To my pleasant surprise the recovery continues. With each passing day I seem to be feeling that little bit better about myself and more positive living habits are subconsciously slipping back into my daily routine.
That’s not to say everything is rosy in the garden. Thoughts regularly come into my head for no apparent reason of “I wish I was under that car” and the ilk. Yet that bizarre coping mechanism – hearing the Spice Girls singing ‘Stop right now’ – puts an end to it almost as soon as it pops into my head.
I’ve noticed, at long last, a radical and positive change in my sleeping habits too. I’m tired before midnight, and usually asleep by then, or at least have been the past fortnight or so. I’ve still woken up at the usual 7.15 in the morning as well, not even needing an alarm for that, so well is my body tuned in. It’s undoubtedly made a big difference.
There’s also been another change, which at first glance would seem to encourage an environment of negative thought. I’ve stopped taking those long walks in the summer warmth. Strange as it may seem, and contrary to popular wisdom, whenever I had a wander in the sun, it made me irritable, annoyed by passers-by, and brought on wave after wave of self criticism.
Instead, I’ve bought a weekly railcard for my area, to get to the place I like to spend time in locally more than anywhere else. It’s relatively cheap and within a few minutes I’m in a place I want to be. The meandering may be curtailed a fair bit, but in my mind, I feel so much better. We all have to find out what works for us, and sometimes it turns out to be the exception that proves the rule.
A moment of clarity came to me yesterday as well, the most surprising of the lot, too. It doesn’t take a genius to realise, after over 50,000 words revealing my soul, that I love to write. It’s a therapy in itself, whether I’m good, bad or average at it, and serves a wonderful purpose in getting me well.
On the back of that, an opportunity came up to take part in a writing challenge. Spread out over a fortnight, you’re given a certain set of guidelines, which vary from day to day, and have to respond with your finished work within 24 hours.
Now yesterday’s task was to concoct a piece containing certain words. One of those words just happened to be in the name of a pub that my ex and I often drove by. We never went in, it’s absolutely horrible, but seeing it signified we were close to where we wanted to be. Apart from in each other’s arms, of course.
In the past, seeing that may well have triggered a rash of thoughts, a sense of loss and longing, and snowballed back into the grip of depression yet again. Not this time though. Not this time, you horribly twisted mind of mine.
No, what happened was the normal rush of memories of us together. Then, however, came a warm glow as one day in particular came to mind. I thought to myself ‘I love you’ to her, and smiled. Then I started tapping away, quickly, without thought, about that day, what we did, the little quirks and idiosyncrasies of it, and the feeling I had in that moment.
It was wonderful to commit it to print. As far as prose went, I wasn’t particularly happy with it. Some phrases were repeated too often, as were certain words. For the casual reader, though they might have been taken by a little insight into my life, the quality of writing might have been a wee bit off-putting.
It mattered not one bit to me though. I loved the feeling of writing it, and so enjoyed reading it back again and again. Instead of mourning what I don’t have anymore, I was enjoying the time we had spent together. I still feel a deep love for her, but at long last, it’s engendered a really positive feeling in me.
Will I do this again? Probably. Will it be a regular thing? Probably not. I don’t want to push it. But it was a revelation. The thought of writing about her and the times we spent together was too hurtful to contemplate even just a few weeks ago. But now? Well, I have to be getting better now, haven’t I?
I think she would be proud of me today, seeing how I’m fighting back against my depression, and starting to get over her. The lingering feeling is love now, not loss. I thank her for and treasure the happy times we spent together. Sad? Maybe a little but it’s with a smile on my face. My love for her is still there, she isn’t, I move on.
Anyway, therapy tomorrow. I wonder what Anne will think of this all, as I caress that flannel across my arm? There’s only one way to find out. Turn up and keep this positive vibe until then. Who knows, I might even start loving myself a little bit.
That’s for the future though. But thinking of it? That has to be some of the right stuff.