My blog is not unique in using imagery of light and darkness to describe depression. The picture you see here is what I now see out of my window. I have actually tried to lighten it but it really is that dark – my beloved hay field has been ploughed.

Those of you will know that spending contemplative time looking out of this window has been part of a successful process in getting over my breakdown. I would complete set tasks and then my reward would be a coffee and a sit down whilst I would look out of my window. Seems so simple, doesn’t it? I suppose it was a kind of Mindfulness – appreciating the world around me. I loved how the changing daylight would affect the colour of the hay stubble. I loved seeing various birds and mammals. Read about it here:

https://wp.me/p86hNl-aq

So, there was a momentary feeling of angst when I came home from work to see the ploughed field. It’s strange how such a simple thing has completely changed the quality of light: for a moment, the darkness of that earth felt oppressive and I certainly didn’t and don’t want to sit and look at it any more.

But, as only someone who has now recovered from depression can, I tried to look for the positive:

This is symbolic perhaps of where I am now. The earth has been turned over, allowing life to start again, allowing a new crop to grow. Is this not what I have been aiming for all this time? I’ve got to see my recovery as a do-over – a chance to change certain areas of my life for the better.

And… This has got me thinking about my love life or, more accurately, lack of it.

I have felt for some time now that I can’t be bothered with the stress of it all… the rejection, the wondering, the over thinking. I also believed strongly that it would be unfair to start a potential relationship when I was mentally unfit – those are my problems to deal with. And I suppose that my low self-esteem recognises that I’m not what I might once have been. Three pregnancies and weight issues will do that to you. 😊

But I don’t want to be alone forever and I don’t know how long forever will be. One depression-thought that hasn’t left me but that is in a much healthier place, is my own mortality.

You have got to live for each day, enjoy your life whilst you can. ClichĂ©s but so true! Somewhere there may be someone who will love me, all of me… wobbly bits and all. I can’t close my mind off to that possibility out of fear, just as I can’t close my mind off to things that I can’t influence. Sometimes life throws change at you whether you want it or not. Like the ploughed field, I choose to see the positive in this.

Immersion 

Memories are such a powerful thing. I would expect, perhaps even without realising it, it is one of the main reasons we write a blog. We are recording our thoughts and opinions at specific moments in our life – memories  that otherwise could disappear into history never to be thought of again. Just think about how many minutes you have lived today and how many of them you will never remember again. 

There are certain memories that I love to immerse myself in. By that, I don’t just mean thinking about them as I’m hoovering or washing dishes or something. I’m talking about focusing clearly on every part of the memory that I can. I suppose in some way it is a form of meditation or relaxation. 

First of all, I need to be lying down somewhere comfortable and quiet. And then, I think very carefully about where it began. It’s almost like flicking through a photo album: my mind searches through to find the true beginning. 

Then it starts. I play the memory in my head, crafting each moment and sound, each feeling and sensation. Sometimes my mind might wander a little as I process something that occurs to me or perhaps I’ll realise that I have missed something. At that point, I may make myself go back to the beginning. 

At the end, I pause to relish in the happiness of the memory. That is key, of course, they must be happy memories. Occasionally I fall asleep but that’s OK – it’s what my body needs at that point. (Plus, I often don’t realise that’s what has happened until I wake up!) 

I find this truly relaxing. I come out of the immersion feeling calmer and happier. I know that with mindfulness at the forefront, we should not dwell on the past. But for me, somehow, immersing myself in a time that made me happy makes me appreciate what I have had and what I may have again someday. 

Hopefully, this will help someone else out there. â˜ș