Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Habits of Depression
Suffering from depression and anxiety for a large chunk of my life means that I have some very well-worn Mind Paths that my feet are quite comfortable walking. Really, these paths were custom made for my feet; they fit just right.
Overcoming depression and anxiety is about overcoming the habit of walking on those paths when even just a wee bit of a bad mood strikes.
As soon as my brain detects what is a normal dip in mood for most people, it switches on some connections that have been strengthened over time. It lights the way to those old Mind Paths.
It is cutting these connections -- obliterating them -- and allowing those Paths to become overgrown that is this life's work for me.
I have fought long and hard and I have, for the most part, defeated this ugly, smelly, gargantuan Monster who wants nothing more than to eat me and spit me out and start all over again.
Finding my essence as a dancer and living from that essence has given me the Winged Feet I needed to escape that Monster's clutches and fly free, off the path.
But alas, that Old Path still exists. I have not flown free long enough yet for my body and mind to completely forget where they are located.
Yesterday morning, I awoke from a night of bad dreams. Not the sort of nightmares that I used to have but dreams filled with enough fear and anxiety to leave a taste in my mouth even after a good tooth brushing.
I can't link you to any particular study but there is a preponderance of evidence that bad dreams create a bad day. Our brains aren't that great at differentiating between real life and our imaginations so our bodies end up thinking that, yes, we were running from bad guys and yes, we were hiding in dark and scary places.
I awoke with this mood festering in my body. The sky was gray and flat. I scowled at the weather.
The mood grew.
I tried to do some exercise but the sort that is purely "exercise" and that bores me.
The mood grew.
Finally, Marcy sat me down for a good talk, and I realized that my Depression is a habit that my mind has not quite gotten over.
I have to be more vigilant, more aware, more Awake than ever.
My life is finally sparkling and shiny and new; there is no way that I will allow those Monsters to lure me back to those bad habits.
Creating new habits is an important part of getting rid of the old.
Around 3, Marcy and I started working together on my YogaDance homework. I was sweating and dancing and focused. We worked for two and a half hours.
And I was new.
Those Monsters hate happy; they hate fulfilled; they hate Engaged.
Monsters die in the light. And my essence? It just happens to be made of the stuff.
(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009)