Sunday, 14 February 2010

Noel Coward says it best.

1 comment:

  1. From The Lady:

    Ah yes - I'm glad you have mentioned what you are afraid to lose in overcoming depression and anxiety. I discovered this very important key in my own journey.

    Exploring what you stand to lose can help you understand why you keep returning to the same point and not moving forward.

    You have to TRUELY want to let go of the depression and the benefits it perversely brings you. There's a twisted logic, and sometimes we hold onto feelings of anxiety and depression because we are afraid of losing the 'gifts' (which turn out to be pandora's boxes) they offer us - be it an excuse to stay in our comfort areas, a reason why attempted achievements fail, a familiar blanket to snuggle up to when a situation is challenging.

    I discovered that I was afraid to let go of my anxiety and depression because the thought of not having them in my life was deeply unsettling - I would be losing a huge part of my identity. I clung to my familiar friends. Who would I be without them? Ordinary and dull? How would I react to situations? What excuse could I give myself if depression and anxiety were no longer my fall-back? Anxiety was a trigger response, a familiar and thus reassuring(!) reaction to an uncomfortable situation. I could handle any situation by focusing on my emotional state instead of what was in front of me.

    Therein lay the problem. I should have been focusing on the SITUATION instead of seeing it as a terrifying monster.

    Once I fronted up to these apparent monster situations, I discovered that it was a lot easier to deal with them than to deal with the anxiety of avoiding them. These monsters were only made so by my turning away from them and imagining the worst. They grew ahundredfold in size behind my back, but when I eventually learnt to turn around and face them, I discovered that they were just snarling puppies that that could be tickled and brought into line. Not taking myself too seriously certainly helped.

    Some of the keys to my recovery were:
    >HONESTY about what I was really afraid of, at the bottom of the deep dark hole I avoided looking into for so long.
    >COURAGE to face my challenges head on instead of running away and hiding in my emotions.
    >FAITH that life and my emotions are not static and that this moment in time would not last forever - I would overcome and the future would be different.
    >BEAUTY - still seeing the magic in the world and other people.
    >DETERMINATION to overcome, to overcome, to overcome.

    I only began to succeed in my journey when I truely understood that what I stood to lose by holding onto my depression and anxiety was by far outweighed by what I stood to gain in letting go.

    I was no longer willing to allow my off-piste thinking and extreme emotions to dictate my path. I was no longer willing to live my life in fear and misery.

    That decision gave me the determination to work extremely hard to challenge my thinking, to find new ways of dealing with life and to resist my comfort blankets.

    I will leave you with a quote which was important to me during this time:

    "Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult - once we truly understand and accept it - then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."
    From 'The Road Less Travelled' by M. Scott Peck