So, I’m still on the depression theme but trying to make headway.
I signed up to the HeadSpace app again some months ago after a long break and quickly started the Depression Pack – that was March, I’m on session 9 (of 30) four months later which averages at about 1 and three quarter meditation sessions a month…or something like that… oops!
In that time I received an email from HeadSpace (https://www.headspace.com/login)in which it was said that the Depression Pack will be newly called Sadness because of the negative connotations of the word Depression.
Since March’s Blues I had a reprieve and a welcome development of positivity and resilience to depression but I have found myself again, in the last few weeks, unwittingly back in the depths of the valley, with hunger, sadness and negativity as my companions. Creeping grief and sadness undealt with and hunger unsatiated, has led to increasing feelings of panic, fear, indecision and at worst a private madness.
Happily it has abated in the last few days, a bit at least, enough that is, to come up for air and the relief is immense. This coincided with a meeting with a cognative therapist in which she resorted to doing a breathing exercise with me to shut up the noise and in which boiling sad tears rose to my eyes and expelled from my body releasing (in valuable company; escorted and facilitated through my pain), something toxic and lonely. The relief also coincided with starting up meditation again- albeit lying on my back like a hungry and emaciated beached whale and not really alert-backed Buddha style. Randomly it also coincided with taking a probiotic (which I’ve had the packet of for months so probably inactive, but, just thought I’d mention it).
This morning and with a certain joy, I discovered that Tara Brach has a new podcast on healing Depression with Meditation and not only that, she discussed the relatives of depression; sadness and grief unchecked, unrecognised and unallowed and she also discussed anti depressants- an often contentious subject for those teetering on the precipice of the deep valley of tears and fearing forever lost, happier and easier pastures.
This woman, Tara Brach, is a gifted connector to people. She spoke to my inner sadness, grief, fear and depression and was unafraid to call Depression by its name. Part of her charm and skill is her open and clarified unveiling of the fearsome shadows and her ability to recognise them (the shadows) frankly and bring them squirming from wherever they cantanker to the bright light of consciousness.
Lying flat, tired, sad and quite breathless on a bed, I lay and listened to her confront depression with her audience and with me. I felt comforted and cared for and essentially, heard. Check it out: https://www.tarabrach.com/healing-depression-meditation-part-1/
So I did that, then I did session number nine of Headspace on depression although it’s been renamed sadness because I suppose lots of positive thinking hippie happies don’t like being put in the same box as depressed heavy bastards who drag them down… Is that it? I don’t know….
Anyway, look, I’ve nothing really to say massively; my chest is still a little heavy and I am still afraid; I have lots of tough decsions to make which I simply can’t because I am frozen with a sort of grief, and the energy of sadness and depression is a toughie to shake off- I am putting my faith in Tara for now!
I found afterwards, as I waited at a bus stop with my daughter, a sudden need to be in tree pose (much to her horror). A sort of resistance to the honking traffic and my inner turmoil. Sadly but cutely, given she’s eleven, my daughter gave me an embarrassed shove and pushed me off balance but for a moment I found my liberation in the face of rushing traffic. And a smile from a face in a car of young people driving past as an addled mother attempted equilibrium at a hot and dusty bus stop made me happy and ambitious to take the peace of the tree pose out of the yoga class and into the difficult moments of life.
My mantra has become: “I am well and I am healing”. And I look as much as possible into the Heart of me to break away the layers of lies I may have told myself and find some Truth…. But still the sense of pervasive intrusion and squirming discomfort of a vibrant and alive anxiety is there and yet to be exorcised – dare I say it, and the mission on which I am on. Today as I recovered from mediation and tree pose, it felt a little like I could see the head of the splinter, I am just struggling to grasp it and pull it out. That may take a little more time.
So if you should see a random woman wobbling in a busy street, arms outreaching, finding stability in the confusion of this life, say hi!
And in conclusion I would highly recommend tree pose or whatever your favourite pose is; or any outburst of singing or dance or whatever nescesary to express or vent or just breathe with the inexplicability of this life we are traipsing on along. If you do suffer from depression and/or low moods, cherish the moments of rebellion to the normal and walk against the powerful torrent and flow of inner criticism and perceived external pressures.