Awen Natural Life

Little snippets of info to help you live a balanced lifestyle

Depression can sneak up on you……

Often disguising itself as a vibrant change in hair colour, increasing ‘busyness’, a few sleepless nights, cancellation of plans, or even mild headaches. It comes in all shapes and forms, it can be something that is easy to live with. It can also be debilitating.

Me, 8 years ago during a period of depression

Feeling depressed occasionally is a normal human experience. It is normal to feel depressed for some time after losing a loved one, or perhaps going through a big life change. It is a way of processing as our way of being moves from what we are used to, to something new. Occasionally depression stays with us for longer than what is considered a healthy period or sneaks into our lives without a trigger or event. Most people will experience this at some point in their lives and require support. Some will experience periods of mild to severe depression repeatedly throughout their lives.

The first time I remember being treated for depression was at the age of around 10. I don’t remember why, or what treatment I had, but I remember sitting in the doctor’s room while my mum spoke to the doctor. I felt like something was wrong with me, but I had no further understanding. There is a scene in the movie ‘Drop Dead Fred’ where the main character is in a similar situation. Every time I see it feels strangely familiar.

Throughout my life, I have had several big battles with the black dog as they call it. I have encountered depression at many different levels. It has snuck up on me, it has teased me and it has also slammed me right in the face. At times it has brought its bully friends, Insomnia, Mania, Anxiety, Weight Gain, Weight Loss, and others who work together to shake my world.

I am one of those people Depression likes to taunt always lurking in the shadows.

Throughout the years I have documented my journey, and for a very long time now I have lived a relatively happy and healthy life, free from any medication, with depression visiting only fleetingly. I have developed strategies to not only cope but to thrive and implement at least some of these every day of my life.

  • Healthy eating keeps hormones steady, stops sugar crashes and regulates mood.
  • Exercise helps release those happy hormones, gives me a strong body and keeps me feeling driven.
  • Massage, allows me to connect with another human and teaches me that I am worthy of being nurtured.
  • Meditation reminds me that I am part of something greater then myself and all of my worries and concerns.
  • Sharing with others gives me the opportunity to release, learn, understand and witness, not only my own experience but also that of others.
  • Mindfulness grounds me and keeps me present, preventing my thoughts from running wild.
  • Long baths, allow me to float, to feel held, to switch off.

I offer much of what I have learned in my garden studio through my work. I have spent years, studying and evolving, changing the way I think and learning new ways to live a happy life.

Do I still get depressed? Yes, but I can recognise it early. I have learned to trust my inner voice and give myself better guidance than I have ever been given by a therapist, friend or family member. I have learned to respect depression as an entity that will visit from time to time, but like any other visitor, I can recognise when they have stayed too long, and know they will not stay forever. I am not depressed, depression visits me.

I love that my job allows me to help others with their unique relationship with depression. There is not a day where I am not grateful for the opportunity to listen and share.

Me, smiling, feeling grateful.
October 14th 2021