So, you’ve opened this blog post and found a rather poor photograph and half a page of solid, black nothingness. There is a point to this, and it’s about finding the light at the end of a long, black tunnel. Allow me to explain.
I was in my home city of York, stuck in traffic and feeling sorry for myself. I’d just had the latest of three disappointments in as many weeks and was wondering if I could pick myself up enough to be a cheery presence at the leaving do I was on my way to.
Pondering these rather gloomy, negative thoughts and staring straight ahead at the back of a car I’d been looking at for nearly half an hour, I suddenly realised I was beneath an arch – Micklegate Bar – and there was literally light at the end of the tunnel. The unexciting image you can see above is that light.
I scrambled for my phone in an attempt to take a photo before the traffic began to move. I must have lurched as I took the photo, and found I’d taken a blurred, wonky photo of a ‘keep left’ sign. I tried again, and the traffic lights obligingly stayed red, as you can see from the resulting image.
The view you’ve just been looking at inspired me. I know it doesn’t look very inspiring, but to me it was a revelation and it changed my mood completely. Continue Reading »
Who are you? No, I am not asking about your name, age, occupation or other obvious facts. I am asking about the secret ‘My self-esteem sticker book’ you started a long time ago (or, to be precise, it was started for you).
It might reside in the ‘attic’ of your brain and rarely come out or it might be so ‘cherished’ that you turn to its favourite pages quite often and are even show it to others.
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You have been depressed for so long that you are sick and tired of being depressed. You want your life back! You desire to feel happy, confident, successful, valued, connected, interested and interesting. ‘If only I can break the cycle of this depression and set myself free to LIVE the rest of my life!’
The truth is: it’s hard to break free from depression. It’s almost impossible to talk yourself out of it (Would be nice to hear from people who succeeded this way!) It’s also unlikely that a person, who has been crippled by depression, would find strength, discipline and motivation to do and act differently from one particular moment forward.
Why is that?
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Gwyneth Lewis in her book ‘Sunbathing in the rain’, which describes her experience of depression, writes ”Depression itself can’t harm you, only what you do about it can”.
Way too often we choose behaviours to harm and hurt ourselves when we feel depressed.
Here are a few examples how you might be hurting yourself:
- Not sleeping enough.
- Locking yourself indoors and being inactive.
- Avoiding stimulation, excitement, adventures and experiences.
- Suppressing and/or repressing your emotions.
- Allowing your moods to be in charge.
- Letting negative thoughts run freely in your mind. Continue Reading »