(originally posted April 24th 2013 at vulnerablog.com)
It’s such a Divine blessing to be lifted from depression and bathed in total peace and contentment for a while. A wee while maybe. But a wee while non-the-less.
To be neither racing with thoughts, schemes, ideas and having a brain that feels like its spinning on rocket fuel, nor to be dredging the depths of depression and weeping and weeping without relief, feels somewhat ‘wonderful’.
The past two months have been . . . difficult.
But something’s lifted. Maybe not gone forever. Just lifted, for now. And it feels really good.
There are some things that I’ve been up to to help myself get in a balanced, grounded, centred state, i’ll list them below. However, I don’t want to make it sound like its easy to get ‘out’ of depression.
It is not.
In fact, being ‘in’ the depression is the first step to being able to get out of it.
One of the hardest things for me to have had to accept about depression is that I need to allow it, in order to be able to move through it. I have learned, and still continue to learn, that if I fight, resist, push it away, deny it, that it will multiply its power and will double fuck me up.
Trust me, that is not nice.
Instead I have been learning to expand my ultra awareness of where I am at, how I am feeling, how I am responding to my environment, what my energy levels are doing, what kind of thoughts and energies are seeping into my mind, moment to moment to moment.
Practicing Mindfulness basically.
In my most recent climb out of (not away from) depression I have been regrouping my ‘inner tools’ and putting myself back to ‘work’ with a renewed dedication, regularity and humility.
When depression decides to come by for a visit I find no amount of inner or outer work will keep it at bay.
It seems that any attempt I make to seek freedom is actually an attempt to flee my whole self. I am rejecting myself. I want to get anywhere but into the depression. Anywhere but into my own darker wounded self. But the darkness demands my presence. If i resist it will end up with me getting pulled into a tighter, messier, scarier knot. If I surrender and accept, that knot can begin to organically unravel.
This is why I said before that being IN the depression is the first step to being able to get out of it.
It’s seems that depression comes and tries me out, tests how well I am able to embrace and accept my whole self now. It repeatedly shows me that I cannot predict or take for granted the length and depth of its visit. It demands that I get familiar with uncertainty.
I need to surrender into the depression, the fear and the uncertainty more and more deeply, each time, before it will flick the internal switch, and release me from its grip.
Once loosened from its hold, humility and gratitude are key.
I used to come out of a severe depression and zoom off the planet and into space with exhilarated glee!
The intense relief, the utter freedom, the invincibility and fearlessness that would accompany the escape from depression would send me rocketing into exaggerated bliss.
And I’d have the UTTER belief that ‘this is it! Never again! I am DONE with all that negative crap! From now on I am ALWAYS going to feel FUCKING AMAZING’ (and I’d be feeling pretty high let me tell you!)
Mania scares the crap out of me. I don’t trust it. I don’t like it. Its totally ungrounded and way way out there. But I used to absolutely fookin love it though.
Nowadays I really appreciate balance and presence over mania and escape.
Here’s some of the practices I do to allow and maintain balance and peace throughout and between episodes –
Meditation – I practice TM for 20 minutes, twice a day (and yep. Sometimes I totally don’t make it, in which case I just kiss my hand with love)
Visualisation – I don’t crowd, stress or force myself. Instead I choose one area of life that feels most needs my imagination and I spend some time each day, whenever feels right, being within that space. I also write about it, draw it, doodle it, imagine conversations about it, daydream . . .
Gratitude – I write down some things I’m grateful for. If i don’t write then i just think. When I’m centred I can feel ridiculously grateful for the most simplest things. I allow myself to dive into and swim in my own appreciation. It’s lush.
I speak to Arch Angels and I ASK for their help.
I connect with my HEART regularly; putting a hand on my heart and connecting, breathing. Heartmath breathing also. Visualising my heart in any way I can. Imagining it sending out and receiving in love and energy.
I ask intuitive questions over and over again, for example “What will it take for _________ to show up in my life?” “Is it in my highest and greatest good to _________?”
I IMAGINE I am a tree bringing in the energy of the sun from my leaves, through my trunk and down into the earth. And then from the core of the earth, up through my roots and trunk and up out to source again. Great for grounding and belonging.
I doodle, draw, write, read, scribble
I’ve also been writing love letters Some to myself and others to people I don’t know and leaving them about the place. This fills me with a lovely feeling.
I regularly speak lovingly to myself and kiss my hands and stroke my heada lot. I’dhug myself a lot more too if my arms were longer x
I’m going to start singing my own name to myself too. My homeopath told me that one.
And I DANCE around the living room for a wee while.
I’ve been getting into NATUREas much as I can, and once there being as still as poss and losing myself in the moment, over and over again.
I tell myself I love myself when I catch me in the mirror
These are all gentle centering practices, to help me be grounded, present and to maintain equilibrium. There are lots of other things that I also do to help myself when I am struggling in the grips of depression or the temptations of mania, but I’ll share these another time. It has taken me ages, years, to get myself habitually practicing these methods. I get so much relief from doing so, but I still fall on and off.
Patience and gentleness with oneself is so important. I kiss my hand, or touch my heart when I catch myself thinking or energising something that’s not going to bring me any good, instead of berating myself, which is what I always used to do, and still do when depressed.
Reminder to self – depression is OK. Let it BE. Be gentle. Be patient. Be kind to oneself. It always passes x and when the tide turns be WISE and MINDFUL and embrace the present moment fully and with gratitude x and be gentle with oneself when catching oneself falling off the loving mindfulness wagon.