Thursday, 19 March 2015

Stepping Back

I've been doing something dangerous, recently. Something which can often lead to all sorts of trouble. 

I've been thinking.

Sometimes, thinking is actually a good thing, as we all need to take the time to reflect on events. Events that may or may not have directly involved us, but have affected us in some way. You have to step back and think about how you feel and if it has changed you in any way, be it positive or negative.

Personally, I've experienced a lot of changes in my life of late and recently, it got to a point when I had to make myself stop and think, because it was getting too much. Of course, I was well aware that changes were happening, but I wasn't aware how hard they had hit me. I guess I was being ignorant towards myself.

We're all guilty of self-ignorance to a degree. There are various reasons for it, but if you do it too often, it can lead to all sorts of problems, which is not good. If you live in the shadow of depression, self-ignorance can be very dangerous, especially when everything around you is changing and you very suddenly realise how much it has changed. This is the situation I have recently found myself in when I suddenly realised the changes that have happened around me recently, have been going on longer than a year.

In the past, I've written about my depression and the ways I deal with it, but I try not to mention it too much on here, as I guess I worry that I'll give people the wrong idea about how to deal with it, because I'll freely admit that there have been times when I've handled it really badly and I wouldn't want anyone to think that you should do it that way. 

On the whole, I've been able to manage it. I've learned to adapt and prepare myself when I can feel the black dog about to pounce. Like a violent storm approaching a built-up city, you can't stop it from hitting, but over time you learn how to prepare for it and you find the best way of riding it out.

Recently, I found myself thinking more and more about some of the bigger changes in my life, especially after helping my parents to move house. I suddenly realised that a big door had closed behind me. Even though I hadn't lived there for over 5 years, I was still a regular visitor. Even after I moved down to London 3 years ago, I've still been a regular visitor, so in my mind, I still had another "home", as it was the house I grew up in. I still visit my parents now that they've moved and it's lovely to see them, but now that they've moved, it feels weird to think of it as "home". I'm no-longer "going back home" to see my parents. 

When I gave this some thought, I let my guard down and the black dog pounced. I felt myself falling hard. I was scared, because I had got used to dealing with it pretty well and I hadn't felt this scared about my depression for a long time. I had been self-ignorant and now, I was paying the price. 

The only thing I could do was to step back even further and think harder. I needed to look further back at the changes in my life and when I did it, when I looked at what I've been through and what I've achieved in the last 5 years or so, I could see that I've come a long, long way. I hasn't been easy, but I've been through so many changes, so many situations and I'm still going. Sub-consciously, I think I was aware of this, but it wasn't until my depression caught me out this time that I was able to look back and see how far I had come. I'm a different person. I've not changed beyond recognition, but I can now see that I'm not who I once was and in these circumstances, that's a good thing. I've been able to fight the black dog again. 

It hasn't been an easy fight and it hasn't been nice, but I'm getting there and I know I'll be "alright". As for the changes, they're still happening in my life. I'm still having to make some tough decisions, but I know I can carry on, no matter how many storms are around the corner.

Sometimes, you have to look at the bigger picture, in order to understand what's going on. It's only then, that you realise it's a mind-pissingly huge picture.

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