breathing fresh air, watching the wind sway the trees, enjoying the company of loved ones, a deep conversation, getting lost in a good book, going for a walk in nature, watching my kids grow up. Just the feeling itself of being alive, the absolute amazing fact that we are here right now, breathing, thinking, doing.
Marigold Wellington
I remember you was conflicted Misusing your influence Sometimes I did the same Abusing my power, full of resentment Resentment that turned into a deep depression Found myself screaming in the hotel room I didn’t wanna self destruct The evils of Lucy was all around me So I went running for answers Until I came home But that didn’t stop survivor’s guilt Going back and forth trying to convince myself the stripes I earned Or maybe how A-1 my foundation was But while my loved ones was fighting the continuous war back in the city, I was entering a new one A war that was based on apartheid and discrimination Made me wanna go back to the city and tell the homies what I learned The word was respect Just because you wore a different gang color than mine's Doesn’t mean I can’t respect you as a black man Forgetting all the pain and hurt we caused each other in these streets If I respect you, we unify and stop the enemy from killing us But I don’t know, I’m no mortal man, maybe I’m just another nigga
Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
And that's just it. This is how it is. Always. To pay attention to things. People. It's too easy to fail other people. And the good-byes. You never have the time you think. It brings tears to my eyes. I blink them away.
Amy McNamara (Lovely, Dark and Deep)
But how sane can the mind really be if it doesn't even know its own depth?
A.R.H
When a writer is able to experience the whole range of human emotions, from deep depressions to glorious highs, it creates a whole inventory of feelings and musings from which they can choose and infuse into their words and characters.
David Perry
My belief is that when you're telling the truth, you're close to God. If you say to God, "I am exhausted and depressed beyond words, and I don't like You at all right now, and I recoil from most people who believe in You," that might be the most honest thing you've ever said. If you told me you had said to God, "It is all hopeless, and I don't have a clue if You exist, but I could use a hand," it would almost bring tears to my eyes, tears of pride in you, for the courage it takes to get real-really real. It would make me want to sit next to you at the dinner table. So prayer is our sometimes real selves trying to communicate with the Real, with Truth, with the Light. It is us reaching out to be heard, hoping to be found by a light and warmth in the world, instead of darkness and cold. Even mushrooms respond to light - I suppose they blink their mushroomy eyes, like the rest of us. Light reveals us to ourselves, which is not always so great if you find yourself in a big disgusting mess, possibly of your own creation. But like sunflowers we turn toward light. Light warms, and in most cases it draws us to itself. And in this light, we can see beyond our modest receptors, to what is way beyond us, and deep inside.
Anne Lamott (Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers)
Like a deep sad note played beneath the ocean waving through the orb the memories of you the bittersweet echoes infixed forever in my heart
Pawan Mishra
Exhaustion, burnout, and depression are not signs that you are doing God’s will. God is gentle and loving. God desires to give you a deep sense of safety in God’s love. Once you have allowed yourself to experience that love fully, you will be better able to discern who you are being sent to in God’s name.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom)
I felt like I was being carried over the threshold of a sisterhood of loss. I knew I was not walking alone, and that eventually I would bob back up to the surface of the deep, because the women around me showed me what healing looks like.
Ännä White (Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faith)
Carved deep into my veins but didn't bleed Overdosed on sleeping pills but didn't sleep When your heart is heavy, it gets increasingly harder to breathe Clearly there's a God But why has he forsaken me?
Nomzamo Nhlumayo
A writer always wears glasses and never combs his hair. Half the time he feels angry about everything and the other half depressed. He spends most of his life in bars, arguing with other dishevelled, bespectacled writers. He says very 'deep' things. He always has amazing ideas for the plot of his next novel, and hates the one he has just published.
Paulo Coelho (Like the Flowing River)
What if you are just destined to get hurt, to be helplessly stuck in a point of time you no longer want to be? Maybe life is all about trying to get up while you fall a little bit deeper in the pits of hell, each time you try not to...
Sanhita Baruah
No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring. Comforter, where, where is your comforting? Mary, mother of us, where is your relief? My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief- woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing — Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked 'No ling- ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief'. O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap May who ne'er hung there. Nor does long our small Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep, Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins)
Like HIV, depression was a king at playing hide-and-seek. It concealed itself in reservoirs deep inside the mind, waiting for the walls you built around it to eventually erode. Depression could be at undetectable levels for months or years. You'd be all happy and stable and think you were cured, you were a survivor, and then BAM, out of nowhere it resurged.
Krystal Sutherland (A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares)
The principles underlying propaganda are extremely simple. Find some common desire, some widespread unconscious fear or anxiety; think out some way to relate this wish or fear to the product you have to sell; then build a bridge of verbal or pictorial symbols over which your customer can pass from fact to compensatory dream, and from the dream to the illusion that your product, when purchased, will make the dream come true. They are selling hope. We no longer buy oranges, we buy vitality. We do not just buy an auto, we buy prestige. And so with all the rest. In toothpaste, for example, we buy not a mere cleanser and antiseptic, but release from the fear of being sexually repulsive. In vodka and whisky we are not buying a protoplasmic poison which in small doses, may depress the nervous system in a psychologically valuable way; we are buying friendliness and good fellowship, the warmth of Dingley Dell and the brilliance of the Mermaid Tavern. With our laxatives we buy the health of a Greek god. With the monthly best seller we acquire culture, the envy of our less literate neighbors and the respect of the sophisticated. In every case the motivation analyst has found some deep-seated wish or fear, whose energy can be used to move the customer to part with cash and so, indirectly, to turn the wheels of industry.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
Depressive,” Evie said, testing the word on her tongue. “I didn’t know there was a name for that feeling. Like there’s a rain cloud in your soul.” She knew that feeling well. Sometimes she was the life of the party. But other times she was lonely, bleak, and sick with disgust at herself, and certain that the people who said they loved her were only pretending. She called these times the “too muches”: too much feeling, like opening a door and seeing, really seeing, into some deep, existential loneliness underlying everything. When the “too muches” arrived, Evie feared that whatever hope lived inside her would drown from the storm of her own aching sadness.
Libba Bray (Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3))
I had a dreary, depressed feeling so deep in my soul that I was almost ready to believe I had one.
Victor Pelevin (The Sacred Book of the Werewolf)
Have you sunk into so deep a stupor that you are happy only in your unhappiness? -Anywhere, Out of this World
Charles Baudelaire (Poems)
Understand, for instance, that having a sad thought, even having a continual succession of sad thoughts, is not the same as being a sad person. You can walk through a storm and feel the wind but you know you are not the wind. That is how we must be with our minds. We must allow ourselves to feel their gales and downpours, but all the time knowing this is just necessary weather. When I sink deep, now, and I still do from time to time, I try and understand that there is another, bigger and stronger part of me that is not sinking. It stands unwavering.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
You go deep enough or far out enough in consciousness and you will bump into the sacred. It’s not something we generate; it’s something out there waiting to be discovered. And this reliably happens to nonbelievers as well as believers.” Second, that, whether occasioned by drugs or other means, these experiences of mystical consciousness are in all likelihood the primal basis of religion. (Partly for this reason Richards believes that psychedelics should be part of a divinity student’s education.) And third, that consciousness is a property of the universe, not brains. On this question, he holds with Henri Bergson, the French philosopher, who conceived of the human mind as a kind of radio receiver, able to tune in to frequencies of energy and information that exist outside it. “If you wanted to find the blonde who delivered the news last night,” Richards offered by way of an analogy, “you wouldn’t look for her in the TV set.” The television set is, like the human brain, necessary but not sufficient.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
Depression is a very narcissistic thing, it's a self involvement that is so deep and intense that it means the sufferer cannot get out of her own head long enough to see what real good, what genuine loveliness, there is in the world around her.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
How did I not see it? Pain is everywhere. I'm just another sorry story. All these people wearing smiles, dragging themselves around--do they all know already? Do they realize how fast the world can change?
Amy McNamara (Lovely, Dark and Deep)
You go deep enough or far out enough in consciousness and you will bump into the sacred. It’s not something we generate; it’s something out there waiting to be discovered. And this reliably happens to nonbelievers as well as believers.” Second, that, whether occasioned by drugs or other means, these experiences of mystical consciousness are in all likelihood the primal basis of religion.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
I kept noticing a self-help cliché that people say to each other all the time, and share on Facebook incessantly. We say to each other: “Nobody can help you except you.” It made me realize: we haven’t just started doing things alone more, in every decade since the 1930s. We have started to believe that doing things alone is the natural state of human beings, and the only way to advance. We have begun to think: I will look after myself, and everybody else should look after themselves, as individuals. Nobody can help you but you. Nobody can help me but me. These ideas now run so deep in our culture that we even offer them as feel-good bromides to people who feel down—as if it will lift them up. But John has proven that this is a denial of human history, and a denial of human nature. It leads us to misunderstand our most basic instincts. And this approach to life makes us feel terrible.
Johann Hari (Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions)
It is a common belief that we breathe with our lungs alone, but in point of fact, the work of breathing is done by the whole body. The lungs play a passive role in the respiratory process. Their expansion is produced by an enlargement, mostly downward, of the thoracic cavity and they collapse when that cavity is reduced. Proper breathing involves the muscles of the head, neck, thorax, and abdomen. It can be shown that chronic tension in any part of the body's musculature interferes with the natural respiratory movements. Breathing is a rhythmic activity. Normally a person at rest makes approximately 16 to 17 respiratory incursions a minute. The rate is higher in infants and in states of excitation. It is lower in sleep and in depressed persons. The depth of the respiratory wave is another factor which varies with emotional states. Breathing becomes shallow when we are frightened or anxious. It deepens with relaxation, pleasure and sleep. But above all, it is the quality of the respiratory movements that determines whether breathing is pleasurable or not. With each breath a wave can be seen to ascend and descend through the body. The inspiratory wave begins deep in the abdomen with a backward movement of the pelvis. This allows the belly to expand outward. The wave then moves upward as the rest of the body expands. The head moves very slightly forward to suck in the air while the nostrils dilate or the mouth opens. The expiratory wave begins in the upper part of the body and moves downward: the head drops back, the chest and abdomen collapse, and the pelvis rocks forward. Breathing easily and fully is one of the basic pleasures of being alive. The pleasure is clearly experienced at the end of expiration when the descending wave fills the pelvis with a delicious sensation. In adults this sensation has a sexual quality, though it does not induce any genital feeling. The slight backward and forward movements of the pelvis, similar to the sexual movements, add to the pleasure. Though the rhythm of breathing is pronounced in the pelvic area, it is at the same time experienced by the total body as a feeling of fluidity, softness, lightness and excitement. The importance of breathing need hardly be stressed. It provides the oxygen for the metabolic processes; literally it supports the fires of life. But breath as "pneuma" is also the spirit or soul. We live in an ocean of air like fish in a body of water. By our breathing we are attuned to our atmosphere. If we inhibit our breathing we isolate ourselves from the medium in which we exist. In all Oriental and mystic philosophies, the breath holds the secret to the highest bliss. That is why breathing is the dominant factor in the practice of Yoga.
Alexander Lowen (The Voice of the Body)
Closeness eases the anxiety and depression of believing that no one really cares about you. It softens the frustration and anger that come with feeling that no one understands you. Suddenly, others become available to us. Suddenly, we feel better inside.
Kira Asatryan (Stop Being Lonely: Three Simple Steps to Developing Close Friendships and Deep Relationships)
If ever you feel lost, terrified, alone, emotionally and physically drained...when you feel like depression has overpowered you, and that the world itself, has devoured you...just remember that you are not alone, you are loved, you are a beautiful story waiting to be told.” -Nina Jean Slack, Once Lost, Forever Found (Vol. #1)
Nina Jean Slack (Once Lost, Forever Found (Volume #1))
Deep in her soul, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a sailor in distress, she would gaze out over the solitude of her life with desperate eyes, seeking some white sail in the mists of the far-off horizon. She did not know what this chance event would be, what wind would drive it to her, what shore it would carry her to, whether it was a longboat or a three-decked vessel, loaded with anguish or filled with happiness up to the portholes. But each morning, when she awoke, she hoped it would arrive that day, and she would listen to every sound, spring to her feet, feel surprised that it had not come; then at sunset, always more sorrowful, she would wish the next day were already there.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
He lifted his shirt, and on his back was the White Rabbit, wearing his waistcoat and looking at his watch. It was just like the illustration from the book. Only standing next to him, back-to-back, was another White Rabbit wearing a leather motercycle jacket and boots and smoking a cigar.
Michael Thomas Ford
For me, this is old. I probably know what is happening better than he does because I've tried over and over to wreck myself on another human, and always failed. I fail now. For it seems that my sorrow is deep in my bones and I'd have to break every single one to let it out.
Louise Erdrich (The Painted Drum)
My New Year's Eve is always 2 July, the night before my birthday. That's the night I make my resolutions. And this year scares the life out of me, because no matter how successful, how good things appear, there is always a deep core of failure within me, although I am trying to deal with it. My biggest fear, this coming year, is that I will be waking up alone. It makes me wonder how many bodies will be fished out of the Thames, how many decaying corpses will be found in one-room flats. I'm just being realistic.
Tracey Emin (Strangeland)
The trouble is that when we get around to solutions, it always seems to come down to Prozac. Or Zoloft. Or Paxil. Deep clinical depression is a disease, one that not only can, but probably should, be treated with drugs. But a low-grade terminal anomie, a sense of alienation or disgust and detachment, the collective horror at a world that seems to have gone so very wrong, is not a job for antidepressants. The trouble is, the big-picture problems that have so many people down are more or less insoluble: As long as people can get divorced they will get divorced; America=s shrinking economy is not reversible; there is no cure for AIDS. So it starts to seem fairly reasonable to anesthetize ourselves in the best possible way. I would like so much to say that Prozac is preventing many people who are not clinically depressed from finding real antidotes to what Hillary Clinton refers to as 'a sleeping sickness of the soul,' but what exactly would those solutions be? I mean, universal health care coverage and a national service draft would be nice, but neither one is going to save us from ourselves. Just as our parents quieted us when we were noisy by putting us in front of the television set, maybe we're now learning to quiet our own adult noise with Prozac.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
...we should all fortify ourselves against the dark hours of depression by cultivating a deep distrust of the certainties of despair. Despair is relentless in the certainties of its pessimism. But we have seen again and again, from our own experience and others', that absolute statements of hopelessness that we make in the dark are notoriously unreliable. Our dark certainties are not sureties.
John Piper (When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—And Joy)
You used to give yourself over to endless sessions of doubt. You would claim to be an expert on the subject. But doubting would tire you so much that you would end up doubting doubt itself. I saw you one day at the end of an afternoon of solitary speculation. You were unmoving and petrified. Running several kilometers in a deep forest full of ravines and pitfalls would have exhausted you less.
Édouard Levé
We used to all come outside when the streetlights came on and prowl the neighborhood in a pack, a herd of kids on banana-seat bikes and minibikes. The grown-ups looked so silly framed in their living-room and kitchen windows. They complained about their days and sighed deep sighs of depression and loss. They talked about how spoiled and lucky children were these days. We will never be that way, we said, we will never say those things.
Jill McCorkle
Still i knew because of my own feelings there was something wrong with me and i knew it wasnt only me. I knew it was everybody. It was like a bacteria or a cancer or a trance. It wasnt on the skin, it was in the soul. It showed itself in lonliness, lust, anger , jealousy and depression. It had people screwed up bad everywhere you went- at the store, at home, at church, it was ugly and deep. Lots of singers on the radio were singing about it and cops had jobs because of it. It was as if we were broken I thought, as if we were never supposed to feel these sticky emotions. It was as if we were cracked, coudlnt love right, couldnt feel good things for a long before screwing it all up. I am talking about the broken quality of life.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (Paperback))
Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
She tried to remind herself that beauty was only skin deep, but that didn't offer any helpful excuses when she was berating herself for never knowing what to say to people. There was nothing more depressing than an ugly girl with no personality. It hurts, because deep inside, she knew who she was, and that person was smart and kind and often very funny, but somehow her personality always got lost somewhere between her heart and her mouth, and she found herself saying the wrong thing or, more often, nothing at all.
Julia Quinn (Romancing Mister Bridgerton: The 2nd Epilogue (Bridgertons, #4.5))
I have sometimes thought that the mere hearing of those songs would do more to impress some minds with the horrible character of slavery, than the reading of whole volumes of philosophy on the subject could do. I did not, when a slave, understand the deep meaning of those rude and apparently incoherent songs. I was myself within the circle; so that I neither saw nor heard as those without might see and hear. They told a tale of woe which was then altogether beyond my feeble comprehension; they were tones loud, long, and deep; they breathed the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with bitterest anguish. Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness. I have frequently found myself in tears while hearing them. The mere recurrence to those songs, even now, afflicts me; and while I am writing these lines, an expression of feeling has already found its way down my cheek. To those songs I trace my first glimmering conception of the dehumanizing character of slavery. I can never get rid of that conception. Those songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and quicken my sympathies for my brethren in bonds. If any one wishes to be impressed with the soul-killing effects of slavery, let him go to Colonel Lloyd's plantation, and, on allowance-day, place himself in the deep pine woods, and there let him, in silence, analyze the sounds that shall pass through the chambers of his soul, - and if he is not thus impressed, it will only be because "there is no flesh in his obdurate heart." I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears. At least, such is my experience. I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express my happiness. Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. The singing of a man cast away upon a desolate island might be as appropriately considered as evidence of contentment and happiness, as the singing of a slave; the songs of the one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
Sometimes the darkness beyond is not glorious at all, it truly is an absolute absence of light. A clawing, needy tar that pulls you down. You drown but you don't. It turns you to lead so you sink faster in its viscous embrace. It robs you of hope and even the memory of hope. It makes you think you've always felt like this, and there's no place to go but down, where it slowly, ravenously digests your will, distilling it into the ebony crude of nightmares. And you know the darkness beyond despair, just as intimately as you know the soaring heights. Because in this and all universes, there is balance. You can't have the one without facing the other. And sometimes you think you can take it because the joy is worth the despair, and sometimes you know you can't take it and how did you ever think you could? And there is the dance; strength and weakness, confidence and desolation.
