Quote: loving your losses

Catherine Brighton in Pendulum, Winter 2007:

“Sigmund Freud’s seminal essay On Melancholia and Mourning published in 1917, discussed the link between loss and depression in such a way as to have an enormous impact on the way we have thought of depression since. It compares mourning, characterised by deep sadness and withdrawal, to clinical depression, where sadness is not felt and is instead replaced by a debilitating attack on the self with pathological symptoms.

… what if it is possible to visualise your losses … to give them a shape, or a colour? What if, as education theory goes, it is possible to give your loss an image, or an imagined sound, or a movement, depending on your preferred learning style?

I am aware that I do not ‘get over things’ like other people. Fearful that as I get older, I will inevitably suffer more loss and my symptoms will accumulation, I need to have a plan of action. […]

What if a way out is to, literally, love your losses? These images I have in my mind, would they lose their potency if I loved them? So much is said about loving yourself. But what if you gave yourself something tangible to love that meant something, that had a story attached, was in your preferred learning style and was there in your inner world whenever you wanted to work on it? […]

What if any knotted, twisted emotion you feel could be personified and cared for until it loses its power? Then perhaps the effects of life events wouldn’t escalate and make the underlying bipolar condition worse over time.”


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