Mentality: Psyche, Slumps and the Perils of Hope

Hesiod was wrong. When Pandora opened the box, it wasn’t just hope that escaped with all the evils of the world, there was also psyche.

Psyche is what drives you, what makes you push yourself but when it evaporates, there is a slump.

A wonderful example of onomatopoeia, a slump is exactly as described: a period that drags you down from the heady heights you’d managed to achieve when the psyche levels had dragged you skywards. But a slump can continue downwards, in a spiraling trajectory, continuing further and further to the point where psyche levels seem like they will never raise you back, and certainly not to the point you once were.

For while psyche can raise you to levels you never thought possible, a slump delve you to the very depths, rendering you useless and pondering whether you thought it would ever end.

There is always hope, though, that it will end. In many ways, hope and psyche are very much alike and one can easily lead to another: hope can regain the psyche, psyche can lead to hope of yet higher highs. They are the only ways out of a slump.

Like the waves of the sea, they take it in turns to inflict their damage on you; either mental or physical. Too much psyche or too much hope can drive the slump still further but without them, there is no way back, while too much psyche can lead to overindulgence and far too often does. That feeling of invincibility suddenly stops when a sudden realisation of mortality rears it’s head – a close cousin of our now familiar slump.

Sometimes psyche and hope must be dealt with from within – a personal challenge with yourself to rouse yourself from your troubles and regain some former glory. Sometimes, though, it takes an outsider; someone else to come and remind you of the greatness you have already shown and the greatness you have yet to achieve. Truth be told, it is a combination of both; the visitor merely a catalyst to the fight against your own demons.

I am now awaiting my catalyst. I can only hope that when the psyche returns, i have not delved too deep.

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