Neal Shusterman (Challenger Deep)
Iam a sensitive, introverted woman, which means that I love humanity but actual human beings are tricky for me. I love people but not in person. For example, I would die for you but not, like…meet you for coffee. I became a writer so I could stay at home alone in my pajamas, reading and writing about the importance of human connection and community. It is an almost perfect existence. Except that every so often, while I’m thinking my thoughts, writing my words, living in my favorite spot—which is deep inside my own head—something stunning happens: A sirenlike noise tears through my home. I freeze. It takes me a solid minute to understand: The siren is the doorbell. A person is ringing my doorbell. I run out of my office to find my children also stunned, frozen, and waiting for direction about how to respond to this imminent home invasion. We stare at each other, count bodies, and collectively cycle through the five stages of doorbell grief: Denial: This cannot be happening. ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALLOWED TO BE IN THIS HOUSE ARE ALREADY IN THIS HOUSE. Maybe it was the TV. IS THE TV ON? Anger: WHO DOES THIS? WHAT KIND OF BOUNDARYLESS AGGRESSOR RINGS SOMEONE’S DOORBELL IN BROAD DAYLIGHT? Bargaining: Don’t move, don’t breathe—maybe they’ll go away. Depression: Why? Why us? Why anyone? Why is life so hard? Acceptance: Damnit to hell. You—the little one—we volunteer you. Put on some pants, act normal, and answer the door. It’s dramatic, but the door always gets answered. If the kids aren’t home, I’ll even answer it myself. Is this because I remember that adulting requires door answering? Of course not. I answer the door because of the sliver of hope in my heart that if I open the door, there might be a package waiting for me. A package!
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief. You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
Chieko N. Okazaki
She was still doing forty knots, driving in under the guns of the enemy, guns at maximum depression, when "A" magazine blew up, blasted off the entire bows in one shattering detonations. For a second, the lightened fo'c'sle reared high into the air" then it plunged down, deep down, into the shoulder of a rolling sea. She plunged down and kept on going down, driving down to the black floor of the Arctic, driven down by the madly spinning screws. The still thundering engines her own executioners.
Alistair MacLean (HMS Ulysses)
The disorders that psychology associates with the dissonance between what parents say to children and what children know to be reality - from deep insecurities to chronic anxiety to depression - are not to be found among the hunter-gatherers I have known. This is not to claim that they are people who know nothing of mental illness. Rather, it is to look at the absence of a particular kind of illness, one that in my own society is somewhere between common and the norm. The apparent sturdiness of the hunter-gatherer personality, the virtual universality of self-confidence and equanimity, the absence of anxiety disorders and most depressive illnesses - these may well be the benefits of using words to tell the truth.
Hugh Brody (The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers, and the Shaping of the World)
All night, a man called out “God! God!” Until his lips were bleeding. Then the Adversary of mankind said, “Hey! Mr Gullible! … How come you’ve been calling all night And never once heard God say, “Here, I AM”? You call out so earnestly and, in reply, what? I’ll tell you what. Nothing!” The man suddenly felt empty and abandoned. Depressed, he threw himself on the ground And fell into a deep sleep. In a dream, he met an angel, who asked, “Why are you regretting calling out to God?” The man said, “ I called and called But God never replied, “Here I AM.” The Angel explained, “God has said, “Your calling my name is My reply. Your longing for Me is My message to you. All your attempts to reach Me Are in reality My attempts to reach you. Your fear and love are a noose to catch Me. In the silence surrounding every call of “God” Waits a thousand replies of “Here I AM.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
And his soul plunged downward, drowning in that deep pit: he felt that could never again escape from this smothering flood of pain and ugliness, from the eclipsing horror and pity of it all. And as he walked, he twisted his own neck about, and beat the air with his arm like a wing, as if he had received a blow in his kidneys. He felt that he might be clean and free if he could only escape into a single burning passion -- hard, and hot, and glittering -- of love, hatred, terror, or disgust. But he was caught, he was strangling, in the web of futility.
Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward, Angel)
IT WAS AT THIS POINT that the idea of “shaking the snow globe,” as one neuroscientist described the psychedelic experience, came to seem more attractive to me than frightening, though it was still that too. After more than half a century of its more or less constant companionship, one’s self—this ever-present voice in the head, this ceaselessly commenting, interpreting, labeling, defending I—becomes perhaps a little too familiar. I’m not talking about anything as deep as self-knowledge here. No, just about how, over time, we tend to optimize and conventionalize our responses to whatever life brings. Each of us develops our shorthand ways of slotting and processing everyday experiences and solving problems, and while this is no doubt adaptive—it helps us get the job done with a minimum of fuss—eventually it becomes rote. It dulls us. The muscles of attention atrophy.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
I think the therapists around this place think that if you know yourself, then somehow you’ll be better and healthier and you’ll be able to leave this place and live out your days as a happy and loving human being. Happy. Loving. I hate those words. I’m supposed to like them. I’m supposed to want them. I don’t. Don’t like them, don’t want them. This is the way I see it: if you get to know yourself really well, you might discover that deep down inside you’re just a dirty, disgusting, and selfish piece of shit. What if my heart is all rotted out and corrupted? What about that? What am I supposed to do with that information? Just tell me that. Most of the time I get the feeling that I’m just an animal disguised as an eighteen-year-old guy. At least I’m hoping that maybe deep down inside I’m a coyote.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Last Night I Sang to the Monster)
In our yearning to be perfect, we have mistaken perfection for wholeness. We think we cannot love ourselves until we and others meet some external standard. Depression, anxiety—in fact, most neuroses and compulsions—are ultimately a defense against loving ourselves without condition. We are afraid to look at the damp, dark, ugly yet exquisite roots of being that stretch deep into our survival chakra. We are fearful of finding that the spirit is not there, that our Home is empty, even as our outer home is empty. Yet it is in that place of survival, where the dark mother has been abandoned, that spirit longs to be embodied so that the whole body may become light. Ego wants to be the god of our own idealized projection; spirit wants to be incarnated in our humanity where it can grow in wisdom through experience.
