When You Feel Pulled to the Dark Side
By Chandra Lynn
I remember a time when I was having a particularly difficult time processing a breakup and I went to see a therapist. I went in telling him all the things I did to make the relationship work and all the things I was going to do to heal myself. And in the way that therapists do, he looked at me and asked “what would happen if you just stopped and did nothing?” The prospect of not doing anything didn’t feel comfortable at all and the question actually infuriated me. I was looking for answers and solutions, not to not do anything!
Decades later, I became friends with my yoga teacher and she said she noticed I was fidgety in the mediation part of the class and I acknowledged that it wasn’t my favorite part. I suppose I’m a “doer”. Well I’ve come to the conclusion now that I don’t like how it feels when I just sit with myself. My thoughts aren’t always empowering and my emotions can turn dark like a storm that blows in unexpectedly. The dark side has always had a magnetic pull that I’ve tried to resist.
Today, someone asked if its possible that I’ve been silently or unknowingly battling depression all of my life. Looking back, I suppose its possible. And its possible that I am still reckoning with it, but its been such a familiar state that I don’t know the difference. My life has been a quest for tools and strategies to manage this state as positively as possible. I have not mastered it entirely, but if you can relate, I have some very powerful tools to share with you that can certainly help without prescription drugs. Boy do I wish I could just pop a pill every day and feel like this is the most amazing life ever lived, but I’m resistant to doing that because of the chemical dependency and side effects.
Through Glow Living, I will describe all the things that have worked for me and that I’ve learned from others about emotional mastery, managing thoughts, self-love, and being the best person you can be in relationships with others. Join me on this journey by following my posts and sharing your experiences.
As that yoga teacher, I have seen you evolve into a healthier, happier and more powerful version of yourself from “going deep.”
Yes, thank you for witnessing this growth and supporting me in so many ways, Kristen. I have learned a lot through yoga and coach training. I am not afraid of going deep and I’m not afraid of my dark side because I have learned to let it show me the areas I need to grow, accept and/or change. Your support means the world to me, and has been a source of my strength.
Thank you for your vulnerability, Chandra, in sharing your story about your dark side. I take meds for OCD and ADHD. Some time ago my doctor suggested I change the OCD from Prozac to Zoloft. So he wrote me a prescription for the new drug, but I didn’t fill it right away. My naturopath doctor wanted to try some supplements to see if they would help me. So I started with the supplements right away. After some time I started having really dark thoughts and wasn’t doing well. My dear wife Barbara handed me a deck of special cards called “Mixed Emotions” that had all kinds of emotions pictured and named on them. I went through the deck and sorted the cards into what I was feeling and not feeling. The result was a really dark and dangerous set of emotions that alarmed me. I checked the calendar and discovered that it was exactly 30 days since I stopped taking the Prozac, and the half-life of Prozac is 30 days. So I immediately took one more Prozac to get my mood back over the top, ditched the supplements, and started with my Zoloft the very next day.
But it made me wonder if my life was really a drug-induced euphoria, and that my good moods and “the new me” were actually an illusion. I didn’t dwell long on those thoughts, because I’ve learned that my prescribed medications are there to level the playing field–that my moods are my responsibility, and I have to play to win even though I may have been dealt a lousy poker hand.
I’ve also learned that I am the least-qualified person to determine what drugs I’m supposed to take and how often to take them, or not. People like me that stop taking their medications are often seen stumbling around downtown talking to lamp posts and carrying bags full of bags.
These meds aren’t miracle cures, they just give me the extra 10 seconds I need to make a better judgment call before I do something really stupid.
They DO make my life better, and I’m grateful for them.
Thanks for listening!
George, thank you for sharing your story. I too am very grateful for the ability to use medication for my child who can become deeply depressed at times. It is not a crutch.. Some people have chemical imbalances and medications are Lifesavers. Yes we also need to do the inner work- yoga and meditation help me -but we have to be able to be strong and healthy enough to do that work.
It is a deeply individual choice. No judgment should be made on people who choose this path. I’m glad you found what works for you.
Everyone has unique individual needs and we are so fortunate to have different choices for support. Thank you for sharing!!!