Top Floor, Sunshine and Clear View - Going DOWN
I have been doing a lot of thinking about my life, my world and especially my mood lately. I have tried to explain how I am feeling but have had trouble putting it into words. Then, during one of my MANY sleepless nights, it came to me, my life is very much like an elevator in a skyscraper, constantly moving up and down, never staying on the same floor and being influenced by people, circumstances and actions that push the buttons causing the elevator to move.
Picture this: you are a skyscraper in a large city. You may be surrounded by other skyscrapers or you may stand alone. Inside your skyscraper is an elevator that is your mood. The higher the elevator goes, the better your mood. The lower it goes, the worse your mood. Your elevator goes up and down as people, circumstances in the city around you, and the resulting actions push the buttons that may take your elevator to the top (scenic observation floor) or the bottom (subbasement levels) or to any floor in between.
My skyscraper has just a few other skyscrapers around it, offering love and support. Lately the elevator in my skyscraper is at the lower levels and having issues moving up. In fact, my elevator has gone lower that I ever thought was possible. The stress of my health, my AIDS diagnosis, the current state of the "city" my skyscraper is in (the USA) and some of the truly frightening people in my city as well as the awful election that has taken over my city (and has gone on FOREVER) all are pushing the elevator buttons to go down. So far my elevator has reached the lowest point yet, the sub, sub, sub, etc., basement. The place of darkness where monsters live. Where the darkness is overwhelming and the oxygen is sucked out to fill the top floors. In other words, I have been severely depressed. In fact, I reached a level in my skyscraper that was so low, I had not thought it existed. I dealt with constant pain, I was horribly sad, I questioned if my life was worth continuing the fight, I questioned my own worth and I actually thought about what would be the easiest and most painless way to end everything and take down my skyscraper. I also wondered if anyone in my city would care if my skyscraper was gone.
Through talking with my psychologist, and working with my psychiatrist to better deal with the low elevator by changing and increasing medications my elevator went up. Through hearing from Jim, my wonderful and supportive husband, and a very few family members who care, my elevator has continued to go slowly up. It will be a long and slow process to once again approach the observation floor but I have nothing but time. The pain will linger but I am healed from my last surgery, so that helps. I am continuing to see the acupuncturist and we are working on specific places in my skyscraper that are in pain, slowly working to "fix" the structure of the building and therefore slowly decrease the pain. I am trying to get myself to once again interact with the skyscrapers around me.
So, I am no longer in the basement, my elevator is on the first floor of my skyscraper and the doors are open to take on new passengers and perhaps go up. My skyscraper is still standing and I hope it will continue to. I am beginning to once again appreciate my life, also those skyscrapers who stand around me not to mention all those who might move into my "neighborhood" and "family". Stay tuned and maybe the next post will be about the view from closer to the top!