5 Methods to Keep the Blues at Bay

If like me you find yourself slipping often into your depression, away from life, wallowing in self-pity.

You need a strategy to keep on in on the ‘game of life’!

It is OK to admit that you need to fight every single day; by following these 5 methods, hopefully I can help you and we’ll leave the black dog to sleep another day.

  • Routine: It is so important that you keep a regular routine. A lot if not most of our pain comes from our inner-child, pain suffered or trauma experienced early on in life. Children need stability, therefore so do we.
  • Stay Active: It is an often repeated method to fight off depression but if you’re like me, going to the gym or general fitness is boring and unnatural. So, I work as a gardener, previously on vineyards, I keep fit and get paid. Maybe you could think of a new career you’d like to try that might achieve this level of activity or a hobby that involves a lot movement?
  • Sleep: I’m not talking about during the night, which, is very important also. Keeping a regular bedtime and wake-up time is proven to be of great benefit. I’m talking more about NAPPING! The Spanish do it, children do it, why can’t we do it to? When you can, an afternoon I find best, I take 90 minutes and find that this one REM cycle gives me renewed energy for the rest of the day.
  • Read non-fiction: Honestly, I can not express this enough, step away from the TV and your smart-phone. There is so much history in our world, stories, myths and legends, millions of people who have came before you, had the same problems, faced the same challenges. “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” – Otto von Bismarck.
  • Give yourself a BREAK, be selfish! Don’t be too hard on yourself, if you feel low, lacking in energy – it is OK to take a step back, rest and put your head down. Retreat from the world. It isn’t giving up it is doing yourself a huge favour and taking a break from the battle. No man or woman, child or beast, can go long without a break. Caring from yourself is not another reason to feel guilty. Take a break from healing.

Some of us get so bogged down in trying to be successful, I say, if what is on your to-do list for today is shower, eat healthy, smile at one person, allow myself to cry, get on with the day, and you achieve even one of these things! Then friend, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL because I know, just how hard it can be on some days to get yourself out of bed, never mind showering too!

Tell me in the comments below what your 5 strategies are for staying afloat or getting through the day in the comments below, or follow definingEden on Twitter for more discussion.

Eden

When the totally normal seems so strange, you know you’ve led a fucked up life.

I feel like I invented that saying, ‘when the totally normal seems so strange, you know you’ve led a fucked up life.’, I could be wrong. Looking back 10 years now, to when I think I came up with it.

I was a mess!

I had gotten myself into a little trouble 2 years before that and consequently disappeared from my family. I came back, bad hygiene, no job, no money, no home, out of shape and cuts on my left arm from self-harm.

The first person I reached out to in my family wasn’t someone I admired, respected, someone that I thought could save me, no. It was my mother.

She didn’t take me in though, instead she asked my step-grandmother, a woman she didn’t really like, and I went to live with her.

I struggled, plagued by self-esteem issues and a complete loss of hope. Eventually I was able to get back in touch with some old school friends and spiraled back down the rabbit hole.

Days of drinking, days of taking ecstasy, speed, anything I could get my hands on.

It was one of my darkest periods, it lasted years.

Then something broke….

At the time I thought for the better, I got out, lived healthy, thought positive, had goals. I was so consumed by this new addiction of self-help and getting clean I didn’t realize what else had broken.

The trust I had in myself, in my decisions and in other people. I worry now about who is making my decisions for me, my depression, my inner child, the people around me or the voice of hope I’m afraid to let go of?

When things go wrong in my life now, which they invariably do – I over-think and question why, how, who!? I blame myself and those around me. I should be able to handle anything that life throws at me. I’ve been to the depths of my own hell and climbed right out. I’ve survived the abuse and neglect from birth.

Am I weakening, losing my mind or am I just seeing a clarity that will destroy parts of my world that are normal? Which is it, right or wrong? Which path to take?

For now I’ll just sit here on the sofa in safety, drink another coffee and smoke another cigarette and hope they aren’t out to harm me….and that I won’t harm myself. If I don’t move, life can’t get at me right?

Eden

Therapy Notes: Creating your own religion, defining yourself.

tree-of-life-512x512

It’s not so crazy, hear me out!

In my last therapy session the Dr and I had a really nice good long chat, the product was about me needing to ‘create’ or define my own religion, not so I can create a cult of followers, although that would be financially beneficial, but came about because of the problems I have in making decisions.

Summary: The indecisiveness came from the not being breast fed thing. I never learned to deal with frustration. The Dr said walking in circles naked in a forest for 24 hours would help me make a decision because the frustration felt in deciding would be less so than the actual ritual/act. Following, or in my case, forming, my own personal religion would guide me in my life, a plan, a decision making process.

