Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Experimental Year Project

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.


Amanda said...

What many people don't understand is that people suffering from serious depression are probably the bravest you'll ever meet. It takes enormous amounts of courage to even get out of bed some days when you're whole mind and body are screaming at you. I admire your sense of humour, your commitment to others and your determination to sort things out in the way that's best for you and your family. Perhaps you should proclaim loud and clear and put up a huge banner to proclaim to your friends and family 'I need this year for ME!'

Ulla said...

Your plan sounds good. Up here we seem to follow the rhythm of the seasons a little more than in countries where the change is not so obvious: We sleep and eat more in the dark months, and tend to live a slower life. If one can accept this, life is a lot easier.

Terri Tiffany said...

It was so good to hear from you! When I started reading, I didn't realize you were battling depression. Honestly, I know how that feels as we have been there with this unemployment status the past four years. The only way through it for us has been a ton of prayer and trying to be near people who care about us. But it is a HUGE battle, and it can overtake you at times. I will be praying you figure out what changes you need in your life to cope.

Soggibottom said...

Everyone has to find their own way of copeing, with what ever it is that they have to cope with. Everyone is so individual, books are great, but how can they really know "you". Chuck the books :-) Get down and do your own thing..... can send you some seeds :-) Take care and most of all, read only the stuff that makes you smile.


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