A Daydream Café
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A Daydream Café

Persephone — Why Maybe It’s Okay To Disappear

“In the pre-classical myth of Persephone as the Queen of the Underworld, her journey into the depths is motivated by her instinctive knowing that it is something she must do. She descends willingly into the underworld, where she performs a ritual of receiving and renewing the dead…[] Persephone shows us the natural inclination to travel into the inner self while trusting our basic instincts.”

Photo by Samuel Couto on Unsplash

I’ve noticed the feeling pulling again. The not wanting to check my phone, not wanting to talk, not wanting to be in meetings.

Wanting to withdraw.

To sink into darkness, into warmth, into quiet. To be alone.

It’s often accompanied by feelings of guilt. I’ve made and lost many friends throughout the years from just. . . slipping away. I don’t want to lose more.

I know this is a common concern and difficulty with ADHDers. We lose our friendships, often because we simply stop communicating/fall out of circles. A phrase I read is that ADHD is a disorder of being consistently inconsistent. Sometimes we are incredibly energetic and involved, and other times very quiet and a wallflower.

But I think there’s more to it, and perhaps a more positive view than we are just inconsistent or too lazy or too forgetful.

With the above passage about Persephone, the author moves on to describe how when women create or want to be in touch with their creative self, we withdraw into ourselves, and only after creating do we emerge again.

I think of this different version of Persephone and her moving into the underworld by choice — doing so because she is following her instinct. Perhaps we move from the physical world into ourselves for a similar reason. We withdraw into our souls/hearts by instinct, knowing we need to refill ourselves. Knowing we need to confront something/create something/nourish ourselves before we can emerge again.

Much of our guilt stems from not being ‘on’ all the time. We take pills and coffee and try different foods and exercises to be energized and engaged for the hours we are supposed to be energized and engaged for.

I think it’s a much more kinder view to remember that we have rhythms of energy. Just like waves, which withdraw before they can crash, just like the seasons, which need to hibernate before they can bloom again. Perhaps ADHD just accentuates this rhythm.

So we engage, withdraw, and then, eventually, emerge again.

author’s note: I did some research and couldn’t find the pre-classical myth that the book mentions, only that Persephone never went by choice but was abducted. I did find newer, revised versions of the myth that mention choice. While I’m disappointed I couldn’t find anything, I think it’s a really beautiful concept.



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