субота, 05. март 2016.

Паркер Палмер о тајни депресије

"Depression is the ultimate state of disconnection, not only between people, and between mind and heart, but between one's self-image and public mask."


О депресији је веома тешко и опасно писати, примећује Паркер Палмер (1939) у изванредној књизи Let Your Life Speak. Listening for the Voice of Vocation написаној за све оне који су у потрази за властитим призивом, али и оне који би да ослушну шта им њихов живот поручује о призиву за који су се определили.


Опасност писања о депресији састоји се у томе што се, с једне стране, то искуство тешко да превести у речи, а са друге, што пре него да помогне може одмоћи онима који се налазе у стању депресије. Наиме, оно што чини део нечијег искуства и што је некоме било од помоћи, не мора неминовно да значи да може да буде рецепт и као такав послужи и другима. То бива из тог разлога што постоје различити облици депресије. Постоје оне генетске и биолошке депресије које изискују медицинско лечење, оне које су изазване тренутним животним околностима и које се могу превазићи кроз боље упознавање себе, изборе и промену начина постојања и постоје оне које би се могле сместити између ова два основна облика.
Оно што је нагнало Паркера Палмера да са другима подели своје искуство депресије јесте жеља, да уколико је то уопште могуће, на основу онога што је он прошао и проживео и за себе расветлио преда другима попут сведочанства не би ли им, тамо где је то могуће, помогао да депресију преметну у потрегу за властитим призивом кроз проналажење пута који би их извео из мрака у којем су.
Twice in my forties I spent endless months in the snake pit of the soul. Hour by hour, day by day, I wrestled with the desire to die, sometimes so feeble in my resistance that I "practiced" ways of doing myself in. I could feel nothing except the burden of my own life and the exhaustion, the apparent futility, of trying to sustain it.
by Christian Hopkins
Разлог због којег се један одређени број депресивних људи убија, Пармер Палкер види управо у том осећају исцрпљености који је такав да се самоубиство заиста види као једино могуће решење, тј. ослобођење, али оно што је њему лично било фасцинантно јесте свест о томе да поједини људи ипак успевају да пронађу пут који изводи из таквог стања. Стога је одучио да, пре него што се преда, покуша да пронађе тај пут који води изван мистерије звана депресија.

