Riding Through the Storm

The tide began to rise in the early hours of the morning, but I had no warning of how bad the damage was going to be.

It started around midday, just after finishing working with my clients. I darned on my workout vest, filled my bottle up,  put my headphones in, and went into a warm-up routine. But only ten lunges were completed before the waves came crashing over me. Instantly I got up and walked away from the workout. Abandoning ship I headed straight for my car. There, I remained still. Frozen. Lost. Confused.

There I stayed for what felt like a millennium. If it hadn’t have been for a dear friend who came to check on me, knowing what was happening, God knows how long it would have taken me to break that spaced out moment.

Somehow I managed to drive home. Though the number of times I drive this route, it was probably auto-pilot. Once I arrived, there was an immense weight that came pilling down on top of me forcing me into the seat below. It was almost like I had been underneath a rock fall. In shock, and dismay for what was going on, I rushed indoors, straight upstairs where things really began to turn for the worst.

Even now, I still cannot make sense was what it hurtling through my mind. But one thing I can say to you is that it is not a pleasant sensation. In fact, it is something you imagine the end of the line is like. No hope. No chances. Just preparing to lose all that you have around you. I lost all sense of drive to anything. Broken, I collapsed on the bed and couldn’t help but close my eyes through exhaustion, and pretend it wasn’t happening again.

It was.

When it strikes there is no ignoring it.

Depression is something to which you can’t always explain fully, or even at all. It really alters your neurological pathways and shrinks the size of your memory capacity. Thinking becomes such an over-bearing task and leaves you lethargic for no other reason than you are thinking too much. You take a step away from the world, in an outer-body experience, having no attachment to the present.

Though, as I have said many times before, and will always continue to say, there is hope in every situation. I have been in this place, more than I care to remember. But each time, over time, I have made it through the storm.

It was only yesterday that I was reading the latest Women’s Health Magazine, which believe it or believe it not, features an article on the fear of feeling unhappy. Lizzie Pook takes you through an intriguing journey through the ‘happiness fascism’ how society has caused us to feel the pressure to seek a ‘state of ecstasy’ in every living moment. The article explains how we are programmed to suppress our sadness and keep up appearances. But that fizzy bottle of pop with come back and explode in your face.

Eric G Wilson Author of ‘Against Happiness’ tells us:

“..if you go through life seeking happiness as the ideal state of being, you will run into two problems: you feel guilt when you fall short of your goal – as you inevitably will – and you try to appear happy when you’re not, so are prone to repress negative feelings.” 

I have been hiding my true feelings for a while now, masking the cracks in my walls against the demons inside my head. Living up to this expectation to be ‘happy go lucky’ and constantly have a positive attitude. Well, let’s be real here, I am never going to be like that. Nor do I really want to be either.

My dear friend who came to check up on me, kindly pointed this out to me, which is echoed in the article “you have to be sad in order to appreciate and recognise happiness”.

So, instead of allowing my ship to sink, I am riding the storm out. We all need to connect with our emotions on a deeper level. We really feel that unwanted pain, sadness, grief, doubt or guilt, for as difficult as it may be. Covering these important emotions up or acting like we are totally fine, is really detrimental to ever feeling real happiness again.

All our emotions play a vital role in our lives.

The fear of danger pushes us to fight on, the extreme, overriding power of sadness makes us want to do something to make us happy. Studies have proven that when we feel low, we are able to think in a more systematic and focused way. I have found from experience for this to be very true, as I am at my most creative, reflective and empathic when I am severely depressed (which is why I decided to write this post).

By allowing this phase of depression to happen, I am able to reassess and start anew. It teaches me to refocus on the necessary things that are needed for me to be truly happy and succeed at what I desire. Though it never gets any easier to bear, it will always make me be even more grateful for the feeling of contentment.

Speak out about what is causing your heartache. Don’t banish your negative thoughts because you believe they will be chastised. We all feel for a reason. Accept and allow them all to come and go, learning something new with each experience.

The storm will pass and a rainbow will appear.



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