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Heading for Autumn
Posted by AliceRitaK
2nd Sep 2018

So usually this time of year is tricky for me. The reduction in sunlight, shorter days and increased rainfall all contribute to a dip in mood. I am convinced we were designed to hibernate although science may not back that theory.

This year promises to be no different as my mood is already proving difficult for me to manage. I would so love to sleep for most of the day and night if I had the choice. I know from experience that this is a road I cannot travel. So I need to equip myself with tools and strategies I have picked up during my long depression journey. There is a part of me that is resistant and I think not this crap again. I tell myself that if I tried harder, were a different person I could get the better of this but it's not the reality of the illness I have.

I have been living in the North of England for two years now following my divorce. At first I kicked against it but the move has been positive. One of the mood enhancing tricks I use is to write an alphabetical gratitude list. Somehow when things are written they seem more real. it helps me get some perspective.

I allow myself a certain time in which to attempt to feel the rubbish feelings or cry, although crying is difficult for me. I am often stuck. Tears are a release when they come. I know some with depression cry all the time and I used to but it's been a long while since I've been able to. For me now it's a grey, heavy plateau. So I allow myself that time.

I have a dog so I make sure I walk and hug him and play with him daily even if I don't want to. He is just lovely.

I am lucky in that my children love and want to spend time with me. I try to do for them what I cannot do for myself, fake it to make it, seem happier than I am if even for the short time I am with them. I have a grandson now too so seeing my son with hm and holding him is a positive. I'm good at being a mum and loving them, even if I don't always love myself. I'm getting better at that too.

I practice yoga although recently I have had two simultaneous physical injuries and a small op to contend with and recovering from these has left me tired and my energies depleted. I need to remind myself I am over 60 and no longer the spritely 30 year old who ran about with my kids. Gosh where did that time go. Seeing my grandson reminds me of all that. But it also reminds me of a bad marriage to a man who drank too much and who was generally unavailable so that's painful. Painful because the two people I love most in the world were caught in the middle of that flack and I have to take responsibility for some of that because I stayed and felt incapable of working my way out until they were older.

I work for a domestic abuse charity triaging cases so I like to think that I am making amends for the mistakes I mad by offering hope to others trying to find their way out of the psychological maze of abuse. We work on positive relationships and so do I. I'm in the perfect place for what I need.

I journal on the good days as well as the bad and have that by my bed. I can see the progress I have made and also recognise the distorted thinking of times gone by. I forgive myself and my ex for that. We did our own imperfect best. I'm now divorced so I have peace.

I am also going to search for my lightbox. I haven't been able to find it since I moved and if I can't I'll have to invest in another.

The last thing is this. Sharing recovery is a positive. I should go to meetings but that's a step too far at the moment. I can share here in the hope that someone can benefit from it. Together we can maybe do what we could not do alone. I'm luckier than most.

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