Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘dysthymia

I Hope

leave a comment »

Yesterday afternoon, it occurred to me that I don’t have the same skills for conjuring up “hope” out of nowhere like I do for manifesting “love” by way of a basic mental exercise of simply doing so. Could that be a remnant from a life-long propensity for a dysthymic depressiveness?

The violent clashes between protestors and police forces seem to be getting worse around the country, while things have calmed down dramatically in the Twin Cities. Part of me fears the local rabble-rousers will become re-enthused by the expanding uproar and want to get back in the game.

Another part of me fears the possibility all this turmoil will be for naught, like too many times before. In a year or two, or five, a white police officer will kill a person of color and we’ll still be questioning how this could have happened again.

Cyndie is working a different program. Hopefully, she will prove to be more successful than me at mentally growing neural networks of hope by reducing thoughts focused on the angst of violence, looting, and arson and the racist hatred and inflammatory rhetoric fueling it all and replacing them with visions of the world as a place of equal love and acceptance for everyone.

If we can imagine it, we can build it. If we build it, they will come?

Let there be hope.

All you need is hope. Hope is all you need.

We hope you, yeah, yeah, yeah.

With a hope like that, you know you should be glad.

I Hope

Dixie ChicksĀ  – Writer(s): Martha Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, Keb’mo’

Sunday morning, I heard the preacher say
Thou shall not kill
I don’t wanna hear nothing else about killing
And that it’s God’s will

‘Cause our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They’re gonna be like us
So let’s learn from our history
And do it differently

I hope, for more love, more joy and laughter
I hope, you’ll have more than you’ll ever need
I hope, you’ll have more happy ever after
I hope, we can live more fearlessly
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

Oh, Rosie, her man he gets too rough
That’s all she can say, he’s a good man
He don’t mean no harm
He was brought up that way

But our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They’re gonna be like us
It’s okay for us to disagree
We can work it out lovingly

I hope, for more love, more joy and laughter
I hope, you’ll have more than you’ll ever need
I hope, you’ll have more happy ever after
I hope, you can live more fearlessly
And you can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

There must be a way to change what’s going on
No I don’t have all the answers

I hope, for more love, more joy and laughter
I hope, you’ll have more than you’ll ever need
I hope, you’ll have more happy ever after
I hope, we can all live more fearlessly
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

I hope, I hope, I hope

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

June 3, 2020 at 6:00 am

Relative Sadness

with 8 comments

There is an aspect of grief that I visualize as wrestling an octopus. You can be engaged in the action for an immeasurable amount of time without ever having a clue if you’ve come close to pinning his shoulders to the mat.

Where the heck are octopus shoulders, anyway?

I’d love for nothing more than to have an official slapping their hand down to declare the match complete, or at least to call time on the end of a round. The clock never runs out though, and the round goes on endlessly while grief and I just keep wrestling and wrestling.

It occurred to me yesterday that I was somewhat unconsciously avoiding going out to the barn since last Sunday when Legacy’s life ended there. It’s a struggle, because I normally find great comfort in standing among the horses, but there is currently a profound disturbance of energy here. I’m feeling little capacity toward consoling our other horses and even less confidence in my ability to contain my own sorrow while in their midst.

Between the understandable waves of tearful sadness, there remain the troughs of intangible gloom. I recognize that space well.

It defined the bulk of my adolescent and early adult life, which was shrouded by dysthymia.

At least now I am armed with much greater knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of these mental squalls, and I recognize the current grief casting a pall over our lives is completely situational. There is unending love cradling our sorrow and it is nurturing our healing and growth.

After Cyndie and I walked Delilah around the property yesterday afternoon, we all ventured to the barn to look in on the horses.

I worry they might be feeling neglected after the intense attention paid to Legacy, and then his sudden departure followed by this incredible void.

They seem to me to be in a state of shock. All we can do for each other is vibrate our energy of sorrow and loss.

I’m not crying; you’re crying.

Dezirea actually stepped away from me, as if she couldn’t handle my grief. Hunter and Cayenne tolerated my attempts to give them some loving scratches, but I didn’t get a sense that either of the three of us felt much solace out of the exchange.

