I just put a couple of posts to Facebooks, and since someone sent me a message thanking me for them, I thought it would be an idea to expand on them here…
I can see now a disparity between the aim and the final target of meditating, or taking pills, or using anything else outside of yourself in the fight against depression, anxiety and panic attacks. To hit the final target of being without them, using measures outside of yourself, requires an acceptance of something being wrong. It is accepting that you are weak, ill, needy, crying for help, being a baby. I see now that maybe the real route out is to grow a pair. You must start out by telling yourself no, nothing wrong with me. I am damned fine! It is to look at a malady that is simply in the mind and tell it to fuck off.
It’s about the internal or external sense of control (as I have been reading). External and you think your problems come from outside you, and think they require something external to fix them. Internal, and you believe that it is you that has the power over your problems, not something or someone extraneous. Internal and you work at it, external and you cry for someone to fix you.
I will, however, continue with my 8 week mindfulness course because maybe it, as well as some other recent events, has helped me to gain this clarity. Maybe for others it takes the pills to lift them far enough out of the pit that they can start fighting for themselves. But in the end the battle is their own, and internal.
My changed attitude to depression, anxiety and panic attacks stems from a lot of sources. I started out by accepting that it was chemical imbalances in the brain and tried to correct that with pills. I didn’t like the side effects of the pills and tried meditation. I then discovered that meditation has been proven to be as effective as the pills which, in essence, proves it is NOT about chemical imbalances. My reading of various self-help books has brought home to me that your thoughts are no more you than the turd you put out of your body each day. You can control and alter your mind using methods similar to those you use to change your body. You exercise it, you stop the unhelpful stuff, you emphasize the positive and you stop letting your mind butt fuck you.
The sources I mentioned above in order… The meditations started with Headspace, led on to various apps I downloaded to my Ipad and a free one from Paul McKenna, this last led me on to his various self-help books along with their hypnotic meditation CDs. By this time I had heard of mindfulness and bought a book on that containing an eight-week course. A hypnotherapist I went to see put me onto the ‘Thrive’ program by Rob Kelly – a book you work through doing various exercises, some of which produce painful revelations.
In Thrive I learned that it is not even about your past. It is about the you now: unhelpful thinking styles leading to catastrophising, hypervigilance, low self-esteem and other crap. I started by blaming my problems on the death of my wife. Yes, this put me on that road, but it was me that kept walking. I have also blamed pressures of a new relationship, inability to assimilate a different culture, stopping smoking, drinking, also stopping drinking … but do you see the pattern: all external shit. If you have a problem with the way you think then it is the way you think that you must change. It’s difficult, but it is not rocket science.
It has to be corrected at its roots. And this brings me back round to the start of this post. You have to do it yourself. You don’t say ‘I’m depressed’ and wait for pills, you say ‘I am allowing myself to have depression today, but I will stop it’. Like I said, at the roots of the very way you think. ‘I’m depressed’ are the words of a victim.
And that too is a point. I now believe one has to decide, firmly and finally: fuck off, I am not going to be this person any more. No more being weak, no more whimpering and telling myself I’m not well. It can all get the fucking hell out of my head. In the end getting angry helps, too.
Stop being a victim.