A Good Year

I suppose like everyone else, I gave a little thought to 2014 and what kind of year it’s been for me. Well it’s been pretty good to be honest.

I haven’t had a bout of depression for 14 months. And mentally I feel better and stronger than I have done in quite a while. I’m still on anti-depressants but the dosage is very small. And it’s been working very well for me. So I’m lucky. Very lucky.

I’m amazed at how many times I still say that to myself. And always when I least expect it. Like when I’m doing some menial thing like peeling potatoes or putting away the laundry. I’ll suddenly hear myself humming happily and realise again that my mind is at peace. The volume has turned itself down, and there’s no deafening static anymore.

In October last I waited for, and expected the depression to return. Because October of the previous year had welcomed in the most overwhelmingly terrifying bout of depression I’ve ever had. So I was nervous that the shorter days and long dark nights, might signal a severe dip in my mood. But this hasn’t been the case. It’s hard to even write the words in case I tempt fate!

Meditation has been a big factor in my wellness too. I can’t say enough good things about it. I was advised by my counsellor to do it for a long time before I actually gave it a go. It was only on the advice of my Psychiatrist last year, who told me in no uncertain terms I had no choice but to do it. That I knew he meant business. And whereas I’d always been sceptical of meditation. For once I shut up and didn’t question him. (I’d say he feels like diving under his desk when he sees me coming, the poor man barely gets a word in with me sometimes.) And thank God I didn’t, because it has helped me no end.

He explained that the mind is like a saucepan of water. When we’re stressed it starts to simmer. And if we do nothing to reduce the simmering, our minds can boil over. Meditation calms down the mind. And that simple example convinced me. I downloaded some 20 minute meditation apps onto my phone, put on the earphones and listened to one when I woke up. And again before I went to sleep. (I normally nodded off before it finished!) I did this religiously for about two months, until in conjunction with the medication I started to feel better. Now I do it a couple of times a week if I’m feeling a bit stressed.

My Psychiatrist also explained that if I meditated regularly, there would come a time when I could literally click my mind into that relaxed place. And that is exactly what happened. If I’m in a stressful situation, I just take some deep breaths, and it’s like I’m back on that sandy beach, with turquoise water and Palm trees. And who wouldn’t want that 😀☀️🌴🌴🌴🐬

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