Призивајући у сећање давно вођени разговор са једном верујућом женом, сетио се како га је она негде тек пред крај разговора танким, једва чујним гласом упитала: ”Зашто се поједини љуби убију, а други не?” Схвативши да се ради о њеној личној борби и из жеље да јој да најбољи могући одговор, застао је и после извесног размишљања рекао: ”Не знам. Стварно не знам.” То што није успео да смисли ни један ваљан одговор на њега је оставио поражавајући утисак. Међутим, после свега неколико дана добио је писмо од исте те жене која му је написала како од целог њиховог разговора, једино што је упамтила било је управо оно чега се он највише стидео: ”Не знам. Стварно не знам”.
My response had given her an alternative to the cruel "Christian explanations" common in the church to which she belonged - that people who take their lives lack faith or good works or some other redeeming virtue that might move God to rescue them. My not knowing had freed her to stop judging herself for being depressed and to stop believing that God was judging her. As a result, her depression had lifted a bit.
I take two lessons from that experience. First, it is important to speak one's truth to a depressed person. Had I offered wishful thinking, it would not have touched my visitor. In depression, the built-in bunk detector that we all possess is not only turned on but is set on high.
Second, depression demands that we reject simplistic answers, both "religious" and "scientific", and learn to embrace mystery, something our culture resists. Mystery surrounds every deep experience of the human heart: the deeper we go into the heart's darkness or its light, the closer we get to the ultimate mystery of God. But our culture wants to turn mysteries into puzzles to be explained or problems to be solved, because maintaining the illusion that we can "straighten things out" makes us feel powerful. Yet mysteries never yield to solutions or fixes - and when we pretend that they do, life becomes not only more banal but also more hopeless, because the fixes never work.
by Christian Hopkins
Како би, у том случају, човек требало да приступи тајни депресије? Паркер одговара:
Embracing the mystery of depression does not mean passivity or resignation. It means moving into a field of forces that seems alien but is in fact one's deepest self. It means waiting, watching, listening, suffering, and gathering whatever self-knowledge one can - and than making choices based on that knowledge, no matter how difficult. One begins the slow walk back to health by choosing each day things that enliven one's selfhood and resisting things that do not.
Речено, иако му то није намера, може да остане лепо, као каква теорија коју би требало имати у виду када размишљамо или се бавимо депресијом. Да се не би остало на томе, аутор, као што смо најавили, говори о властитом искуству депресије и онога што је он у то време проживео. Искуство које је описао представља једно од најупечатљивијих описа човековог стања духа када је у депресији:
Depression is the ultimate state of disconnection - it deprives one of the relatedness that is the lifeline of every living being.
I do not like to speak ungratefully of my visitors. They all meant well, and they were among the few who did not avoid me altogether. But despite their good intentions, most of them acted like Job's comforters - the friends who came to Job in his misery and offered "sympathy" that led him deeper into despair.
Some visitors, in an effort to cheer me up, would say, "It's a beautiful day. Why don't you go out and soak up some sunshine and look at the flowers? Surely that'll make you feel better."
But that advice only make me more depressed. Intellectually, I knew that the day was beautiful, but I was unable to experience that beauty through my senses, to feel it in my body. Depression is the ultimate state of disconnection, not just between people but between one's mind and one's feelings. To be reminded of that disconnection only deepened my despair. 
Other people came to me and said, "But you're such a good person, Parker. You teach and write so well, and you've helped so many people. Try to remember all the good you've done, and surely you'll feel better."
That advice, too, left me more depressed, for it plunged me into the immense gap between my "good" persona and the "bad" person I then believed myself to be. When I heard those words, I thought, "One more person has been defrauded, has seen my image rather than my reality - and if people ever saw the real me, they would reject me in a flash." Depression is the ultimate state of disconnection, not only between people, and between mind and heart, but between one's self-image and public mask.
Then there were visitors who began by saying, "I know exactly how you feel..." Whatever comfort or counsel these people may have intended to speak, I heard nothing beyond their opening words, because I knew they were peddling a falsehood: no one can fully experience another person's mystery. Paradoxically, it was my friends' empathetic attempt to identify with me that made me feel even more isolated, because it was overidentification. Disconnection may be hell, but it is better than false connections.
by Christian Hopkins
Наведена искуства, Палмера Паркера су довела до следећег закључка када је однос са депресивним људима у питању:
One of the hardest things we must do sometimes is to be present to another person's pain without trying to "fix" it, to simply stand respectfully at the edge of that person's mystery and misery. Standing there, we feel useless ans powerless, which is exactly how a depressed person feels - and our unconscious need as Job's comforters is to reassure ourselves that we are not like the sad soul before us. 
Паркер за крај наводи једно искуство и један однос који је за њега, у стању депресије, био целисходан. Ево шта каже:
Blessedly, there were several people, family and friends, who had the courage to stand with me in a simple and healing way. One of them was a friend named Bill who, having asked my permission to do so, stopped by my home every afternoon, sat me down in a char, knelt in front of me, removed my shoes and socks, and for half an hour simply massaged my feet. He found the one place in my body where I could still experience feeling - and feel somewhat reconnected with the human race. 
Bill rarely spoke a word. When he did, he never gave advice but simply mirrored my condition. He would say, "I can sense your struggle today", or "It feels like you are getting stronger." I could not always respond, but his words were deeply helpful: they reassured me that I could still be seen by someone - life-giving knowledge in the midst of an experience that makes one feel annihilated and invisible. It is impossible to put into words what my friend's ministry meant to me. Perhaps it is enough to say that I now have deep appreciation for the biblical stories of Jesus and the washing of feet.
The poet Rainer Maria Rilke says, "love ... consist in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other." (...) This kind of love does not reflect the "functional atheism" we sometimes practice - saying pious words about God's presence in our lives but believing, on the contrary, that nothing good is going to happen unless we make it happen. Rilke describes a kind of love that neither avoids nor invades the soul's suffering. It is a love in which we represent God's love to a suffering peron, a God who does not "fix" us but gives us strength by suffering with us. By standing respectfully and faithfully at the borders of another's solitude, we may mediate the love of God to a person who needs something deeper than any human being can give.     
Књигу вреди прочитати у целини, а нарочито је од користи онима који су у потрази за властитим призвањем. Прочитано можете дипунити изванредном причом Ерика-Емануела Шмита, Оскар и госпођа у ружичастом.

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