OK…….I think we can all agree that we have times of happiness and times of neutrality and times of sadness…..agreed ? This is something that is common to all human beings, not just people who have mental health challenges.
With this thought in mind, I realise that the above does not mean that we all suffer from depression. Depression is a medically recognised condition, that can often occur without reason, and I honestly believe we all have the potential for attack by darkness.
Depression holds no captives, it devours the very essence of life and sucks the living daylights out of a person. If you are a sufferer, you will know exactly what I mean without doubt, and this is no melodrama, take my word on it.
If however, you have never experienced this life draining force that pulls from deep in your core, to the depths of despair with relentless force, then you may wonder what on earth I’m talking about.
Whilst writing, once again in an airport I find myself surrounded by idiots obsessed with sharing there inane thoughts with the whole world, without amplification !!!
GOD, where the hell do these people come from????
Anyway back to the question of, “Where Now ?”
I ask the question, as I usually do, more of myself than of anyone who may read this, but I do realise that this may resonate with some folks. So in asking the question, I feel a responsibility to endeavour a response.
So, let’s say, you have been to hell and back, bore the scars of and are still reeling in the pain of depression…….and now realise that what you are feeling may be a life long companion that visits “too regularly”…….what do “we” do now ?
On a practicable level, there’s a whole load of stuff that you can try that may lessen the “visitations” or the severity of the lingering effects. On this subject, and on this alone, I can talk with 30 years of experience, as a frequently tormented soul and as someone who has studied the backside out of the subject. OVER MANY YEARS, not for short periods, I took extreme measures, like daily exercise (2-3 hours everyday for in excess of 10 years), taking no alcohol (for in excess of 3 years), eating a “clean” diet, and really focused on no additives and food types that are well documented to be high in natural anti-depressants.
Admitted myself twice to a private hospital, for intensive treatment, of a variety of legal drugs under clinical conditions and the mind twisting that these drugs can cause, fell just short of ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) and actually being sectioned. Undergone the endless list of talking therapies, and the desperation of feeling WAY beyond redemption or any hope whatsoever.
In absolute honesty and candour, I really don’t know how I have survived into the age that I am now. God alone knows the extremes that I have been to to choreograph an early death. Yet, somehow I sit and write this message to you all today, and thus I ask myself “what now?”……”where now?”
I have been exceptionally fortunate to be able to immerse myself into extremely desperate communities around the world in an effort to shock myself out of self pity, and see that my situation, by comparison, is pathetic. BUT, all of a sudden the magic carpet is pulled from beneath my feet and I lay face down and drowning in the dark murky pool of despair. And, so that I am clear, I am of the honest opinion that the sufferance of depression IN FACT is not pathetic at all.
I’ve discovered (some might say “been blessed with”) the ability to be able to express myself through poetry and music, and still here I am asking “what now?”.
You see, with all these experiences, I still sink into oppressive darkness……and will do for the rest of my life, and this will never change.
I have good days and bad days, I have times of manic writing and creativity, times when I think I may have written something of average quality and most days when I think it’s all just crap.
But there’s this kind of deep seated “anchor”, I know not how else to describe it. It stops me sinking too low that I “drown” and it keeps my feet on the ground too…..and there’s this “groundedness” of being able to reflect on my tormented past, and reluctantly recognising that I survived. Don’t misread this as being complacent. I am far from that, and I know my life could end at any moment, of my own volition, my illness, or out of the circumstances and dangerous situations which I consciously decide to engage in, for I refuse to be “bullied or frightened” and for my soul to be tethered.
If I think of my last blog, I talk of new projects, yet perhaps the fact that I am writing this blog less than 72 hours after the last one, is quite illustrative of the way an organised energetic, creative person can “fall off the edge of a cliff” emotionally.
So again “where now?”.
The answer for us all is different, and the tough truth is that only you can decide what is right FOR YOU……but starting with a list of things you want to do might not be a bad idea to begin with.
Stress and worry, are two of the main protagonists of Depression. These situations often occur in the workplace. A friend of mine, has recently been suffering with anxiety over work, and has made the conscious decision, that all he can do is his best, and all the other “stuff” just has to wait. It’s an obvious statement, but we often have to get to a point where “we can take no more” to be able to make this a principal in our consciousness and approach to life.
So, “where now?”
Well maybe the most succinct answer is…..try to recognise your limits, make a list, and most of all make time for rest and relaxation.
With love peace and hope