They come out of the blue and without prediction. I can’t go to the BBC website and put in my name and be told that for the next few days all will be sunny and fine with my mind but a large bout of misery will probably appear mid-afternoon this Saturday.
It would be great if we could and then we could prepare ourselves for what was to come but what would we do? I believe I have experienced depressive states over the years but I have never taken drugs to stop the feeling although I have sought out different kinds of therapy.
These deep bouts of depression tend to strike during specific times in my life. Times of change that occur from decade to decade. That wax and wane of the moon that can put you out of synch. Times of moving from house or country to seek new pastures. And also during the grieving times when experiencing loss or difficult circumstances.
I feel quite proud that I have never sought medication and always managed to pull myself out of the dark space that I was in. I think sometimes this has to do with an interest in Buddhism and meditation. Over the years I would have had teachings or training that gave me a different perspective on what I was. I learned about the nature of the self and to see my-self as something different from my physical body. And with meditation learned to observe the thoughts and moods going round and round, up and down, in and out.
I also tried a few Zen and Tibetan Buddhist retreats when I would sit facing a wall for periods of 45 minutes sitting on and off throughout the day. Then you really do get to know yourself. I wouldn’t say meditation was about being all calm and serene although you can experience those states and they can be profound. Meditation with the right teachings gives you a different way of understanding yourself.
So back to the depressive mind state. When a negative mood appears in my mind I don’t try to distract myself from the mood, neither do I try to push the mood away. I accept the mood, and try and feel and taste it as if it was a piece of fruit. And the mood dissipates after a while. It’s the same with a happy thought. I don’t expect either. I am just grateful for the happy states when they are here. I invite them in like a long lost friend and when the negative mind states arrive I accept them in a neutral manner and when they leave they leave.