Tag Archives: Gratitude

Conversations With Myself: Exploring Low Mood

ID-10013428If you’re light sensitive like me, then you may find a grey day can really lower your mood

I’ve only been up two hours on this gloomy day, but I felt my mood dip within 30 minutes of wakening.

My Lumie lamp is a blessing on such a day and really helps to keep my mood up. It’s basically a lamp emitting natural light, and is designed as therapy for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I’m attempting to curb the comfort eating that I automatically resort to every day at the moment.

It’s difficult.

I feel bloated and very out of shape at the moment.
I feel all these negative thoughts building up. So I want to have a conversation with myself to see what’s up. I know I try to avoid looking at any problems I’m having.

Conversing With Myself

How are you feeling today Rachel?

Blue and bored and a bit lonely. I don’t like myself very much for all the comfort eating and lack of exercise. I have little will-power or self-discipline.

What is it about eating sugary foods that helps you?

It distracts me from negative thoughts and feelings.

ID-10075308Why distract yourself from them? They are normal and natural.

They feel bad and uncomfortable. I don’t feel able to deal with them. They feel too much to cope with. I feel like a bad person if I have negative feelings and thoughts.

You are not a bad person for having low vibration thoughts and feelings. It is all part of the human experience of growth and learning. It is safe to look at these feelings and really experience them. They might not be as scary as you think.

I feel really ashamed that I can’t control my eating. I worry so much about what other people think of my body shape. I worry about my physical health. I’m so disappointed in myself.

How can you see this in a loving, compassionate way towards yourself?

I developed my eating patterns as a coping mechanism. The depressions I have experienced could have claimed my life on a few occasions. It was natural that I should find any means possible of surviving those dark times. The fact that these patterns have continued is natural if unhealthy. It is my inner child who needs the soothing. She still calls out for love and attention, but I deny her.

Why do you do this do you think?

I don’t feel worthy of expressing my creative side, that my inner child longs to experience.

Why not?

ID-10054876It is whimsical and childish. I am an adult, who should be giving to the world in an acceptable manner. This is not acceptable!!!

Wow! I can’t believe you feel like that! Maybe you could see what it feels like to allow yourself to create?

It feels unsafe. I feel like I’ll be found out and punished.

Wow!

That’s so strong!!! That’s such a strong belief!! I do feel scared to create! I’m quite shocked that I feel that way- or some part of me deep inside does. I was teased as a child, at school, because of my magical stories I wrote about unicorns and pegasus, which would get read aloud in the classroom. But it got to a point where the teacher asked me to try writing about something else next time. But it is these magical worlds that I love to express.

I feel bad when I draw now, or paint.

Why is that do you think?

It makes a mess. I need to have things cleared up or my parents get annoyed.

But it’s normal for a child to make a mess!

It was safer to keep my parent’s happy. I hated being told off. It felt so scary. It felt like they disapproved creativity and steered me towards sciences. Art wasn’t a suitable career choice.

But it is safe for you to create now! You don’t need to tell yourself off just because your parent’s didn’t allow you to be childlike!

I think this will take some working through. But I will try and do some artwork or write some stories. Starting off a little bit at a time.

Gratitude: Creating Your Own SunshineID-10041509

Is there anything you feel thankful for today?

My Lumie light- it’s bringing some sunshine to my day.
My boyfriend, and the fact I get to spend lots of time with him at Christmas.
My new crystals.
The mind body spirit fair I went to at the weekend- I really enjoyed it.
The fact I can have a whole day to myself and not have to be anywhere or do anything (just for 1 day is nice).
All the books I have to read!
The fact I have the opportunity to improve my body condition. Some people don’t have this privilege.

You Are Amazing!Affirmations for today.

I love and approve of myself just as I am.

It is safe for me to be childlike and creative.

It is safe for me to look at and experience my darker feelings.

I am worthy of improving my health.

I enjoy preparing and eating nutritious food.

I am a beautiful person, even if I don’t feel like it!

I am talented, even if I don’t always believe it.

I am worthy of using and developing my talent.

 

Related Posts

Bipolar and Seasonal Affective Disorder

10 Ideas to Distract Depression: Don’t Feed the Monster!

You Are Amazing!

 

 

Depression Before and After Effective Medication.

Quick Intro

Firstly I just want to say a massive thank you to all you wonderful bloggers who offered so much support yesterday after I wrote of feeling depressed again. I’m blown away by how many lovely people are out there! (Funnily enough, those of you who are Bipolar often seem to think the exact opposite!) I think the well-wishing has lifted me a lot as I feel a bit better today. So thank you! I hope I can return the favour!

