Anyone who has suffered with depression and/or anxiety knows how difficult it is to face the world. Since starting my annual break back in February I have been quite happy to remain indoors quilting, sewing and even organising my office in preference to venturing outdoors.
It’s a good job therefore that I have plenty of previous experience in dealing with these issues and know myself well enough to kick my own ass into gear. Challenging my negative thoughts I set myself some goals to try and recover some normality;
I arranged to visit Will at University so he could drive me to IKEA for a mosey round the aisles then treat me to lunch. This was my agreed Birthday present carried forward from February and which I had been putting off.
I agreed to go out with the girls for a pasta night-and thoroughly enjoyed myself!
I arranged to go to the local Farm Shop to meet a friend for lunch-this was a big step and it had to be with someone who understands why I am not actively in touch for months but remains supportive and non-judgemental.
I started to join in the Jasper/Feri walks-taking him to the fields for a good run and play in the muddy puddles and found that there is something incredibly uplifting watching a dog enjoy himself so much with total unbounded joy and
Helping Will with distributing and collecting questionnaires in the town for his University dissertation. This involved talking to several strangers about his work and the flooding which affects our town regularly. I found it energising and interesting and it took the attention away from me and my thoughts to thinking about other problems and solutions.
All in all, my objectives were to become less focussed on remaining in my “craft-cave” and to be more interactive. It worked a treat and starting the process with people I trust led to me being more comfortable venturing outside those boundaries.
So over the last couple of weeks I have been busy out and about. A welcome change but, although it’s nice to go out, it’s nicer to come home.
I’ve had a strange couple of days. Not at all unpleasant, and in fact better than I anticipated and therein lies the clue to the first lesson learned. I should really say lesson reinforced rather than learned as nothing that I have experienced over the past two days is anything new but it has been an opportunity to bring certain things to the forefront of my thinking and with a little self-awareness realise that old habits die-hard.
Lesson 1-The negative vicious circle of depression
Like many others, negative thinking is a real threat to my well-being and general outlook on life. Most of the time I manage to control those demon thoughts and they rebound immediately from my conscious the moment they fly in. A skill I have learned to execute perfectly over the years. This week however, with a new lap-top scheduled at work, I let all those fears and dreaded predictions of disaster take hold so that I was not looking forward to this morning one bit. My mind was racing with thoughts about the loss of data, scrambling of documents, eradication of my contacts, and having to spend hours on the phone to our in-house Helpline to retrieve it all. I have little patience with IT equipment and gadgets and my philosophy is that if it comes with a manual, it’s too complicated. I want to get-and-go and from listening to others with their new laptops, that wasn’t going to happen. I don’t know whether my subconscious was also working overtime but I was awake and up at 04.00am this morning preparing for battle.
Needless to say, after all this energy and effort spent in worrying about something I had no control over it all went rather well and took much less time than anticipated. I still have all my contacts intact, no email derail, and even Facebook is better! (Ssshhhh!)
So next time you are tempted to look on the black side of everything, see the worst in yourself or view the future as bleak, don’t. Challenge those thoughts and put an end to those thinking errors.