Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war
About a month ago I was forced to accept something which mentally went against the grain
I have suffered from depression for many years but I am one of the lucky ones as I have been though hell and back and am still alive to tell the tale.
This does not mean that I have all the answers, and it certainly does not mean that I am “cured”, but at least I have been able, with the assistance of others around me, to develop a survival and coping strategy that serves me well when the dark days return.
One of the fundamental elements with such a strategy has been to build an inner structural support mechanism which I can always turn to so as to not slip back to far. For say years it has been of great service, but I have recently had to give ground back to the illness and reassess a better way forward over the years to come.
So it is that I have lost a recent battle with my illness, but all is not lost, for, if I am lucky, such a loss may well enable me to deal better with, if not win, the war.
What was the war and what was the battle , well quite simply depression, and how I dealt with it when I found myself all alone. In essence my wife’s work shifts roughly mirrored mine, up until recently, but Monday afternoons and mid evenings have always been a problem, for that is when I find myself alone. I have tried all the normal tricks of keeping myself busy, going out for some fresh air, of hiding under the duvet, but as many a depressive will know, such tricks are of little use when your inner demons or ghosts return.
For may years I have been dealing with this as best as I can, but seeing a recent deterioration in my condition, my wife, through her own volition changed her shift pattern to more resemble mine. The result is that though slightly bruised and battered, such episodes are virtual history, but such a resolution left me with a curious taste on my tongue
Part of me welcomed such a resolution, but another part of me, the much darker part, had very different views.
“Won’t cope can’t cope and failed again,”
that is what my darker side began whispering
” and why go backwards when you fought so hard to make such gains?”
To begin with I had no answer, but then why, as depressives, should we always try and win such battles. Might it not be better to stand back for a moment, and decide which battles can be won.
It’s weird really, such an approach is recommended throughout so many circles in life, but how often in life are us depressives told that:-
- We should go forward one step at a time
- Remember the hare and the tortoise
- Progress is progress, no matter how small a step it might seem
- Never give in to your depression, keep on fighting and you’ll get there in the end
Fine words, and great support from those who mean to help us, but it’s always about going forwards. No-one ever talks about a two way direction, and I never recall someone saying that it is alright to give ground a little so as too better deal with the war in the end.
So it is that I would say this to anyone suffering from depression
- You can’t win all the battles, no matter how hard you try
- Going forward is great, but sometimes a tactical withdrawal is better
- Such a withdrawal does not automatically signify failure and
- Stepping back allows time for reflection, and that gives you the chance to learn
Does such an approach work, no not always, as sometimes the damage may well be so severe as to be beyond your control, but it can work, so why not give it a try? Give yourself a time for a bit of R & R, and allow yourself a bit of T.L.C. Life is tough enough regardles? of your illness, and if you keep on fighting, won’t you be completely knackered by the end
Easter is coming up, and spring is well underway, so why not take a deep breath and try and look at life differently? After all, if you are depressed already, and you may well think your life is lousy, so what have you really got to lose?
In the meantime I’ve included a video which may prove useful, or at least show that you are not suffering alone
I hope you all have a good Easter