Just when you think you have your life as sorted as it can be, and the moves down to a fine art and can catch any curveball which comes your way, things shift. As some of you know, the last eighteen months for me has passed in an almost continuous downward spiral of depression and increased inability to cope with even the smallest daily mediocrities, let alone any of life’s challenges.
I’ve taken the drugs, stronger and stronger. Some days I’ve pretended all is well and managed to function for an hour or two in public, but other times I have taken refuge in a dark room for days at a time. I am regularly ill, have two to three day migraines, and stamina and general health are very poor. By now the toll isn’t just on myself, but also on the Hub and Youngest. The Health Service is so stretched that whatever assistance there may once have been is needed more by others, if it was ever available.
I’ve read books on Depression, on fighting the demons, on winning the Battle for one’s mind. I’ve done workbooks on Cognitive Therapy, of developing oneself , and read more and more books and advice- journaling, walking, distractions. It’s reached the stage when I am often too fearful to go outside my own front door: like Chicken Licken I fear the sky may really fall on me.
So last week I bought a book which I heard of some time ago but never read: Richard Mabey’s ‘Nature Cure’. All I knew about the book was that it is his account of getting to the other side of a truly horrendous season of depression. It is more than that. Firstly, it was a nervous breakdown he had as well as depression, and secondly, it is so much more than a journey through his mind. It is an interesting, thought-provoking look at where he fits in the natural order, but even that doesn’t do justice to it.
But it has got me thinking, (as if I don’t already do enough of that!), but this is linear thinking (I think), rather than corkscrewish cogitation, and a plan or project is slowly forming in my poor darkly abused mind:
What if (I love ‘what if’ scenarios!)…what if I could live as close to the Land as possible for one whole year?
What if I could be a part of the circadian rhythm of the seasons instead of floating by them, ignoring them, or complaining bitterly about inconveniences the season brings?
What if I was able to connect with what is happening in the countryside around me rather than living on the periphery but apart from it?
What if I took a step backwards and delved into the roots, customs, ways and means of living in this place, just this one place, for a year?
I can’t ditch the ‘mod cons’, as my Granny would call them, and I have to consider the fact that the Hub is working, and Youngest in her penultimate year of school so will have a lot of studying. Also it would appear that Middlest (and her dog) is moving home as well as returning to College (she says her party days must be regulated???) from September onwards, so my Experiment will, of necessity, be tempered by reality- not a bad thing perhaps.