Turning depression around

A “thank you” from the author, not the authority

on 28/09/2013

This blog has been up and running for just over a week, and it’s been read close to 700 times so far.  I have no idea what that means in general blog terms, but thank you to everyone who’s looked at it and shared it with others.  My audience reaches from Trinidad and Tobago to Bangladesh, from New Zealand to South Africa, via Argentina, Japan, the US and Canada, throughout Europe and home to the UK.  All that’s done is reinforce my belief that depression continues to be a global issue, and that no matter how alone any one of us feels, someone somewhere – whether in the same post code or in different time zone – is feeling exactly the same.

I’m not claiming to be the authority on depression; each of us is the authority on our own unique experience.  I’m the author of this blog, and of the novels that are still “works in progress”.

I remember at the start of my treatment finding it hard to believe that I could have any control over how any day would unravel.  At the point, I felt that my moods dictated my life, and there was nothing I could to change that.  It was through writing that I learned to be the author of my moods, and therefore also of my day.  The earlier in the day I started to put pen to paper, the more of the day belonged to me, and not to depression.

I took authority over my life through an activity that I enjoy and that gives me a sense of worth, whether I’m writing for myself or here, in the hope of helping someone else, even just one person.  If there’s something that you really enjoy, even if you’re not especially good at it, I’d encourage you to indulge yourself, early and often.  No, it’s not easy to find pleasure in anything when we’re at the beck and call of the black dog, but we can bring it to heel, because we know what makes us tick better than it does.  Dance with your two left feet because you love it.  Play that guitar you’ve neglected for too long, and don’t worry about it being slightly out of tune.  Start life-drawing, even if the model looks like a stick-figure on your page.  Whatever you do, do it without criticising your own efforts.

You can take the authority over your life out of depression’s clutches.  I didn’t believe that I could either.  Be the author of your day.


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