In part 1, I talked about having a rather painful surgery in March ’06 and how that contributed to my depression.
So for a while, I had the convenient excuse of my toe to suppress what was really going on. It distracted other people too.
It was even a perfectly valid excuse to decline social invitations – as I didn’t want anyone to stand on my foot.
Two months later (May ’06) I was in Bali for that year’s yoga retreat, convinced I had the trauma and shock under control. [In case you’re wondering about all the overseas trips I seem to take, I save all year for them by putting money aside from each pay.]
I should say I was under the delusion I was in control. Not healed or recovered, mind you. Just in control.
That is, until I was in the presence of my Guru. He simply looked at me and said – I’m with you all the way. Something about the way he said it helped me see I wasn’t in control at all. I was disconnected, even from my fellow Aussie yogis. People I was close to – and I’d yet to tell them what was going on for me!
My Guru’s gift to me on this retreat – not that he gave me anything tangible – was revealing more of who he is as a channel for Shiva nature. Or God or the Universe, whatever you like to call it. (At some point I’m gonna explain more of what I mean by that.)
Basically I was able to see clearly for myself how little his external personality has to do with the essence nature he transmits to his students. Or maybe it’s just that I was finally ready to see him that way?
This retreat was seminal for me in a number of ways – but I’m not sure I want to talk about that. Not even here on my anonymous blog. But delicate energetic surgery was going on. Healing work. There just wasn’t enough of it to keep me going – I was only there for three weeks.
By the time I was in Bali, I’d stopped getting therapy. I wasn’t seeing my wonderful kinesiologist as she was so darn expensive. This wasn’t a good thing.
Post-retreat, it was back to the same old, same old. No social network, but working hard, yet having a tough time being productive. The sucking weight of depression was taking hold. Despite the energetic transformation I’d had in Bali. There was nothing else back home to sustain it.
I’ve mentioned this before, but as a yogini, I’d told myself I didn’t need any more external help. This is not my Guru’s view – it was entirely my own delusion. I had more meditation and philosophical tools than I would ever need, and numerous oral teachings of deep insights into human nature.
Surely with all that great training I should be able to work it out for myself?? Well, no. Not necessarily. Not if you’ve dug a deep groove in your karmic field. It isn’t so easy to suddenly ‘jump tracks’ from within one of those grooves. It requires a great deal of momentum. And depression is a momentum killer.
Something my Guru is fond of saying is – work right where you’re at. Not where you’d like to be. Yet I wasn’t. I was actively engaged in the fantasy that I was “almost better”.
Sometimes the drowning have no idea they’re about to go under.
I spent most weekends at home. Inside. I might venture up to the main street for food or DVDs, but ultimately I avoided people. Since I’d always been a little bit of a hermit I thought I wasn’t doing anything too different.
My time management skills deteriorated rapidly. My family couldn’t rely on me to turn up on time. Actually, they didn’t even expect me an hour later. I arrived when I arrived. When I could.
A friend of mine was leaving the country for a twelve month working holiday and I plain forgot when his party was after remembering an hour earlier.
Work sucked, because I had no desire to try. I couldn’t concentrate very well. My memory was shot. But the structure of being somewhere every day along with the mind numbing effects of having to think about other things… it kept me going for a while but ultimately it contributed to the repression of what was going on.
Also I had a new boss. The one that came in at the end of the previous year decided she needed another level of management and brought in a swag of “seniors” so she didn’t have to deal with the rest of us.
I dubbed my new boss “Scary Natasha”. My group manager and Scary Natasha both knew what I’d been through – I explained it to them because I’d mistakenly thought they’d take that into account.
How wrong I was.
There are some people in this world who view any weakness exhibited by others as an opportunity. These women were paid up members of the club.
They decided at my twelve month review (despite neither of them having been there for longer than six months) that my current work slump warranted my being put on ‘performance management’. Which means they would assess me closely and review whether I should be sacked.
Scary Natasha made a list of things she expected me to do daily, weekly, monthly and so on. And we’d meet each week, her large eyes bulging out of her pale skinned face with her severely blunt fringe an inch or so above.
In terms of my work performance, I probably deserved a stern word or two. But not this. Not being terrified and bullied on a daily basis by a cold and angry woman who’d clearly decided she didn’t like me. But I was in no state to stand up for myself.
So I spent my work days scared shitless I’d lose my job – the only thing that was keeping me afloat in my sea of sadness. And my weekends and evenings watching Buffy episodes, doing yoga and praying hard this would all come to an end some time soon.