Depression.

Even reading it or saying it probably makes you go “urgg!”

Just give me a minute of your time, this won’t bring you down I promise. (if you’re a quick reader, make it 3 minutes if you aren’t )

It can strike anyone at anytime, it’s such a consuming feeling, in my experience I just want to shut off and sleep, I feel so hopeless that reaching out for help is an almost impossible task, you feel like a burden, a loser, like people don’t want to be around you anymore.

I’ve been to the doctors and they give you antidepressants right there, I know it can be or is in some cases a chemical imbalance but I don’t want to rely on pharmaceuticals.

When my father died nearly 8 years ago I gave in and took them, first fluxotine which made me sleep and feel numb like a zombie, then citralopram which didn’t do much different. I’m a single mum, I need to be ‘here’ so I battle it myself.

It’s a hard long road but I’m doing it, yes most days I want to go back to bed until I have the school run, and some days I do but on the others I force myself to be in the world, I take pleasure where I can get it, I make jokes and talk to people, try my hand at being creative. I found the gym was a great way to beat stress and it picked me up for a while, but gym partners come and go, people get sick or work demands change, I’d love to go on my own but that’s another anxiety story right there! I will go again, it keeps getting put off by life but it’s happening when all the components collide!

I’ll tell you what really works the best for me though, dancing! I don’t do it enough, just like anything in my life I find it hard to stick at things for long, but damn I love to dance, it’s the thing I’ve managed to keep hold of through the years because of my love for music. Now it normally happens at night when the kids are in bed or I’ll rope one of them in (usually my son as he loves any excuse to stay up for 5 minutes extra before sleep) and get a partner in my fun. I am fortunate to live in a detached house, so I can crank the music up and turn down the lights, flick on my disco ball and throw myself about like a wild thing! I love it, I enjoy the music and feeling free, lost in the rhythm, absorbed in the words, my whole body expressionate and loose. I try and dance non stop for at least half an hour and afterwards I feel invigorated hot (sweaty hot) and like I’ve achieved something, I FEEL GOOD!

See I don’t need to organise that, I can do it at anytime day or night on my own to any time frame.
If you can’t turn music up loud like me I’d suggest you put your headphones in and indulge in your favourite tracks, wildly or conservatively, any movement is good movement!

I’m lucky enough that one of my best friends loves dancing as much as I do! We go out every month or so (sometimes weeks if we are lucky) just to dance, our thing is soul and r’n’b but we throw our shapes to just about anything we can if we can’t find our soundtrack. We bounce around and don’t give a fuck who watches us, life is way too short to care! We went to a festival in the summer and worked out that we danced more than we slept! Just a constant flow of Jack Daniels and water keeps us going, (and the occasional snack) no drugs! I’m thinking we could do it sober too, it’s just the alcohol helps to get going and shut off from the starey wall flowers.

If you’re feeling down, sloth like and miserable, find a tune that makes you happy or that makes your little toe wiggle, focus on that movement and treat your toe (or if you’re able, your whole body) to a dance!

I found some sciencey stuff on the benefits of dancing here http://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/info-03-2011/dance-for-health.html it basically says that dancing boosts mood, is a cardiovascular workout and good for bone strengthening as well as the only activity that seems to prevent dementia!

I intend to dance myself fit and lose some bloody misery weight while preventing dementia!
But the best reason I’ll do it is because I am starting to love me more, and I want to take me out dancing. I deserve a good time!

You do too!

Thanks for reading, even if it was more than 3 minutes.

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