|I'm sure I've got the details and facts wrong........(Cross Posted)
||[Apr. 10th, 2005|02:05 am]
I took cultural anthropology in my second year in college, and while I like it a lot, it (among most of my other classes at that point) was one that I couldn't get myself to do any reading for, except right before the tests;I never talked in sections and usually failed the quizzes we took. Somehow, I ended up with the highest test score every time, which was a complete mystery to both me and my TA.|
The story that sticks out most in my mind, is one of this culture/tribe in Asia; the basic elements are all my mind has retained at this point, though I am sure at some point I'll try and find the deatils again.
In this tribe, sometimes people would get "sick". The type of sickness was never described, but what the people decided was that someone's soul had gone away from the body. Perhaps it went to a limbo or afterlife type place, I can't remember. But what the tribe would do, was build a bridge from straw, to symbolize gold, linking the area the person was in with that of everyone else. They would stand at one end and give gifts and food and say "Come back" or something, to coax the sould coming back to the person.
When the soul did return, there was a big celebration.
I remember thinking then, that maybe that was the way they dealt with depression and other mental disorders. I mean, these illnesses have obviously been around for hundreds of years, but really, they are modern illnesses, and seem to be ones that we understand, but not very well. And our way of dealing with depression may be more or may be less effective than say this tribe.
Because when you are depressed, it really does feel like your soul is gone. And it would be nice, if you could just coax it back with food or gold bridges.
And because when you are depressed, having a social network, another source of strength and support is SO important. I think it's probably imperative.......like it or not, we are social creatures, and depend upon each other for meaning, life, well-being. I think there are very few people who could remain alone and be healthy, psychologically or physically.
I got thinking about this,in part because I didn't feel like doing anything tonight, even though a group of us had planned a potluck. And I really like these people. And I was feeling flat and agitated and upset and empty and all these things that I didn't know what to do with........and so even though I'd just been cutting, just been sitting there thinking, "the sharper the blade, the less you really feel it going in" while the words "Bleed just to know you're alive" ran through my head........I made myself pretend I was fine and happy and went with Mai and Albert.
I had a good time. I'm tired. I drank too much probably, but spaced it out. I'm still trying to get rid of the emptiness that's sitting there. And all those negative thoughts and feelings that are there, that I feel will always be there no matter what I do or try........but it all would have been that much worse, had I not made myself go