The Depression Avalanche

The thing with finding you are in the middle of a depressive episode is you can’t work out how it happened, again. You are actually surprised, how did it happen without you noticing it? Except that the signs are all there and you ignored them.

Depression is a bit like an avalanche, a massive, big event, and how the hell can you not notice an avalanche?

Avalanche

Except that an avalanche starts with just a snowfall, beautiful and bright. That’s you too right now, feeling that all is well, walking through the world, beautiful and bright. That snowfall is joined by other snowfalls – all is still well, except that the first snowfall is feeling somewhat restricted under the weight of all the other snowfalls.

You are fine, you are coping, doing all the self-care things that you know work for you. Except that you aren’t, you’ve started to skip a few here and there because you feel so much better.

You skip a walk in the park one lunch time and before you know it you aren’t going for a walk anymore. You find yourself rushing in the mornings so you start to skip breakfast and because you don’t have time to make a lunch you end up buying something quickly from a local deli. Under pressure in work to complete tasks, which you are procrastinating about, you end up staying later and later – you haven’t time to cook a nice meal with fresh food when you get in.

You are so very tired but go to bed and can’t sleep. Your mind reminding you of all the mistakes and errors you have made that day.  You eventually drift off and then wake as if you haven’t slept at all, exhausted before the day has even begun, clinging to the bed until the last possible moment – finding that you are constantly in a rush.

You think about calling a friend except you always think that it’s a bad time and they might be busy. You start to ignore calls or emails from them – especially if they are trying to call to meet up for coffee or dinner, because you just don’t fancy going out right now.

Your inner world starts to constrict and then the ruminations begin. The voices that tell you that you are not good enough, that you can’t compete with other people, that they all have their lives together and you must be mad, bad or stupid and therefore of no use to anyone.

Eventually there it is, that one small little snowfall, hardly a few flakes at all really, but that one final flurry is all it can take to bring down a mountain.

One teeny crisis, one additional stressor in work or the home and you start to crumble. You look around and realise that you have collapsed but didn’t notice the danger you were in.  You are smothered by all that snow, desperate, gasping for breath, unable to climb up or get out.

Still in shock … how did that happen?

Paths

“We’re all just walking each other home”, Ram Dass

All of us are on a journey through this life. For some the path is smooth and for some it is very rocky and uneven.  Often we hit cul-de-sacs and stay there for a while.  Sometimes it appears that we have retraced our steps again and again, or are going around in circles.

We are all just walking together, on parallel paths, and those paths can converge and we bump into each other. Sometimes they converge for just a moment, perhaps when we give a brief smile or hello to a stranger. We can have no idea that this might have been such an important event, that they, or we, needed that contact to help each other at just that time.

Continue reading “Paths”

Sculpture and Stone

So I just thought I’d share a little about sculpture and stone and why I like it.

I love stone. It fascinates me. I love to pick them up and feel them turn from cold to hot in my hand. I am in awe of these little stones.  Stones that were once enormous boulders wore down by wind and rain and sea.  Tumbled and tossed around by nature until it is as small as a tiny grain of sand.

Each stone contains millions of years of history in it, the tiniest pebble holds so many memories. I love finding stones like this one, it caught my eye because it was so unusual, two separate stones melded together.

stone 1

Continue reading “Sculpture and Stone”

Exercise – it doesn’t have to be a chore.

We all know exercise is good for us, right. We have been told myriads of times how much benefit it is to us.

It is good for our physical health, keeps us feeling younger as we all get older and we have become much too sedentary in our lifestyles. It is good for our emotional and mental health. Much as you hate to agree with someone who suggests this to you – you do always feel better after you’ve managed to get outside for a walk with the dog or attended a yoga class.

Continue reading “Exercise – it doesn’t have to be a chore.”

Peace

Some time ago I was on a retreat in Glendalough, one of the most beautiful and ancient sites of Ireland.

For some reason during this retreat words were tumbling out of me, I felt an urgency to stop and write them down.  These words were written on the backs of receipts, tissues anything. Eventually I bought a mini notebook and they just kept pouring through me.

I don’t know if you would call them poems but they seem to come in that format, short staccato sentences, not long ideas for writing.  I took them down as best I could and I’ll share them here occasionally.

Continue reading “Peace”

Getting out of the damn house – with depression and social anxiety.

The worst part of dealing with depression and social anxiety, particularly when no-one knows you have it – trying to just get out of the damn house.

You don’t wake up delighted to greet the day and see what it has in store for you. You tend to lie there, eyes closed, putting off the inevitable for as long as possible.

The depression calls to you – ‘stay here, where it is safe, snuggle under this duvet, leave the blinds down and stay in the darkness with me’. It hugs you and holds you.

The thought of leaving the house brings on a feeling of absolute terror. You logically know that there is nothing really to fear out there, you don’t live in a war zone or troubled area.  But your body does not.

Continue reading “Getting out of the damn house – with depression and social anxiety.”