Depression – My mental manure grew a flower garden!
As I sit here in the sunshine of my garden, laptop on the table thinking how lucky I am to be able to work in such a way and watching a bumble bee working so very diligently on one of the flowers next to me I was wondering what to write about. It is not that I am out of ideas – quite the reverse I have so many that they all end up getting stuck in a sort of mental ‘bottle neck traffic jam’ in my brain! Then, as ever, as soon as I ask for some help from my guides I am directed to write about how to raise our vibrations: How to keep the ‘black dog’ depression from consuming us.
In this world of such uncertainty and cruelness it is easy to become despondent, depressed and distressed by what is going on in our neighbourhoods, our countries and our world. We are exposed to horrors on a daily basis through television, radio, our computers and smart phones where we are drip fed news and peoples opinions (not all of them loving and kind) on an almost minute by minute time frame. Each atrocity we read about; whether that be human to human, human to animal or human to the planet, depending on the personality type we are, we can take every bit of information and hold onto it wondering what has become of the human race or we become desensitised to it and suddenly nothing shocks us anymore. The net result of both of these is the same; we lower our vibrations (our connection with the divine) and when this happens we start to lose touch with the good that is all around.
I and many people just like me have experienced both extremes of this scale. I have been to my own personal hell when I had a mental breakdown and lost the ability to see anything good or find the joy in anything. I thought the world and my family would be better off without me and I without them – I was broken. I even lost my faith for a period of time and this is something that is very important in my life. I think it is fair to say that was the point in my life when my vibration was as an all time low and I was in a black pit of despair and loneliness. Here is the thing; to everyone else I had everything and I did, but I had lost my connection with it. I had beautiful children, a successful husband enough money to provide for all the essentials in life and a few ‘frilly bits’ as well, I had a successful dog behaviour practice and so on and so on. What had I to have a breakdown about! I now look back and see that I am here to learn and so life threw me some curve balls that hit me smack on in the face! I can now say that years later my journey back has made me a better person, a better Reiki practitioner, mother, friend – human being. Yes I still have lessons left to learn, I guess the day that I have learned all that I am here to will be the day that I will depart from this lifetime in the physical world.
Here’s the upside: when you are in pieces on the floor one piece at a time you can put yourself together again, it might take time. I love the Japanese concept that nothing is ever truly broken and they have developed an art called Kintsugi which repairs smashed pottery using seams of lacquer dusted with gold so that the pot becomes more beautiful after it is broken. We can do this with ourselves and all those experiences can be learnt from and make us stronger, more compassionate, beautiful human beings.
“You can’t discover light by analysing the dark.” Dr Wayne Dyer
The road back for me was a long and bumpy one that began with medication and CBT which included mindfulness techniques then as the road became a little smoother and my ‘mental manure’ started to clear I began treating myself with Reiki and sought out a practitioner who could treat me. I read a huge amount of self help books the one that I have read over and over again is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and every time I read it I find something new between it’s pages.
Of course life still throws the odd curve ball, but instead of allowing it to smack me in the face and knock me out I catch it and deal with it. My connection to spirit is now clearer and stronger than it has ever been when I need to I ask for help and listen to the whispers of guidance that come my way. I still read the news and see the atrocities in the world, but I also see the good that there is in my fellow human beings, the joy that I feel when I am with animals, the wonder of watching that bee hard at work, the sunshine on my back as I type this and the gentle song of the breeze through the trees.
My mental manure grew a flower garden!
Our brains can take us over without us noticing until it is too late. We often have repetitive negative thoughts about ourselves, other people and life situations and little by little this begins to bring us down (lowering our vibration). The good thing is if we start to pay attention to those thoughts and ask ourselves:
- Is this relevant to this moment in time?
- How does this serve me?
If you can’t get a positive answer to those questions you can then bring yourself back to the now. Sometimes in the beginning it is helpful to talk through the task that you are doing either out loud or in your head “I am washing the dishes, the water is warm, the plate is blue, I can see rainbow colours in the suds and so on…..” This will stop the negative auto script running in your brain, then your vibration will slowly begin to rise and you won’t feel as exhausted, despondent and there will be space in your head to see the beauty of life and squash the depression monster!
If you feel that you are broken the first thing to do is get help. Talk to a friend or family member that you think may understand – not one who will tell you to cheer up or pull yourself together, this does not help at all! Talk to a doctor, take some first baby steps to recovery. CBT can be very helpful for depression and Reiki can help support you as part of a recovery programme. Often you will take 3 steps forward and 2.5 back, but you will have still gained half a step!
Remember broken pots can be put back together with gold! Don’t suffer in silence. There is a road back from depression.
A beautifully written piece Lesley. So thought provoking. And filled with beautiful images. Thank you for sharing such a personal journey.
Thank you Abby.
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