W hilst browsing Twitter I read a post that suggested the weather that we are having now, heaps of rain, blistering hot days is being Bipolar1. I thought that was a great expression and it made me smile. But, jokes aside, depression, bipolar disorder and all feelings of unhappiness are not normal.

 

We suffer sometimes quietly, sometimes with a verbal passion but most of the time we just get on with it. But, because we are so used to these feelings, we believe it is the normal way of life!

This also got me thinking about my life. I’m not bipolar in the true sense of the condition but I have met several people who are, and I am grateful that I can, to some degree control my moments of “sadness”2.

My mother suffered depression3 most of her life I was involved in many of her depressed moments. I was about to enter nursing school when Mum became very ill. I took six months off to care for my two sisters who were 18 months and 4 years old… I was 17.

Mum knew she was feeling sad, but didn’t know how bad. Nor did she care. None of us knew how bad she was, not myself, my father or my older brother. My mother was in the throes of a nervous breakdown!4 (I think they have a new word for this now). However, it all leads back to the same road, where the physical, emotional, physiological and all the other stuff a human body can not cope with, switches itself into a state of emotional flatlining5 protecting us from further abuse.

Aren’t our bodies fantastic? They love us so much, or maybe they know when to let go and by default put us into a state of enforced lethargic sleepiness.

Being sad, being depressed or just feeling bloody awful is the way our bodies are telling us something isn’t right in our world. ln Gabor Maté’s brilliant book, ‘When the body says No’,  Maté describes that emotional stress;

“is a major cause of physical illness, from cancer to autoimmune conditions and many other chronic diseases. The brain and body systems that process emotions are intimately connected with the hormonal apparatus, the nervous system, and in particular the immune system.”6

When tiredness, fatigue, sadness, irritability or forgetfulness are a part of your life, check out some nature, walk by the sea, in a wood, go to a garden opening event. Eat food that works with the body, not against it. Rest. Allow your body to show you the way back to health and into this life on Mother Earth which suits us well.

Be Mindful in everything you do, think, breath or experience… AND…don’t feel guilty when you need to escape and recharge. This is a necessary part of your life to maintain optimum clarity in everything you do.

I thank my Mum for her illness and I am grateful that through this interaction with depression, I am able to understand how this underhand and constructive force can control the way we see life, and how we live it.

I am also grateful to have been given the opportunity to experience being in the throes of depression and not caring if I live or die. To come out of the dark tunnel and see the world as it is, is magic in itself.

 

 

  1. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Bipolar-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/are-you-living-with-low-level-sadness/
  3. http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness
  4. http://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/nervous-breakdown#overview1
  5. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anhedonia
  6. https://drgabormate.com/book/when-the-body-says-no/

 

Header photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

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