That is actually quite a fun process I think, and definitely something I need, helping also with my self-discipline, which I feel is also connected to the indecisiveness. I never had a role-model to guide me and have always just been floating around in life like a balloon caught in a breeze, with the occasional storm sending me far and wide.

BUT HOW!!!???

How mess my mind is I know I need a step by step guide….

Here:

  • So one Internet page I read takes an interest, it talks of the 4 pillars of life – 1: relationships, 2: work and providing, 3: health, 4: spiritual. The metaphor being of that of a table, needing 4 legs to stand straight and strong. I like the idea but it needs tweaking and more to it.
  • A scientific article talks about the 7 pillars of life, in chemistry terms and actually directing to how physical life is created. It would take some time but I think it could be translated and also fits in with my belief in science over contemporary religions and science connecting fluidly to nature. The 7 are – 1: program, 2: improvisation, 3: compartmentalization, 4: energy, 5: regeneration, 6: adaptability, 7: seclusion. PICERAS for short “are the fundamental principles on which a living system is based”
  • This next one is quite Christian, however it can be tweaked and serve quite a good purpose. Again it is 7 pillars, this is a good number, first there are 7 days of the week, plus 7 is the day on which I was born. Anyway, they are – 1: worship, 2: purpose and position, 3: relationships, 4: community/social service, 5: health, 6: prosperity, 7: education.

Leaving at that for now, maybe some quotes on each might help.

  • Worship – “Worship changes the worshipper into the image of the One worshipped”, Jack Hayford.
  • Purpose – “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”, Friedrich Nietzsche & “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference the you have lived and lived well.”, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Relationships – “Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.”, Walter Winchell.
  • Community/Social Service – “Instead of drifting along like a leaf in a river, understand who you are and how you come across to people and what kind of an impact you have on the people around you and the community around you and the world, so that when you go out, you can feel you have made a positive difference.”, Jane Fonda.
  • Health – “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”, Buddha. “Take care of your body. It is the only place you have to live.”, Jim Rohn & “The difference between someone who is in shape, and some who isn’t in shape, is the individual who is in shape works out even when they do not wat to.”, Unknown.
  • Prosperity – “There is only one way to make a great deal of money. Have a business of your own.”, J Paul Getty [or be your own business. Me]. “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”, Thomas Edison & “Never forget: the secret of creating riches for oneself is to create them for others.”, Sir John Templeton.
  • Education – “The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”, Tom Bodett. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”, Nelson Mandela. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”, Benjamin Franklin. “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”, Anthony J. D’Angelo. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”, Aristotle. ***“Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”, Albert Einstein.

*** needs some reflection.

woden1Thoughts…

So I went a little crazy towards the end but there really are thousands upon thousands of quotes on each pillar. Ideally it would be good to maybe list people who I respect, famous people, and narrow down their quotes on each pillar, afterwards then using that to think about what I feel would be important on each pillar and creating my own quote… actually the whole point should be what I believe in about each pillar.

Another thought I had would be listing every person that has come into my life, however briefly, and writing down what I admired about that person. These are of course reflections of myself and qualities I either admire in myself or would like to.

Time however is a huge key here, on the one hand I can’t expect to write my bible in a day, although that would be extremely beneficial, I think that I always want to achieve these things in a day, or a moment, is because I am fearful that once I step away from something I won’t go back to it. Or that it won’t come back to me.

Psychoanalysis would tell me here that this has to do with the abandonment I felt through the emotional loss of my mother at such a young age, and then again felt through the death of grandparents early on and my father leaving. By 12 I had lost a mother, 3 grandfathers, a grandmother and my father.

Maybe patience could be another pillar then, could patience link with trust or could that be linked with nature, worship or even purpose. Relationships could be linked with that too. Relationships doesn’t have to be solely regarded to that of our relationships to others but to that of ourselves.

A point I feel I should highlight as it strikes me is that this bible, this religion, doesn’t have to be the formula of how to be an amazing, perfect, shining example of humanity but can include negatives too, I mean relationships for example. I don’t have to be all serving and all giving, be selfish if that what sits well with me and makes me feel more at peace. Community for example, escape it and be alone, if that is what brings me peace and contentment. This is about me and me alone, to form the basis of my decisions. However wise Ghandi, Buddha, Einstein may or may not have been they had their life and this mine. Live by my rules to get me to my own enlightenment.

As a man with interest in many things I have of course looked into organised religion as a source of healing, many find it beneficial and supportive. I am however myself nor a follower of believer in our worlds major religions but this therapy session struck me, we’re story telling, what influenced us and shaped us, what guides us and how can we stay on the path of a healing and fulfilling life.

What are your thoughts on this as a healing process, on which direction it good take? Leave a comment or message me I’d love to hear any thoughts on the matter.

Eden

Getting to know each other

Sharing is caring

In the spirit of this I’d like to share as we’re still getting to know one another, a little back story.

