Hercules and Strife – Strife Increases with Turmoil

I’ve been in a terrible state recently. I can summarise this as:

  • suicidal (which I needed to visit A&E for)
  • trauma (arising)
  • dissassociation
  • catatonic episodes
  • derealisation / depersonalisation
  • panic attacks
  • sudden angry outbursts

Anyway, while leaving the house I randomly picked up a book that I thought might soothe me. I’m interested in storytelling as a way to feel less alone with a human traits (Carl Jung also seemed to favour this approach). The book was a collection of Aesop’s Fables.

While my friend was driving, I opened up a page at random. The story that I opened to was entitled Hercules and Strife. Here it is:

Hercules and Cerberus

Hercules and Strife

Hercules, once journeying along a narrow roadway, came across a strange-looking animal that reared its head and threatened him. Undaunted, the hero gave him a few lusty blows with his club, and thought to have gone on his way. The monster however, much to the astonishment of Hercules, was now three times as big as it was before, and of a still more threatening aspect. He thereupon redoubled his blows and laid about him fast and furiously; but the harder and quicker the strokes of the club, the bigger and more frightful grew the monster, which now completely filled up the road. Pallas then appeared upon the scene.

Stop, Hercules

said she,

Cease your blows. The monster’s name is Strife. Let it alone, and it will soon become as little as it was at first.

Moral of the story: Strife increases with turmoil

How many times have we trashed about trying to fix a problem, that will pass if we let it be. Of course some problems need fast and pragmatic action, however some problems increase as we try to fix them. These problems might be anxieties over something that hasn’t happened, or they might be that we get angry at something, and make the situation ten times worse.

I got angry the other day a friend short-changed me. I was struggling already, however I ended up smashing £200 worth of phones (my mobile and landline handset). This made me feel far worse and ended up with me feeling suicidal, as I was already close to the edge, and this pushed me over. Of course there’s then the anger at feeling so foolish at making our situation worse.

Hopefully I can learn to follow Pallas’ advice and “cease my blows” at a situation that will pass.

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