The last six weeks I have been experiencing very lucid dreams. Like dreams about things that wake you up, and you find yourself somewhat confused about where you are, or “what was that all about”. I keep notes next to where I sleep so that if something rattles me enough – I can jot it down and try to make use of it later.
Just recently I had a dream about the geometric shape of a box, or cube. And the odd thing was how this shape was relating itself to certain levels depression. It began with lines on a piece of paper, starting with just the sketching of a square. And me standing in the middle of the square. Just flat, on the ground. Very simple, like you know where the boundaries and lines are. You can outstretch your arms to feel them pass the barriers of the square . Familiar, and comfortable. Like knowing the reaches and capabilities of yourself. Staying grounded, not feeling to far or out of touch with whats going on, just enough to fall some and then remember how to get back where you were standing. But still remaining on the flattened box…
Before I go on I’d like to state that certain controllable levels of depression are to me, an extremely useful creative tool. Being able to relive tragedies allows me to write and visually create in a very passionate way. And although retaining a very vivid memory does allow me to remember the good things just as well, the other side of the coin presents itself too. And it’s with this side that I channel into writing music and so forth. All of this is to say, in fact in my opinion ‘can’ be harnessed in a very healthy way because what this does is (as in the dream), when you begin to fall from away the square – you in turn project outwards with these outlets (as writing) and again use them and try to find and bring yourself back to the comfortable edges (and safe areas) of the square that you stand upon. It’s like using the sides of the invisible square as a safety net, you can let yourself fall some – but remembering to not let yourself fall too far that you can’t find your way back.
Now, with all that in your head lets add another side to the shape. Well let’s add the ‘z’ axis or the third dimension. So now instead of standing or spiraling on a flat plane, lets take your center inside a complete cube. With six walls to shape around you instead of four flat lines. Lets also make the area the shape covers about fifty times as large. So now your existence is quite smaller, and if you were to slip away from the walls you would have a considerably larger area to drift out and away from your “safety zone”.
I like to think of the three-dimensional cube representing a ‘deep or deeper’ depression. Where it is a place that you can get deeply lost. Although you can still find the sides when you are close to them (with enough creativity you can possibly find your way out of anything) it would be relatively easy to slip so far away from safety that in time, you could forget the way it feels to have come back. You would begin to forget what the ‘norm’ feels like, and perhaps forget how to make way to the safe edges again. This points to me the dangerous part of walking the lines of “creative output through managing your levels of depressive moods”. I think that this is the point where you actually ‘lose yourself’, and you simply slip into ‘a feeling of socially exiled status quo’. It’s at this level that creativity actually is harder to keep a grasp on, the resistance between you and the walls is greater, and your thorough output is way less than your norm.
How do you fight this or manage it on your own? How do you keep your grasp on the safety areas of your box – where they are, how far to get to them, and knowing that you could be close to getting to far out of reach and landing in a draught of sitting in dark rooms and living on less than lively thoughts?
Anchor yourself the best way you can. Keep in proximity your daily routine. Stay on your schedules, wake at the same times everyday. Plan new things to see, places to go and do. Even if you have to go alone. It’s important to not drift too far into the square. To me, it’s extremely helpful in what I do – but all in all you have to keep touch with tangible simple things. Sharing is by far to me the best way to remember your way home, even if it is things that are hard to talk about. Connecting with someone is just that, a connection that lights your path home, back to what you know.
Forget if you can, or get on with what you may. I use what I have to use, to get on with things. Sometimes it’s the less than desirable route, sometimes it passes over a night fold. Wipe it away the best you can, and if you can’t handle it push it somewhere fast and far. Or make it into something useful, and leave something for someone to read, look at, or listen to.
It really is the only way…
…go blame the dreams for feeling the way you do. I can’t explain it any other way.