Marion Woodman (Dancing in the Flames: The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness)
Your thoughts really matter. They can either help or hurt your deep limbic system. Left unchecked, ANTs will cause an infection in your whole bodily system. Whenever you notice ANTs, you need to crush them or they’ll affect your relationships, your work, and your entire life. First you need to notice them. If you can catch them at the moment they occur and correct them, you take away the power they have over you. When a negative thought goes unchallenged, your mind believes it and your body reacts to it. ANTs have an illogical logic. By bringing them into the open and examining them on a conscious level, you can see for yourself how little sense it really makes to think these kinds of things to yourself. You take back control over your own life instead of leaving your fate to hyperactive limbic-conditioned negative thought patterns. Sometimes people have trouble talking back to these grossly unpleasant thoughts because they
Daniel G. Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness)
Spiritual depression presents itself in much the same way as clinical depression—but not quite. The marks of distinction are crucial, yet hard for the untrained to recognize. They make the difference between interpreting the source of depression as a problem that may require medication or as a process of transformation that is best served by reflection, discussion of the stages of the dark night, and understanding the nature of mystical prayer. I have met many people who have been treated for depression and other conditions when they were, in fact, in the deep stages of a spiritual crisis. Without the proper support, that crisis becomes misdirected into a problem with relationships, a problem with one’s childhood, or a chronic malaise. Spiritual crises are now a very real part of our spectrum of health challenges and we need to acknowledge them with the same authority as we do clinical depression.
Caroline Myss (Defy Gravity: Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason)
You speak as if you envied him." "And I do envy him, Emma. In one respect he is the object of my envy." Emma could say no more. They seemed to be within half a sentence of Harriet, and her immediate feeling was to avert the subject, if possible. She made her plan; she would speak of something totally different—the children in Brunswick Square; and she only waited for breath to begin, when Mr. Knightley startled her, by saying, "You will not ask me what is the point of envy.—You are determined, I see, to have no curiosity.—You are wise—but I cannot be wise. Emma, I must tell you what you will not ask, though I may wish it unsaid the next moment." "Oh! then, don't speak it, don't speak it," she eagerly cried. "Take a little time, consider, do not commit yourself." "Thank you," said he, in an accent of deep mortification, and not another syllable followed. Emma could not bear to give him pain. He was wishing to confide in her—perhaps to consult her;—cost her what it would, she would listen. She might assist his resolution, or reconcile him to it; she might give just praise to Harriet, or, by representing to him his own independence, relieve him from that state of indecision, which must be more intolerable than any alternative to such a mind as his.—They had reached the house. "You are going in, I suppose?" said he. "No,"—replied Emma—quite confirmed by the depressed manner in which he still spoke—"I should like to take another turn. Mr. Perry is not gone." And, after proceeding a few steps, she added—"I stopped you ungraciously, just now, Mr. Knightley, and, I am afraid, gave you pain.—But if you have any wish to speak openly to me as a friend, or to ask my opinion of any thing that you may have in contemplation—as a friend, indeed, you may command me.—I will hear whatever you like. I will tell you exactly what I think." "As a friend!"—repeated Mr. Knightley.—"Emma, that I fear is a word—No, I have no wish—Stay, yes, why should I hesitate?—I have gone too far already for concealment.—Emma, I accept your offer—Extraordinary as it may seem, I accept it, and refer myself to you as a friend.—Tell me, then, have I no chance of ever succeeding?" He stopped in his earnestness to look the question, and the expression of his eyes overpowered her. "My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma—tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said."—She could really say nothing.—"You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more." Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling. "I cannot make speeches, Emma:" he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.—"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.—You hear nothing but truth from me.—I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.—Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.—But you understand me.—Yes, you see, you understand my feelings—and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.
Jane Austen (Emma)
Brian Wilson went to bed for three years. Jean-Michel Basquiat would spend all day in bed. Monica Ali, Charles Bukowski, Marcel Proust, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Tracey Emin, Emily Dickinson, Edith Sitwell, Frida Kahlo, William Wordsworth, René Descartes, Mark Twain, Henri Matisse, Kathy Acker, Derek Jarman and Patti Smith all worked or work from bed and they’re productive people. (Am I protesting too much?) Humans take to their beds for all sorts of reasons: because they’re overwhelmed by life, need to rest, think, recover from illness and trauma, because they’re cold, lonely, scared, depressed – sometimes I lie in bed for weeks with a puddle of depression in my sternum – to work, even to protest (Emily Dickinson, John and Yoko). Polar bears spend six months of the year sleeping, dormice too. Half their lives are spent asleep, no one calls them lazy. There’s a region in the South of France, near the Alps, where whole villages used to sleep through the seven months of winter – I might be descended from them. And in 1900, it was recorded that peasants from Pskov in northwest Russia would fall into a deep winter sleep called lotska for half the year: ‘for six whole months out of the twelve to be in the state of Nirvana longed for by Eastern sages, free from the stress of life, from the need to labour, from the multitudinous burdens, anxieties, and vexations of existence’.‡ Even when I’m well I like to lie in bed and think. It’s as if
Viv Albertine (To Throw Away Unopened)
We are afraid of what we will do to others, afraid of the rage that lies in wait somewhere deep in our souls. How many human beings go through the world frozen with rage against life! This deeply hidden inner anger may be the product of hurt pride or of real frustration in office, factory, clinic, or home. Whatever may be the cause of our frozen rage (which is the inevitable mother of depression), the great word of hope today is that this rage can be conquered and drained off into creative channels … …What should we do? We should all learn that a certain amount of aggressive energy is normal and certainly manageable in maturity. Most of us can drain off the excess of our angry feelings and destructive impulses in exercise, in competitive games, or in the vigorous battles against the evils of nature and society. We also must realize that no one will punish us for the legitimate expression of self-assertiveness and creative pugnacity as our parents once punished us for our undisciplined temper tantrums. Furthermore, let us remember that we need not totally repress the angry part of our nature. We can always give it an outlet in the safe realm of fantasy. A classic example of such fantasy is given by Max Beerborn, who made a practice of concocting imaginary letters to people he hated. Sometimes he went so far as to actually write the letters and in the very process of releasing his anger it evaporated. As mature men and women we should regard our minds as a true democracy where all kinds of ideas and emotions should be given freedom of speech. If in political life we are willing to grant civil liberties to all sorts of parties and programs, should we not be equally willing to grant civil liberties to our innermost thoughts and drives, confident that the more dangerous of them will be outvoted by the majority within our minds? Do I mean that we should hit out at our enemy whenever the mood strikes us? No, I repeat that I am suggesting quite the reverse—self-control in action based upon (positive coping mechanisms such as) self expression in fantasy.
