‘It’s like trying to find a Needle in a Haystack’
One of my mum’s old sayings from my childhood when referring to looking for something she misplaced. Now this week, I had my first counseling session since June 2019.
Now as a quick mention I’ve lived with depression since November 2000 (20 years this year damn it!) and have had regular counseling since then.
So to manage 7 months without feeling like I need to go unloading my mind, I have to be encouraged by that. Don’t worry I’ll get onto the needle in a haystack bit in a moment.
Anyway during the last 20 years I lost both my mum and dad, my dad died in 2008 and my mum passed away in November 2016. Losing your parents is beyond painful, if you’ve experienced that you’ll know how that feels and my heart goes out to you!.
The toughest aspect of losing my parents was that after I had a bad experience in counseling I stopped visiting them. The ’therapy’ got me blaming my parents for all sorts of things.
I didn’t really speak that much to my dad from 2002 (bad therapy year) to 2008 (the year he passed away). Our relationship was destroyed (you can read more about that here) and I never really got to re-build my relationship with him.
I was numb at his funeral and it’s been like he was erased from my memories.
So why needle in a haystack?
OK so I’ve been dancing with this darkness for 20 years and one thing I’ve learned is that changing the components of depression that can make my day horrible is EASY!
The toughest part is identifying them.
I imagine a field of haystacks, each haystack is a bout of depression, within each haystack is a needle (the cause of the bout) and the only way you can minimize those bouts is to find the needle, i.e identify the cause.
That’s where talking/exercise and good therapy works well for me – it helps to pinpoint the source and bring a good level of acceptance and understanding or at the very least, some respite from the weight of it all.
In my early days I felt beyond crap (don’t wanna live no more stuff!) and because all this energy was operating at a pre-verbal level, I couldn’t find the words to express the pain, confusion and fear.
So…after this weeks session I uncovered and got in touch with the grief of losing my dad and it hurt. Then next day I was back in the darkness for about 6 hours.
All the dark thoughts of not wanting to be here came flooding back but through experience I was able to recognise it for what it was and not get drawn in.
I then, almost like a switch, had an amazing rest of the day – and that’s how quick moods/mind set/ perspectives can shift.
I would often get sucked into a 3-4 week depressive state in the past but I now know that these episodes are short lived IF I stand tall with self awareness and allow myself to feel the pain and let go, release a few tears and then move a bit lighter afterwards.
So when I’m on these dark roads, I know that it’s temporary and that a brighter place exists even if I can’t see it.
I now have ways that help me find that, what worked before might not work the next time so I’m forced to constantly learn….one of the benefits of this journey.
Remember, if you are feeling rough right now, there are ways that will be unique to you that will help you grow through the pain and find a way through to the next stage…you just need (with help perhaps) to find out what works for you.
Wishing you progress and new ideas