So here we are, all the rushing, exchanging presents, eating Turkey eating pie and the few glasses of wine is over for another year.
As I sit here in front of my computer and look back over the past few weeks and wonder was it really a happy Christmas and New Year, and yes in many ways it was and yes I did make a few mistakes and no I did not drink wine but my beloved wife did and for the first time in 2017 we laughed and hugged as we chatted about the year the sad times the happy times and the not so happy times especially as I have from May to December 2017 been receiving treatment for a acute bout of depression, and PTSD which had me hospitalised for 10 weeks plus 6 weeks as an outpatient as I received further treatment on how to cope with my depression.
Depression is a very serious illness and sometimes it’s not easy to re-engineer our lives in order to live with the consequences of the illness . As there is no one fits all solution’s for depression so in order to do that we need to learn about your /our particular illness.
The one thing I learned last year, was about taking responsibility for my mental health, taking the things that will come at me every day and being able to cope with them, to achieve this I will be using what I was taught on the WRAP course, the most important thing is to have a structure that we can use as our guide and in some cases our crutch to lean on when things are not so good, just as if you see someone with a broken leg he uses a crutch for support, and so our structure for our bad days is our crutch.
So what is our structure and how do we implement it? below I have listed some of what I use for my structure:
One of the things I find difficult is getting out of the bed which in many ways it can be a fear of what the day holds, this is because every thing in our minds is exaggerated and even-tho we had what we thought was a goodnight’s sleep we might still feel tired so the first thing to do is make yourself get up make the bed and head for the shower, because those jets of warm /hot water hitting your skin will waken up your senses and you will feel refreshed for the day ahead , this to “ordinary/ normal person” does not have the same type of effect as it does for a person with depression because that shower will wash away all our fears and anxieties for that day.
1, If you have a mobile phone with an alarm set it for fixed times to remind you to take your medication, that was one of the things I would forget until it was to late to take them, the alarm solved that problem for me.
2, Have a daily plan of what you want to do that day and a backup plan for any changes like the weather but the one thing to do is to get out for that walk or that cup of tea/coffee so that you can meet other people who are not family to maybe have that conversion about the weather or any other topic that comes to mind or just to say hello
3, Make up your day with little tasks , like cooking or doing some kind of volunteering work that will help others, join a men’s shed group doing these things will enhance your sense of well being and self esteem
4 In the morning or in the evening do some kind of meditation, in a room or a space you are comfortable in, where you can play any kind of music that will help you to relax.
5 Another thing that you can do , is keep a journal of the things that made you smile, and the people you met these are things you can write about at a later stage
The above are only a couple of suggestions as to what can be done to help with your structures which are so important for your daily life.
So in conclusion can I wish all my fellow suffers out there A Happy New Year And Every Success in 2018
After suffering a near fatal mental health breakdown i am now blogging on mental health issues where I will share my personal experiences and give talks to groups on the importance of looking after your health
Blogging on mental health in Ireland
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