Joshua Loth Liebman (Peace of Mind: Insights on Human Nature That Can Change Your Life)
When clients relinquish symptoms, succeed in achieving a personal goal, or make healthier choices for themselves, subsequently many will feel anxious, guilty, or depressed. That is, when clients make progress in treatment and get better, new therapists understandably are excited. But sometimes they will also be dismayed as they watch the client sabotage her success by gaining back unwanted weight or missing the next session after an important breakthrough and deep sharing with the therapist. Thus, loyalty and allegiance to symptoms—maladaptive behaviors originally developed to manage the “bad” or painfully frustrating aspects of parents—are not maladaptive to insecurely attached children. Such loyalty preserves “object ties,” or the connection to the “good” or loving aspects of the parent. Attachment fears of being left alone, helpless, or unwanted can be activated if clients disengage from the symptoms that represent these internalized “bad” objects (for example, if the client resolves an eating disorder or terminates a problematic relationship with a controlling/jealous partner). The goal of the interpersonal process approach is to help clients modify these early maladaptive schemas or internal working models by providing them with experiential or in vivo re-learning (that is, a “corrective emotional experience”). Through this real-life experience with the therapist, clients learn that, at least sometimes, some relationships can be different and do not have to follow the same familiar but problematic lines they have come to expect.
Edward Teyber (Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model)
Alice Miller writes: There are large numbers of people who suffer from narcissistic disorders, who often had sensitive and caring parents from whom they received much encouragement; yet these people are suffering from severe depressions. They enter analysis in the belief, with which they grew up, that their childhood was happy and protected. More often than not, these narcissistically deprived are talented, gifted, highly successful superachievers who have been praised and admired for their talents and achievements. Anyone looking at them on the outside would believe these people have it made. They appear strong and stable and full of self-assurance. This is not the case. Narcissistically deprived people do well in every undertaking and are admired for their gifts and talents, but they have a deep sense of emptiness and aloneness. Once the drug of grandiosity is taken away, as soon as they are no longer the stars and superachievers, they are plagued by deep feelings of shame and guilt.
John Bradshaw (Healing the Shame that Binds You)
People who are depressed at the thought that all our motives are selfish are [confused]. They have mixed up ultimate causation (why something evolved by natural selection) with proximate causation (how the entity works here and now). [A] good way to understand the logic of natural selection is to imagine that genes are agents with selfish motives. [T]he genes have metaphorical motives — making copies of themselves — and the organisms they design have real motives. But they are not the same motives. Sometimes the most selfish thing a gene can do is wire unselfish motives into a human brain — heartfelt, unstinting, deep-in-the-marrow unselfishness. The love of children (who carry one's genes into posterity), a faithful spouse (whose genetic fate is identical to one's own), and friends and allies (who trust you if you're trustworthy) can be bottomless and unimpeachable as far as we humans are concerned (proximate level), even if it is metaphorically self-serving as far as the genes are concerned (ultimate level). Combine this with the common misconception that the genes are a kind of essence or core of the person, and you get a mongrel of Dawkins and Freud: the idea that the metaphorical motives of the genes are the deep, unconscious, ulterior motives of the person. That is an error.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
An awfulness was deep inside me, and I couldn't fight it; forced into submission and taken hostage by it, I could only just lie there, let it wash over me, and let myself be consumed by it. If I cooperate, maybe it won't stay too long; maybe it'll let me go free. But if I fight it, it might stay longer just to spite me. So I decided to let The Feeling inhabit me as long as it desired, while I lay still, cautious not to incite me, secretly hoping it would leave me soon and bother someone else, but outwardly, pretending to be its gracious host. The most discouraging element of what I felt was my inability to understand it. Usually when I was filled with an unpleasant feeling, I could make it go away, or at least tame it, by watching a light-hearted film or reading a good book or listening to a feel good album. But this feeling was different. I knew non of those distractions could rid me of it. But I knew nothing else. I couldn't even describe it. Is this depression? Maybe once you ask someone to describe depression, he can't find the words. Maybe I'm part of the official club now. I imagined myself in a room full of people where someone in the crowd, also suffering from depression, immediately noticed me-as if he detected the scent of his own kind-walked over, and looked into my eyes. He knew that I had The Feeling inside me because he, too, da The Feeling inside him. He didn't ask me to talk about it, because he understood that our type of suffering was ineffable. He only nodded at me, and I nodded back; and then, during our moment of silence, we both shared a sad smile of recognition, knowing that we only had each other in a room filled with people who would never understand us, because they didn't have The Feeling inside them.
Nick Miller (Isn't It Pretty To Think So?)
To begin with, there is an almost compulsive promiscuity associated with homosexual behavior. 75% of homosexual men have more than 100 sexual partners during their lifetime. More than half of these partners are strangers. Only 8% of homosexual men and 7% of homosexual women ever have relationships lasting more than three years. Nobody knows the reason for this strange, obsessive promiscuity. It may be that homosexuals are trying to satisfy a deep psychological need by sexual encounters, and it just is not fulfilling. Male homosexuals average over 20 partners a year. According to Dr. Schmidt, The number of homosexual men who experience anything like lifelong fidelity becomes, statistically speaking, almost meaningless. Promiscuity among homosexual men is not a mere stereotype, and it is not merely the majority experience—it is virtually the only experience. Lifelong faithfulness is almost non-existent in the homosexual experience. Associated with this compulsive promiscuity is widespread drug use by homosexuals to heighten their sexual experiences. Homosexuals in general are three times as likely to be problem drinkers as the general population. Studies show that 47% of male homosexuals have a history of alcohol abuse and 51% have a history of drug abuse. There is a direct correlation between the number of partners and the amount of drugs consumed. Moreover, according to Schmidt, “There is overwhelming evidence that certain mental disorders occur with much higher frequency among homosexuals.” For example, 40% of homosexual men have a history of major depression. That compares with only 3% for men in general. Similarly 37% of female homosexuals have a history of depression. This leads in turn to heightened suicide rates. Homosexuals are three times as likely to contemplate suicide as the general population. In fact homosexual men have an attempted suicide rate six times that of heterosexual men, and homosexual women attempt suicide twice as often as heterosexual women. Nor are depression and suicide the only problems. Studies show that homosexuals are much more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexual men. Whatever the causes of these disorders, the fact remains that anyone contemplating a homosexual lifestyle should have no illusions about what he is getting into. Another well-kept secret is how physically dangerous homosexual behavior is.
