I would love to sit around talking about my book all day but if I did then this blog wouldn’t last very long. In truth this blog is as much about me, life and ‘stuff’ as it is of that amazing magical realm… oh nearly blogged about my book again!
A big part of everyone’s life, not just mine, although it became a major part of my life, is mental health and more importantly, mental wellbeing. Our wellbeing is governed by our ability to cope with personal and outside occurrences that are thrown at us every day we live our lives. Our ability to ‘bounce back’. Our resilience.
My ability to cope became a problem that lead to poor mental health with clinical depression and a cut off from everything and nearly everyone.
One of the important things that happened to get me back on track came from a story I heard being told on a TV program. It was on an old obscure Satellite channel which no longer exists and I was flicking through the hundreds of channels in a blank stare, barely clinging onto the universe...
It was being explained that a woman had a brain tumour and that her cancer was terminal. The woman, whose name either wasn’t said or I just can’t remember, so for the sake of this re-telling I’ll call her Grace. Anyway Grace was adamant that she didn’t want any treatment. She just wanted to live out the rest of her life the way she wanted to. Grace then started doing things like visiting places she always wanted to visit, trying things she always wanted to try. After a check-up a month or two later the tumour had shrunk. She continued to live her life to the full and after a further check-up her tumour was gone. The doctors were amazed and couldn’t understand how this could be. Grace explained that she had just been living her life with great enjoyment and fun and in fact if it wasn’t for the cancer, she wouldn’t have had such a good life because that was the reason she did everything she had done, to fit it in before she died. Ironically, her cancer had made her life better.
Now this story might not be true or might have been exaggerated for TV but it doesn’t matter because there is a real point to this. And a light bulb moment for me at a time of dark bleakness.
If we suffer from something, anything, then we ‘suffer’ it. So, I thought, how about if we suffer from something we ‘use’ it instead. Turn it around to our advantage.
For years I ‘suffered’ with tinnitus. A constant loud tone running through my ears into my head. I couldn’t sleep because at night it seemed even louder. No escape, no treatment and no sleep. So after hearing Grace’s story I decided not to ‘suffer’ my tinnitus anymore! I would use it to my advantage. So that night instead of thinking about bashing my head against the wall, I decided to listen to that invasive, constant high pitch tone. I concentrated on it. In doing so, this actually blocked out all the mind clutter and rubbish from the day etc and the next thing I know it was morning and I had had a great night sleep. So now that’s what I do and I sleep really well. It’s the basis for meditation really.
So my depression? I decided to use it. Use it to my advantage. Use it as experience. I went on mental health courses, even retrained as a counsellor and I’ve met some great, amazing people because of it.
Of course it all sounds easy but it wasn’t and my days seemed too long and desperate at times but in short, the moral of this blog post is why ‘suffer’ when you can ‘use’ it and take on the world! Well almost, but I think you get what I’m saying.