<originally posted June 8, 2011>
To nurture the dark flame is to take responsibility for one’s own care and happiness. We must find the core of ourselves and care for it…bring it into the fresh air and nourish it. Only with effort can we truly be the Dark Flame and be in tune with the Bright Flame.
The path to nourishment is not easy, no matter how confident or self-aware or in control we think we are. For me, it is the never-ending task of Sisyphus – I roll the rock up the hill, and it rolls back down. I roll the rock up the hill, and it rolls back down. I roll the rock up the fucking hill, and it rolls the fuck back down – over and over and over again until I am dripping sweat, both physical and emotional.
Why? It is both simple and not-so-simple – I have Clinical Depression.
In my world, lethargy and apathy are the norm, self-loathing is the norm, self-sabotage is the norm. My world values logic over emotion, control over letting go, hiding over being found. I take medication to combat this default state and while it helps with the excesses it does not change me. I have to consciously battle to gain ground every single day…and some days there are just not enough spoons in the known universe to do more than try to maintain. Maintenance is not an ideal state, but sometimes it is the best only option.
I’ve found that small steps (baby steps) work best when trying to nourish my Dark Flame…and once a baby step becomes habit it is easier to continue during the many “maintenance phases” I go through. I currently have two baby steps that I do every day, regardless of how I’m feeling or what else is going on:
- CLEAN ALL THE THINGS (on my body) – AKA CLEAN ALL THE VEGGIE
- Brush hair
Completing the baby steps every day, without fail, contributes to a more positive daily outlook…and a more nourished Dark Flame. Some days I do more, some days I do less, but I know that when these tasks are done I am not losing ground. It continually amazes me how such small actions can make me feel so much better and so much more in control.