William Lane Craig
She dances, She dances around the burning flames with passion, Under the same dull stars, Under the same hell with crimson embers crashing, Under the same silver chains that wires, All her beauty and who she is inside, She's left with the loneliness of human existence, She's left questioning how she's survived, She's left with this awakening of brutal resilience, Her true beauty that she denies, As much she's like to deny it, As much as it continues to shine, That she doesn't even have to admit, Because we all know it's true, Her glory and success, After all she's been through, Her triumph and madness, AND YET, SHE STANDS. Broken legs- but she's still standing, Still dancing in this void, You must wonder how she's still dancing, You must wonder how she's not destroyed, She doesn't even begin to drown within the flames, But little do you realize, Within these chains, She weeps and she cries, But she still goes on, And just you thought you could stop her? You thought you'd be the one? Well, let me tell you, because you thought wrong. Nothing will ever silence her, Because I KNOW, I know that she is admiringly strong, Her undeniable beauty, The triumph of her song, She's shining bright like a ruby, Reflecting in the golden sand, She's shining brighter like no other, She's far more than human or man, AND YET, SHE STANDS. She continues to dance with free-spirit, Even though she's locked in these chains, Though she never desired to change it, Even throughout the agonizing pain, Throughout all the distress, Anxiety, depression, tears and sorrow, She still dances so beautify in her dress, She looks forward to tomorrow, Not because of a fresh start but a new page, A new day full of opportunities, Despite being trapped in her cage, She still smiles after being beaten so brutally, A smile that could brighten anyone's day, She's so much more than anyone could ask for, She's so much more than I could ever say, She's a girl absolutely everyone should adore, She never gets in the way, Even after her hearts been broken, Even after the way she has been treated, After all these severe emotions, After all all the blood she's bled, AND YET, SHE STANDS. Even if sometimes she wonders why she's still here, She wonders why she's not dead, But there's this one thing that had been here throughout every tear, Throughout the blazing fire leaving her cheeks cherry red, Everyday this thing has given her a place to exist, This thing, person, these people, Like warm sunlight it had so softly kissed, The apples of her cheeks, Even when she's feeling feeble, Always there at her worst and at her best Because of you and all the other people, She has this thing deep inside her chest, That she will cherish forever, Even once you're gone, Because today she smiles like no other, Even when the sun sets at dawn, Because today is the day, She just wants you to remember, In dark and stormy weather, It gets better. And after what she's been through she knows, Throughout the highs and the lows, Because of you and all others, After crossing the seas, She has come to understand, You have formed this key, This key to free her from this land, This endless gorge that swallowed her, Her and other men, She had never knew, nor had she planned, That because of you, She's free. AND YET, THIS VERY DAY, SHE DANCES. EVEN IN THE RAIN.
Gabrielle Renee
Exploring Self-Compassion Through Letter Writing PART ONE Everybody has something about themselves that they don’t like; something that causes them to feel shame, to feel insecure or not “good enough.” It is the human condition to be imperfect, and feelings of failure and inadequacy are part of the experience of living. Try thinking about an issue that tends to make you feel inadequate or bad about yourself (physical appearance, work or relationship issues, etc.). How does this aspect of yourself make you feel inside—scared, sad, depressed, insecure, angry? What emotions come up for you when you think about this aspect of yourself? Please try to be as emotionally honest as possible and to avoid repressing any feelings, while at the same time not being melodramatic. Try to just feel your emotions exactly as they are—no more, no less. PART TWO Now think about an imaginary friend who is unconditionally loving, accepting, kind, and compassionate. Imagine that this friend can see all your strengths and all your weaknesses, including the aspect of yourself you have just been thinking about. Reflect upon what this friend feels toward you, and how you are loved and accepted exactly as you are, with all your very human imperfections. This friend recognizes the limits of human nature and is kind and forgiving toward you. In his/her great wisdom this friend understands your life history and the millions of things that have happened in your life to create you as you are in this moment. Your particular inadequacy is connected to so many things you didn’t necessarily choose: your genes, your family history, life circumstances—things that were outside of your control. Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of this imaginary friend—focusing on the perceived inadequacy you tend to judge yourself for. What would this friend say to you about your “flaw” from the perspective of unlimited compassion? How would this friend convey the deep compassion he/she feels for you, especially for the discomfort you feel when you judge yourself so harshly? What would this friend write in order to remind you that you are only human, that all people have both strengths and weaknesses? And if you think this friend would suggest possible changes you should make, how would these suggestions embody feelings of unconditional understanding and compassion? As you write to yourself from the perspective of this imaginary friend, try to infuse your letter with a strong sense of the person’s acceptance, kindness, caring, and desire for your health and happiness. After writing the letter, put it down for a little while. Then come back and read it again, really letting the words sink in. Feel the compassion as it pours into you, soothing and comforting you like a cool breeze on a hot day. Love, connection, and acceptance are your birthright. To claim them you need only look within yourself.