Born in 1986 the mother was quickly diagnosed with post-natal depression, after rejecting me and seeming dangerous the father, having walked in on her holding a pillow and staring down at me in my cot, he had her sent to hospital, where, she would endure electric-shock treat, or ‘ECT’ (Electroconvulsive Therapy) as it is correctly know.

2 years would go by until the father found the new mother. In this time like any baby I would learn to walk, play, laugh and even talk. My first word, ‘Ding!’, because that is the noise I associate with food, as the father would cradle me in his arm with the free hand opening the microwave, yes the ding of the microwave, and get me my bottle.

The new mother, as with any tale, was indeed a ‘wicked-step-mother’, maybe she wasn’t at first, I don’t recall, but she was in my world until I was 13 and the memories I do have are one of strict authoritarian rule in the household, control over the father and emotional manipulation/abuse over me. With an emotionally distant father, a mother in a lifelong battle with bipolar, or then as it was known, manic depression, it would have been difficult to see how I would turn out as a man, but we’ll come back to that.

The early years in life are the most important, we all know that, like growing a plant, you have to train it to grow right, prune correctly and where necessary, to form the most efficient way for it to grow and gain proper strength.

That isn’t to say I grew weak, but having been incorrectly nurtured, stripped of a mother, of unconditional love, of stability and warmth. My strengths became different to how they should have grown. It creates a different kind of intelligence as you find new ways to find love, which is a lifeline in a young child’s life.

This isn’t the end to the story but the beginning. I’m still finding my way with this blog and will continue to open myself up, it’s easier to know where we’re going if we know where we’ve came from right?

As with all my posts, comments and discussions are welcome, you’ll also find links on my blog to my Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages for which although they are also in the early stages, will be worth following.

Eden

 

Welcome….

Thank you for coming here, I have attempted this before, blogging, I never really got very far. I go through a range of thoughts, questioning why I’m doing it. I wouldn’t say I was a good writer, I’m a good thinker however, so here I’ll put down some thoughts.

I’ve been consistently journaling now for around 3 months. For me this is a great feat. I have tried journaling many times before, as with most things I begin I slowly start giving up on and moving away from after days or a couple of weeks.

That isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy the process, I really do, I see the difference this creates in my mental too – but in all my years I have never been able to rid myself from this child-like mentality of picking something up to play with only to want to play with something else moments later. This has ranged from learning the guitar several times yet only being able to play ‘smoke in the water’ to people; the worst of this is the people part. I know, somewhere, that people are not playthings, meant to be picked up and then thrown away, however it doesn’t stop me from getting bored and moving on. I will of course come back to this at a later point.

I don’t even know who I am writing this first post to, there are no followers, no one knows this place even exists yet…if they ever will. Am I writing for recognition? I guess there is a part of that in there, though I’m not sure how much recognition I will get surrounded by a sea of other blogs but what motivates me is that I just don’t like to work. I enjoy rumination, it isn’t always a bad thing. They say that any work that you are passionate about isn’t then work at all. The only thing I am passionate about, or at least consistently enjoying, is indulging in my depression, my anxiety, my personality disorder.

I love these mornings, where I’ve taken a ‘sick day’ from work yet still get up at 5am like I did today to drink coffee none-stop and chain smoke, still sat in my house pants and tank top. The smell that comes from my arms pits from coffee sweats, a one I wouldn’t want anyone else to smell yet I find it addictive. As addictive as writing has become. I’m trying to write a novel, a story, a metaphor for my own special kind of madness but I get blocked a lot, by life, I’ve managed to carve a groove in society but at the cost of my creativity. I didn’t know before therapy how much I need this creativity, but I do.

I’d love to say that my ‘illness’ came from an isolated event in my life, it would certainly make it easier to heal from, but from birth, events have occurred in almost every possible way to form who I am. Abandonment from a mother, later a father, abused mentally by a carer, and sexually by relative, experienced losses through death, I’ve lost my self in a range of ways, abused drugs, alcohol, I have used people and hurt people – I have lived so many lies that I don’t even know myself anymore. I don’t come here to seek reassurances that ‘everything will be alright’ – I kind have always had this perhaps ignorant, naive way of believing that everything will be alright. In truth I think this comes from the narcissist in me that one day, I will achieve greatness, and all of this pain will have been worth something – I can be honest now and say to you that part of me writing this blog comes from that desire too. If I could make money from writing out my thoughts, sitting in sweaty clothes and chain-smoking at home without having to socialize with the ‘norms’ I would push even you, my beloved follower, out of the way to sign up for it!

So let me bring this long-ass first post to an end. Please feel free to comment on any post, contact me by email. I’ll slowly add to this little world of mine with social media, Facebook or learn about Twitter should that so suit. In the mean-time, if anyone actually stumbles on this so early on and you have ideas for posts, let me know.

Eden