Cyndie spent a little more time with Dezirea. I think Dezi seems particularly sad. I am wondering if she is feeling some stress over the possibility she will inherit the ultimate responsibility of a leadership role, being the elder mare. It could just as easily be filled by any one of them, or maybe they will devise a perfect balance of power across all three.

It’s just that the four horses that were organized into a little herd over five years ago worked out so tremendously. They were a band. An ever-shifting combination of two sets of two. It was incredibly, preciously perfect.

Beyond our ability to fully appreciate when they first arrived.

Now they’ll never be able to get the band back together again…

.

Aww, here comes another slippery hold from that octopus, dagnabbit.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

January 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

Animal Magnetism

with 2 comments

For most of my life, it was a struggle just to take care of myself, due to a condition of undiagnosed dysthymia. The additional responsibility of caring for pets every day was a burden I found ways to avoid.

Now I know why people who love horses become so passionate about it. I’ve spent the last five years learning what it is like to own horses, and it has changed me to the point I think it would be hard for me now to live without them.

It’s kind of ironic that caring for animals has contributed significantly to my healthier life. The very thing I was avoiding turns out to be therapeutic for what ailed me.

Yesterday morning, Cyndie captured this wonderful moment as our four Arabians made their way along the fence line of the hay-field back toward the barn in the enticing soft light before sunrise.

She and Delilah had just come out of the woods on their morning walk along our trails, a situation that signals to the horses, breakfast at the barn will soon be served.

As powerful an energy as the horses are for us, Delilah radiates her own compelling magnetism. She looked absolutely stunning after a grooming appointment yesterday.

When I walked in the door and reached down to pet her while she was leaning into me in her overly affectionate greeting, I asked Cyndie, “Did you just brush her?”

Oh, no. That was a full-fledged professional job that gave her the silky smooth coat.

Later, I glanced at our beautiful Tervuren under the old Hays family table and caught her paw draped over the antler chew she found in the woods.

Yeah, it can be a lot of responsibility, but I think I’m getting the hang of this animal magnetism they seem to have.

What a rewarding blessing it is to be healthy and have the added benefits of the positive energy our animals inherently provide.

.

.

.

.

Knowing Better

with 4 comments

I do know better, but that doesn’t guarantee success. It is a struggle to resist the dreary weight of “shoulds” and myriad other potential hazards that lurk in the mind of a person with propensities like mine. (See Dysthymia.)

Luckily, knowing better is a very important early step toward optimal health. One of the best things that ever happened for me was having my affliction identified, and then being taught skills for responding to it.

With our new home and property, there are so many things we want to address, it is a challenge to make any sense of it. I feel a bit like I’m in a losing game of “Whac-a-Mole” (a game which, ironically, is based on a situation we are literally needing to deal with here).

I find myself able to chip away at one project until it gets dark, or I run out of time, or I arrive at a problem without immediate solution. Then a new day brings new demands and the previous project lands on the back burner. Who knows when I will get back to that one. Something new will pop up tomorrow!

Now, the Christmas season is near, and a whole new set of make-work projects show up. It troubles me to see the energy that could be put toward our “to-do” list, now going toward decorating this place like it is some sort of holiday show room. Look at that: I’ve become a Scrooge.

I know better than to focus on the dreary perspective. Most people would think the house looks beautiful, and it makes Cyndie so very happy.

Plus, it gives the cats something new to wreck! Oops. See, there I go again. Darn that doom and gloom.

I actually heard a holiday song on the radio yesterday during my drive home that sounded great and made me happy. The reason it sounded great was because it was fresh. I had not heard this song for almost a year. Unfortunately, it is not even December yet. By the time I hear this song again for the 3rd or 4th time, I will be sick of it.

We think the holidays are so fun, it is logical to extend the season as much as possible. Of course, the marketers are all in for that idea, and do everything they can to elongate the duration of a gift-shopping season. In so doing, we have created our own monster. It wasn’t good enough to leave the Christmas season the way it was in years past. It has been stretched into something annoying. You’d think it was a political campaign. What a shame it is that we allow our favorite holiday songs to become annoyances.

They used to be special, because they were heard rarely, for a precious occasion. Over-playing songs diminishes the pleasure of them.

You’d think we would know better.

Written by johnwhays

November 29, 2012 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with , ,