Kristin Neff (Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself)
Alma knelt in the tall grass and brought her face as near as she could to the stone. And there, rising no more than an inch above the surface of the boulder, she saw a great and tiny forest. Nothing moved within this mossy world. She peered at it so closely that she could smell it- dank and rich and old. Gently, Alma pressed her hand into this tight little timberland. It compacted itself under her palm and then sprang back to form without complaint. There was something stirring about its response to her. The moss felt warm and spongy, several degrees warmer than the air around it, and far more damp than she had expected. It appeared to have its own weather. Alma put the magnifying lens to her eye and looked again. Now the miniature forest below her gaze sprang into majestic detail. She felt her breath catch. This was a stupefying kingdom. This was the Amazon jungle as seen from the back of a harpy eagle. She rode her eye above the surprising landscape, following its paths in every direction. Here were rich, abundant valleys filled with tiny trees of braided mermaid hair and minuscule, tangled vines. Here were barely visible tributaries running through that jungle, and here was a miniature ocean in a depression in the center of the boulder, where all the water pooled. Just across this ocean- which was half the size of Alma's shawl- she found another continent of moss altogether. On this new continent, everything was different. This corner of the boulder must receive more sunlight than the other, she surmised. Or slightly less rain? In any case, this was a new climate entirely. Here, the moss grew in mountain ranges the length of Alma's arms, in elegant, pine tree-shaped clusters of darker, more somber green. On another quadrant of the same boulder still, she found patches of infinitesimally small deserts, inhabited by some kind of sturdy, dry, flaking moss that had the appearance of cactus. Elsewhere, she found deep, diminutive fjords- so deep that, incredibly, even now in the month of June- the mosses within were still chilled by lingering traces of winter ice. But she also found warm estuaries, miniature cathedrals, and limestone caves the size of her thumb. Then Alma lifted her face and saw what was before her- dozens more such boulders, more than she could count, each one similarly carpeted, each one subtly different. She felt herself growing breathless. 'This was the entire world.' This was bigger than a world. This was the firmament of the universe, as seen through one of William Herschel's mighty telescopes. This was planetary and vast. These were ancient, unexplored galaxies, rolling forth in front of her- and it was all right here!
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Signature of All Things)
Physiological stress, then, is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits — otherwise known as coping styles — magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication. Emotional experiences are translated into potentially damaging biological events when human beings are prevented from learning how to express their feelings effectively. That learning occurs — or fails to occur — during childhood. The way people grow up shapes their relationship with their own bodies and psyches. The emotional contexts of childhood interact with inborn temperament to give rise to personality traits. Much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood. There is an important distinction between an inherent characteristic, rooted in an individual without regard to his environment, and a response to the environment, a pattern of behaviours developed to ensure survival. What we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted. People often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. They may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits — for example, when a person describes herself as “a control freak.” In reality, there is no innate human inclination to be controlling. What there is in a “controlling” personality is deep anxiety. The infant and child who perceives that his needs are unmet may develop an obsessive coping style, anxious about each detail. When such a person fears that he is unable to control events, he experiences great stress. Unconsciously he believes that only by controlling every aspect of his life and environment will he be able to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. As he grows older, others will resent him and he will come to dislike himself for what was originally a desperate response to emotional deprivation. The drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style. Emotional repression is also a coping style rather than a personality trait set in stone. Not one of the many adults interviewed for this book could answer in the affirmative when asked the following: When, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to — even when he or she was the one who had triggered your negative emotions? In a quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, I have never heard anyone with cancer or with any chronic illness or condition say yes to that question. Many children are conditioned in this manner not because of any intended harm or abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger or sadness they sense in their child — or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention. “My mother or father needed me to be happy” is the simple formula that trained many a child — later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult — into lifelong patterns of repression.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
California during the 1940s had Hollywood and the bright lights of Los Angeles, but on the other coast was Florida, land of sunshine and glamour, Miami and Miami Beach. If you weren't already near California's Pacific Coast you headed for Florida during the winter. One of the things which made Miami such a mix of glitter and sunshine was the plethora of movie stars who flocked there to play, rubbing shoulders with tycoons and gangsters. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference between the latter two. Miami and everything that surrounded it hadn't happened by accident. Carl Fisher had set out to make Miami Beach a playground destination during the 1930s and had succeeded far beyond his dreams. The promenade behind the Roney Plaza Hotel was a block-long lovers' lane of palm trees and promise that began rather than ended in the blue waters of the Atlantic. Florida was more than simply Miami and Miami Beach, however. When George Merrick opened the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables papers across the country couldn't wait to gush about the growing aura of Florida. They tore down Collins Bridge in the Gables and replaced it with the beautiful Venetian Causeway. You could plop down a fiver if you had one and take your best girl — or the girl you wanted to score with — for a gondola ride there before the depression, or so I'd been told. You see, I'd never actually been to Florida before the war, much less Miami. I was a newspaper reporter from Chicago before the war and had never even seen the ocean until I was flying over the Pacific for the Air Corp. There wasn't much time for admiring the waves when Japanese Zeroes were trying to shoot you out of the sky and bury you at the bottom of that deep blue sea. It was because of my friend Pete that I knew so much about Miami. Florida was his home, so when we both got leave in '42 I followed him to the warm waters of Miami to see what all the fuss was about. It would be easy to say that I skipped Chicago for Miami after the war ended because Pete and I were such good pals and I'd had such a great time there on leave. But in truth I decided to stay on in Miami because of Veronica Lake. I'd better explain that. Veronica Lake never knew she was the reason I came back with Pete to Miami after the war. But she had been there in '42 while Pete and I were enjoying the sand, sun, and the sweet kisses of more than a few love-starved girls desperate to remember what it felt like to have a man's arm around them — not to mention a few other sensations. Lake had been there promoting war bonds on Florida's first radio station, WQAM. It was a big outdoor event and Pete and I were among those listening with relish to Lake's sultry voice as she urged everyone to pitch-in for our boys overseas. We were in those dark early days of the war at the time, and the outcome was very much in question. Lake's appearance at the event was a morale booster for civilians and servicemen alike. She was standing behind a microphone that sat on a table draped in the American flag. I'd never seen a Hollywood star up-close and though I liked the movies as much as any other guy, I had always attributed most of what I saw on-screen to smoke and mirrors. I doubted I'd be impressed seeing a star off-screen. A girl was a girl, after all, and there were loads of real dolls in Miami, as I'd already discovered. Boy, was I wrong." - Where Flamingos Fly
Bobby Underwood (Where Flamingos Fly (Nostalgic Crime #2))