I’m writing this with the TV on as it is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee today- 60 years as the monarch. I’m not really a royalist (although last year’s Royal Wedding was wonderful), but I do feel I ought to make some sort of effort to find out what’s going on! (I did see the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in our city about 10 years ago, opening our library, and it did surprise me how special it felt, even to someone who’s not usually bothered by these things!)

Depression & Medication

After 10 years of trying out various mood stabilisers, my psychiatrist finally found my wonder-drug, Lamotrigine (Lamictal) about 2-3 years ago.

This is a fairly new addition to the mood stabiliser family, having previously been used for epilepsy (so interesting this connection between anticonvulsant drugs for epilepsy having success in treating Bipolar too). This mood stabiliser is known for success in prevention of depression, but has little effect on mania and hypomania (a good thing if you love your highs!).

Like most medication treatments, it doesn’t completely annihilate the symptoms, as demonstrated by my current mood dip. But I did want to outline the vast improvement I have noticed in my depressive episodes:

Before Lamotrigine: 

– Long depressive episodes, usually lasting months (longest episode was over a year when I was first diagnosed, so before helpful medication had been found).

– Really intense feelings of despair, hopelessness, severe guilt. A real feeling that nothing would ever get better, ever, ever.

– Nothing could lift my mood, even temporarily. Constant, constant, greyness, doom.

– Intense social anxiety about talking to people/answering the phone/door. I would panic if the doorbell or phone rang, and physically hide. Impossible to interact with others.

– Complete withdrawal and retreat from the world.

– Strong suicidal thoughts and impulses to self-harm. Near to acting on them/ did once.

– Strong, extremely uncomfortable agitation and restlessness.

– Very poor concentration, reading impossible.

After Lamotrigine:

– Much, much shorter episodes. My worst episode whilst on this drug was late last year, and lasted 5 weeks, with residual symptoms tapering out over the next week or two.

– The feelings of despair/hopelessness/guilt have been much more fleeting and less intense, don’t get me wrong, they’re still extremely unpleasant, but in no way as debilitating as before.

– My mood lifts much more often with good friends/family/dogs/films/music; not all the way, but I definitely get more relief than I ever did before.

– The social anxiety is much less severe and I am still able to interact with people, still anxious about this, but certainly not as intense and debilitating.

– Able to carry on with activities like choir/spiritual development group. I’m just usually a lot quieter, not my usual bubbly self.

– The suicidal thoughts are still present, but I don’t feel half as likely to act on them. (perhaps this is a bit of experience too, I know these thoughts will go away, I have better coping strategies).

– No agitation or restlessness experienced on this drug as yet. This is fantastic as it was so uncomfortable!

My most severe depressive symptom now seems to be psychomotor retardation/physical and mental slowness. This can sometimes be a blessing in disguise as it makes me rest!! I can certainly cope with this better than the intense, relentless despair and agitation before treatment. I still find reading difficult though 😦

Counting My Blessings 

Blogger Mountain Missy’s post: The Man With No Worries on Friday has reminded me about gratitude and how helpful it can be to “count our blessings” and focus our thoughts on the positive, rather than the negative. So here I go:

I have never expected to be 100% cured. I am currently satisfied with how things are going for me. I have been lucky to have success with Bach Flower Remedies which seem to help ease any residual symptoms- low self esteem/confidence/panic attacks/chronic anxiety/healing from past trauma etc. I feel the swings are better controlled.

I am also lucky in having a very laid-back partner who doesn’t react when my mood swings and doesn’t worry about me too much (unless I’m very depressed). Sometimes having people who over-react to mood swings and worry excessively can really be unhelpful because you then feel guilty for affecting them!

So despite my current mood dip, I am in a far better place than I have been in the past. I know I can challenge the negative thoughts where I couldn’t before, I know it will go away, I don’t feel suicidal and I trust that I can handle this. I’m also not working which is a complete blessing as I know I would be worse off otherwise!

Catherine of Life in Recovery also reminded me yesterday that I have my lovely dog to help lift my mood too! So easy to forget to be grateful for the smiles she can bring to my face.

(Dog below not mine, but very cute!)

Photo Credits: Medication by rutty; Man Under Duvet by David Castello Dominici; Intelligent Dog by Free Digital Photos; Rainbow by zirconicusso