In response to my post last Friday, I received some humbling words, via comments and messages. The intention of the post was to increase awareness and I took a step further by writing a version for distribution at work.
That the messages raised awareness is enough for me.
I reflected that I could not say the word depression for several weeks and now accept that its part of me, sufficiently enough to be able write about it. Writing about it seems to help, so if you’ll forgive the indulgence, I may post regular ramblings.
I realised for different reasons the power of words last week. While the words of the post raised awareness which was positive , I accidentally shocked someone in a recent conversation, by referring to something from one of my lowest periods. The words I used reflected my acceptance and how that became hugely positive, but without that context it was probably alarming to hear.
Writing a daily journal of thoughts and emotions, alongside reading both non fiction and fiction, has played a huge part in the management of the illness. I have read more in the last few months than in last few years, which is a sad fact in itself.
My reading has included writings that could help me understand depression. There are hundreds of books and articles all claiming to be the one that will help, often repeating or contradicting each other. You soon learn what is useful and what is pseudo-science, especially with guidance from health professionals. I was fortunate that my therapist trained under Professor Paul Gilbert, a leading neuroscientist and author of compassionate mindfulness therapy. It takes a while to fully understand the meaning of the word compassion, especially in context of yourself.
An author and researcher whose work I would recommend is Brene Brown. Her TED talks are funny and insightful, especially around the meanings of empathy, sympathy, guilt and shame. The emotional meanings of those words, along with compassion, isn’t always how we use them in everyday conversation.
There are also thousands of quotes around, from various religious leaders to scientists, sports people to book extracts. But my favourite quote came from a children’s book, one that has many great quotes within it. It was my children’s favourite book when they were younger.
Part of my recovery has been to stop and see the wonder in the ordinary. That is beautifully summed up in the words of this quote for me. To be more like Pooh Bear can, perhaps , help us see that life is more special than we may think.
Have a lovely weekend.
“When you wake up in the morning Pooh” said Piglet “What’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast ?” said Pooh. “What do you say Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what is going to happen exciting today” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
“It’s the same thing” he said.