1. a device in the narrative of a motion picture, novel, etc., by which an event or scene taking place before the present time in the narrative is inserted into the chronological structure of the work. (Dictionary reference.com)
1. geology Also called: fault plane the surface of a fault fracture along which the rocks have been displaced
2. a potentially disruptive division or area of contention (Collins English Dictionary)
I make no claim to being a medical or psychological specialist. I am simply a person who has gone through years of depression and has found something in my life that is helping me climb the slope toward the light of living life with more awareness and deeper joy. It is a part, not the whole of my healing journey.
I recently read that people like me who have made it through the suicidal portions of depression and are still alive might have something to offer those struggling with this decision. Having been on that road myself and having lost others to suicide, there are some things that need to be written. This and its longer related story is one of them.
Images from the past affect the way we perceive ourselves and others, as well as the way we interact with the world around us. I once attended a creative workshop where we learned about building new understandings by linking things as families. When the word fault line came to mind while looking for a word for an F words for the A-Z writing challenge I felt a resonance between this word and my recovery.
I don’t even know what finally placed this image in my mind but as I began researching what a fault line was, it was like the story of how the heart began to be understood when someone realized that it was in the family of pumps. In the imagery of earthquakes and the movement of the earth I found the language that helps me share some of my journey toward wholeness. It also shows me a way to be more intentional about a tool I stumbled upon in the last 10 years of my 50 years climb out of the dark cavern of severe depression. It gave me a way to articulate the ways I had coped at different stages in my life and the lessons that had helped me build a resilience to choose life.
For the purpose of brevity, the first of the two types of memories are those that our mind holds on to as whole experiences. I call these the flashback memories as they contain distinct remembered personally owned details to help us draw understandings for our present experiences.
The other type I call the fault line memories as they are remembered more as brief images — something like a self- portrait that are framed by some area of blankness. This creates the odd sense of the part of the story that is remembered being disconnected from yourself, a third person event.
How we choose to deal with these memories have important consequences on our mental and emotional health. They can affect our relationships, our careers, our family life and even our faith if we don’t do the work of unpacking what we need to learn from the memories and letting go of the trauma they hold.
If this journey through flashbacks and fault lines can help one more person make the decision to keep going, it is worth having written it. I am moving toward the light. I can see it and feel it more as each day progresses. It has been a long journey but I am coming home to my life.
If you want to read the longer piece, I am attaching it at: