It’s been 12 days since I’ve arrived home back to Dublin, Ireland, after being away for 3 months.
After finishing my college degree last year, going through a breakup and moving out of my home, I took refuge in Plum Village, a Buddhist Monastery/Mindfulness Practice Centre in the South of France for their Winter Retreat.
Feeling some anxiety about coming back to Dublin, I had a semi-plan to help me get off on a good foot: One day to rest, then start at the gym, get a good morning routing – warm lemon water, sit/meditate, write 3 things I was grateful for – meet with friends, get out into nature…
… focus on my physical and emotional well-being …
However this was hindered when a heavy dose of the cold hit me the day after I got home, so I ended up spending the first few days inside, then, a snow blizzard hit Ireland, they called ‘The Beast From the East’ which kept me (and everyone else) inside some more.
The cold inside and out, I hadn’t planned for.
The natural tendency for my mind to go down the dark, narrow, self-defeating and unhelpful path is happening.
I’m away from community, structure and like minded people.
I’m in transition and I’m struggling.
Here are some of the thoughts I’ve noticed:
- What am I going to do next? I don’t feel confident or smart enough to do anything.
- I can’t think straight … my mind’s a mess … my memory is crap.
- I can feel my body is stressed, I’m anxious – Jesus, have I just wasted the calming effects of the last 3 months?
- Maybe this is Depression seeping back in again… shit, I can’t go back down again…
- Man, I’ve wasted so much of my life being depressed.
- Am I always going to be like this? Up and down all the time, this fucking horrible feeling finding its way back to haunt my mind and soul again and again?
- I don’t have an established career, house, savings, family of my own… what have I been doing?
- Other people are ‘further on’ at my age… what the fuck have I been doing?
- I still don’t have any real close friends, I don’t know who to talk to. Why is it so difficult for me to find people I really connect with?
- What do I do? I don’t do anything that I enjoy.
- I’ve just completed an Honors Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy… I can’t be thinking like this.
- I wanna start this blog, but, but, but… it’s daunting, I’ve no confidence, I’m not smart enough, I can’t write … and I can’t think straight.
This list could go on… including all the stuff I feel I’ve messed up on in the past… right back to when I was a teenager, more of my insecurities and self-doubts, more negative dialogue….
.Everything becomes so fucking tainted.
And it is all so unhelpful. I know it is.
These kinda thoughts though, for me, are deeply ingrained from months and years of my life sporadically experiencing being depressed … and at these times, not knowing how to handle my experiences.
Of course – I’ve had many many great things happen in my life, seen and experienced so many great and wonderful things, people, places… I’ve had many a times when I’m content, peaceful, joyful… curious and open to experiencing what ever may be that comes my way…
I mean, I’ve just come back from a great and unique experience in my life.
…In general, I’m optimistic, laid back, up for a laugh, seeking the brighter side of life …
…but when this dark cloud appears and starts taking it’s clawing grip on my mind and heart, it’s so fucking hard to see clearly.
I’m on a slippery slope. One that’s so very, very familiar…