Recently, I starting thinking about my usual metaphor for Depression and Anxiety – that they were like demons or monsters that have to be fought. And then it hit me: maybe that is giving them too much power. What if I flipped the script and changed how I think of them?
What if I were my own independent state – the State of Me – and Depression and Anxiety were small cells of terrorist fighters? The DAT (depression-anxiety terrorists) keep targeting the State of Me because, in spite of being forced to share territory with DAT, the State of Me refuses to bow to their unproductive, unhealthy and tyrannical ways of life.
Each depression or anxiety episode experienced is another attack on the State of Me. Over the years, the State has become well-versed in the disorganized, guerilla-style tactics used by DAT, allowing the State to build solid armed forces to defend itself.
Most of the time, there is some kind of warning about an impending DAT attack. Usually, scuttlebutt overheard by the various spies (nervous and other systems in the body), working to protect the State of Me. Neighboring countries (friends and family) may share intelligence that alerts the State to an upcoming attack. And sometimes DAT’s attacks are so poorly executed that law enforcement’s reports read like scripts for sit-coms and cartoons.
On rare occasions, however, there is no warning. Like all countries, the State can occasionally become complacent, drop its guard and be made vulnerable to DAT. And sometimes DAT just gets lucky. Whatever the cause, it is those times when the State of Me is taken by surprise. Casualties (the minutes of my life that are lost to tears, fear, self-pity and lifelessness) are counted in horrifying numbers, all of which are buried under piles of debris created by the explosives of suppressed pain, insecurity, ruminating, worries and self-doubt. Sometimes, even The State’s infrastructure is made temporarily dysfunctional in the aftermath of such a DAT attack.
But the State of Me is not some small and vulnerable village, ripe for pillaging and plundering by rogue bands of brigands. No, the State of Me is a world class municipality, bustling with intellectual thought and progressive outlooks. The State’s armed forces are well-armed, well-organized and well-trained. The State’s government – a benevolent dictatorship – has survived decades of unsuccessful attempts to bring it down. Such a long history of fighting to defend itself has served only to strengthen the State’s resolve, making it more resilient and even more hard-working. The State of Me may be taken down for a few days – even a few weeks at times. But the State of Me ALWAYS bounces back, wasting no time in rebuilding and restructuring itself. Soon, the DAT attacks are distant memories as the State of Me is once again a thriving, pleasant and productive part of the world.