Mind Kind Within!
Each and every morning when l awaken to a new day, whatever the weather, l lie in bed thinking positive thoughts for the first ten minutes. I mentally plan the tasks l wish to perform that day in my head. It’s a ritual l have developed since last October specifically and so far it’s working. It’s purpose is to improve the quality of my mental health.
Last year was at my own concession a really horrible year, if anything could go wrong, it managed to acheieve success with me in 2017.
Here l am, 8 months later and whilst l am not 100% mental healthy, l grade myself each day out of that 100 – and ask how am l? This morning l scaled in at around 65% in comparison to say last week when l was scaling at 85%. Now at the time of writing l am back to around the 80 – 83% Personally and not being negative, l think the best l may be able to ever attain is around 90%. I think my Asperger’s is probably guilty of keeping that remaining 10% in the red.
I would be lying to you all if l was to say that achieving total balance is an easy task to acquire, l do not believe it is possible for anyone. No matter to what anyone else says contrary to that.
2017 started okay’ish, l was of a pretty stable % back in January, l had some stress on board – on the New Years’ Eve of 2016/17 l thought l might lose the faithful companionship of Scrappy who experienced a series of terrible spasm attacks which turned out to be diagnosed as IVDD – Intervertebral disk disease which had it remained would have permanently disabled her ability to walk properly ever again, which could have meant Suze and l would have had matters taken out of our own hands and have her put to sleep, against allowing her to die with dignity and no pain as an old dog.
As a dog owner for many years and as indeed any dog owner wishes for, is that their companions are allowed to die with respect and if possible naturally. Scrappy is my last pack member and as such no different to any other owner l want to have her by my side for as long as possible.
Scrappy turned 14 years of age on the 30th November 2017, which is a good age for a dog of her size. But she is the most remarkable breed l have ever known and had the privilage of having by my side, she is built for resilience, and stamina and determination. Her lustre for life could shame many people, her will power is enormous. She recovered according to the vets at an incredible speed considering her age, and now all this time forwards, the only trace you can see of the IVDD is the occasional scuffle limp on her right back left leg.
She is a great dog and a loving friend.
You can see in this picture another trace of her recovered IVDD, she sits differently to other dogs due to the spinal damage.
But she healed. If the stress from that wasn’t enough, a depression started to creep into my mind from around March 2017, and one l wasn’t able to readily nor shake easily. You will have read rather dramatic events recently where l was mentally that year in comparison to now.
For me stress builds up over time and mostly l can take everyday stresses relatively well, unless of course it starts to deepen into a depression, which is what was occuring, so the tiniest of things, inconsequential things could cause me to blow, and many a time they did.
The Motherload of stress for me arrived in August of that year. Both Suze and l were experiencing horrendous amounts of stress and anxiety and in many ways we WERE both feeling the effects of depression for different reasons.
We don’t live in a stress free world – none of us do, there are now more stresses abound in society than there ever have been before, our world is speeding up and slowly starting to destroy itself and its peoples. We are not designed as human skin and bone vessels to continually take on board daily strains to the magnitude our world expects from us and yet we do, but it costs us, it takes a toll – in order to rob Peter and pay Paul, we must make sacrifices on our integrity, our mental health and who we are just people. We are expected to give, give and give some more and receive very little in return to our giving.
In August of last year my partner and l were stressed beyond measure. Suze was going through HRT for her post menopause and it was conflicting with her badly. She was not the woman l knew anymore, she had changed visibly, mentally, physically and emotionally and it was starting to break her resolve on everything.
My own stresses in trying to cope with these changes and cope with everything else going on, was starting to crumble also. We were both seeing each other as the enemy within. Suze couldn’t cope with her stress and mine at the same time and vice versa for me. We were both breaking down, and this would not be good for a furry child – Scrappy.
So in August, to make things better for her l broke up with her. The tension before that time was not manageable, and after that ‘break’ the tensions on both lessened off. She was able to concentrate on her own recovery and l was to face up to my own demons somehow and challenge them. It wasn’t that we didn’t care for each other anymore, we did – we were and still are in love with each other – but at that moment in time, the two stresses were too much.
Suze came off HRT and went back to a more organic approach to dealing with it – and now, 8 months on, she is back to the person she was before HRT! Which is excellent. In October last year l finally faced up to my PTSD demons and exorcised them from my life, once and for all.
So we come back to the ‘morning ritual’ l chant to myself everyday and the answer to people’s questions as to how l turned a negative into a positive?
Well, first it’s a hard battle to become mentally strong again, it’s not a walk in the park, and it takes a lot of self belief. To believe in yourself again, to remember that you are worthy of not just life, but your life! Also, it’s a daily self belief system, not like it’s okay to do it one day and not the next – NO.
You have to do it daily.
01] Believe in your self and your right to live life! Your life.
02] To tell yourself you are worthy each and every day – but more importantly – to believe it!
03] To not let your past dominate your present.
04] To not give up, when you receive knock backs – because they are there a plenty.
05] To set yourself daily goals achieved through baby steps.
06] To NOT blame yourself for when things go wrong.
07] To remember to TREAT yourself when things go right.
08] To be who YOU are and to NOT let others’ influence you to be someone else.
09] To NOT expect instant success in your quest and journey.
10] To be be prepared for recovery to take time.
11] To not feel ashamed at putting your mental health first.
12] To be forever mindful of who you are.
These are the chants l say to myself every morning before l rise from bed.
They may work for you also, and l hope that that they do.
On a private footnote – Suze and l are a couple again, we never left each others’ sides, we stayed together for Scrappy, but also us, and that dreadful day back in August as terrible as it was – really helped us to properly identify our individual needs.
Thanks for reading.