Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Comfort of Watery Oblivion

2014 Nov 1

If you are a reader of Mind Flotsam, or a Facebook friend, or a friend in real life, or any combo of those, you may know that I deal with clinical depression. My personal opinion is that it is partly hereditary, partly seasonal, partly brain chemistry related. I take medication, which may help the condition. I know it did help when it was initially prescribed. In recent years, I have begun to doubt the ongoing benefits of fluoxetine therapy. That is not my reason for writing, though.

I need to try to articulate a brief thought that occurred to me yesterday as I sat on the dune line, staring out to the ocean. The thought may or may not have been related to my chronic depression. I need to put it out there, in an attempt to somehow banish it from my future.

Perhaps just a little more background is necessary. While I LOVE being near the beach, ocean, water, I rarely get wet, unless its raining. I do not swim. Nor do I venture into the surf, even when it is gentle. I will sometimes walk along the water and allow my feet to get wet. But at no time do I venture into the surf, to any depth above my knees. Though I am a person who loves the ocean, I also have extreme fear of moving water, especially deeper than say, eighteen inches.

So, try to understand the confusion that gripped me when, while sitting looking out at the raging waves yesterday, I suddenly felt drawn to walk out into the waves. Me, the person fearful of more than calf deep water. These were waves  breaking onshore with strength that ate up the sand and a height of about 3 feet. 

For a moment, it seemed I was drawn toward the water, and the possibility of oblivion. There was no value judgement attached to this desire. It only seemed like a good idea, to allow myself to be engulfed by the water, embraced by it, as it were. I didn't give any thought to the water temperature, or what anyone would think. For the time span during which I felt mesmerized enough to do this, I had no other thought. 

It was only scary in retrospect. When I "came to myself" and realized how comforted I was by this thought, I suddenly became frightened. Frightened by how desperately I had to force myself to think about the idea with logic and with the idea of consequence. Even then, it was a struggle to let go of what was an appealing, thoroughly comforting idea. I prayed for God to help me to get a grip. Then, I cried.

I sat there on the dunes for some time, trying to figure the whys and wherefores of this thought of walking into the embrace of the wild ocean and into oblivion. When I came home, I tried to talk to R about it, but that was not fruitful.

So, today, even though the thought has departed, I must write about it in an attempt to exorcise future thoughts of this type.