After two days of being down and hanging over the pit of despair, I have found the strength to lift myself once more from its darkness. Being busy once again did the job – the need to focus on a goal in order to make the brain do what I want it to do. Rather than sit around, I got out and about with making sure I had everything needed for Tuesday’s show in Newark, I had a meeting with a social media guru, had lunch with some good friends, picked up some essential equipment for the show, went to a club on Saturday night and met some lovely people, did a 40 minute radio appearance on Newark Radio and then went to another club to see a new band “Cliff and the Shadz”.
A very busy two days – no alcohol and no drugs (apart from the prescribed ones) and I broke the cycle; the spiral down to depression that I used to experience stopped and I was able to lift myself back up and out. I now know there will be good days and bad days but, unlike in the past, the good days now outweigh the bad significantly.
I have also found that while keeping busy and aiming for a goal helps, it is necessary to manage the effort applied and ensure I don’t get too intense in the chasing of the goal. By getting too intense, the stress levels rise and everything starts to become a chore rather than a step to the desired solution. I end up getting frustrated and angry and then the threat of falling into depression increases. So a relatively slow and controlled approach is needed to ensure a steady forward momentum rather than charging ‘up the guts with all guns blazing”.
A long discussion with another friend about the need to fix things all the time also helped me realise another trait I had. Whenever someone comes to me with a problem it is my immediate desire to fix the problem – I could never just be a sounding board and listen to someone vent their frustration – I need to fix the problem. Sometimes that ‘fixing’ was to just throw everything out that was part of the problem and start again, other times it was to physically do something to make things better. It’s my nature I am afraid and very difficult to get away from. I shall now have to try to work on that.
So what was this challenging and demanding goal I set for the weekend to get away from the pit of despair? It had to be measurable, achievable, timely, realistic and specific – it was “Re-engage with at least two old friends and meet some new people”.
Two old friends were met with that included lunch with one and a relatively quiet drink with another. And two new people were met – one of whom was a breast cancer survivor – my problems really aren’t that bad when put in perspective of what others have been through…
Onwards and upwards…