I feel this strange mix of feeling so much better than I did and yet a little embarrassed by how quickly I recovered. There is some company I heard about on the news that has a policy that if you are sick just one day that they won’t give you a sick day pay . It is their belief that you have to be sick at least two days to be really sick. I wasn’t aware until today that I held such a policy for myself. Usually when the black dog of depression find its way onto my lap I am stuck with it at least for a week or two. I can never recall feeling the kind of darkness I felt on Tuesday and having it gone by Wednesday. One takes a trip to the Underworld it is not usually for just an overnighter. It is much like going to Europe, if one is going to make that kind of big trip one usually stays for a while. However this time I made the big trip to hang out with Hades and I was back before I had even acclimated to the terrific time change and I wasn’t there long enough to partake in a single pomegranate.
There are reasons I recovered so quickly: Talking to lovely friends who totally got how I was feeling; taking action that made me feel like I am not a victim; comments on my blog that showed me I have lovely friends who care about me; easy access to Igor. However, I have had these things in the past and they didn’t allow me to recover so quickly. What is different? I guess that there isn’t an easy answer. The truth is that I have changed. In the nearly two years I have been working with Igor I have changed. Maybe you have noticed. People seem to. When I was in Chicago friends saw it. They said things like, “You seem so different—so grounded and so different” and they meant it in a good way and not in a “California has turned you into a different person and we don’t like this one.” Rather they seemed to think that I was different in a good way. And I know it is true. I can feel the difference and today, with how quickly the heartbreak, disappointment and despair was shrugged off, I can really feel the difference.
When I saw Igor yesterday I talked about the precedent to my pain. I unpacked it the reason the pain was so profound and the more I did the more I felt a sense of relief. And, dear friends, to illustrate my relief, I did not cry one tear in Igor’s office. I did laugh. I did find him to be effective and I didn’t for a second think about telling him that I was quitting. And by the time the session was over it was clear that I didn’t need another one today. Oh, and I did tell him about a dream I had had the night before. Now I will tell you:
In the dream I am at the psychoanalytic institute where I will be attending the Adult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program. It is a big building. It was easily four stories tall, only it was only a one story building; it had a very high ceiling and felt new and spacious and all together lovely. The building somehow reminded me of what a modern building in Israel might look like. It was made entirely of sandstone brick, kind of one that was used to make the Getty. As I waited for the class to begin I realized that this wasn’t just an institute but also a university. It was too big to just be an institute. Next thing I knew, as is the way in dreams, someone was telling me it was time for my supervision appointment.
I went into a small and dark office and in that office was my old Jungian analyst with the bad teeth. I sat across from him and knew that I couldn’t say anything about how strange it was to see him for supervision. I just sat down( and my body was leaning far to the right in a very dramatic way) and I started reporting a case to him. As I did it I was aware of how nervous and unnatural I was sounding but I decided I needed to just stick with the case. I told him about my client and he gave me no feedback. Next thing I knew( see this happens all the time in dreams) our session was over and I was getting up to leave and he said, “okay, see you next week”).
Then I went out into a hall and there was a woman who was wearing extremely, almost costumey, Bohemian clothing and she was asking a group of people to name where the source of the dialogue that she was quoting. As soon as I heard it I knew the dialogue was from Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galictica or one of those bad science fiction shows that He-weasel watches. Instead of saying that I said, “Battlefield Earth”. As soon as I said it one of the people in the crowd corrected me and told me that it wasn’t Battlefield Earth. The Bohemian woman kept talking and led us away from the building through a grassy courtyard and into a small classroom. As soon as we got into classroom I realized that class had begun. I panicked as I had left my stuff in the big building and I had no paper and I was unprepared. I would have to go back to the big building and get my stuff and if I did I would be late and in trouble. And that is where the dream ended.
So as I have told you in the past, Igor is not so great with dreams. He is great in many areas but with dreams he is a suckasaurus. However with this dream he didn’t suck.
“You are in a beautiful place that feels spacious and expansive and it feels good to be there. You go into a dark place when you turn to someone you don’t have resonance with. And when you follow this Bohemian woman away from the building, who is talking silliness, that is when you experience yourself as ”unprepared and in trouble”. It is not the deepest or most detailed dream analysis I have ever heard but it worked. As soon as I heard his interpretation I felt better. It was true, I have been in a good space–an expansive space and through an interaction with someone that I don’t have resonance with I went into a dark place. The dream took me out of the room with my old Jungian with bad teeth and away from the Bohemian woman talking about nonsense and out of the underworld and the black dog of depression jumped off of my lap and ran off to wherever he lives when he is not with me. I left my Wednesday with Igor feeling that I was back in the light—back in the beautiful space I had been in before the darkness overtook me. I was back home.