Hello all Trybians. As I have mentioned earlier, my self-directed healing from depression and anxiety process began two and a half years back. In terms of recovery, at the present moment I am at a much better place then I have ever been. I am now able to meet with people in a more relaxed manner. Shyness has always been a major issue for me. This in turn caused lot of social anxiety for me, including regular stuttering.
As time has passed these symptoms have decreased a lot. At the present moment, it feels like I have reached a new level in my struggle with depression. I have higher clarity of thought. The continuous noise in my mind is less. I can understand people much better. I have with much less anxiety and shame. I get less intimidated by people. As my mind clears more and more, I spend more time with myself. I am not hanging out with my usual 'friends' anymore, watching cricket or soccer and doing nothing. I am finding more things to do for myself, including reading books on anxiety, depression of course. In a way I have become more selfish I suppose, but in this process I am more tolerant and forgiving of myself. I am walking away from myself less and less. Some of my friends have noticed this change in me. Some have welcomed it, some apparently not as much. That's OK. Any change in life has a price to pay. A metaphor from subject of physics tells us that for an electron to go to an higher orbit, it needs energy. Hence in my struggle to lessen my pain the price I pay is losing some 'good time' buddies. That's OK.
As I study myself, as I 'find' myself more and more, it's like more and more frozen parts of me are thawing and coming into view. The frozen parts are coming out into the open. Here I am reminded of one of the old STAR WARs movies in which HAN SOLO (portrayed by Harrison Ford ) was frozen into a slab of carbonite. I think most of us have parts of our psyche frozen like HAN SOLO was frozen into carbonite. What a perfect metaphor. We spent rest of our live looking for those frozen parts and then trying to thaw those frozen parts. If we continue to remain frozen, then we will not win any struggle in life. Chances of surviving any relationships is very slim also. We will remain at least partially like the living dead, extra's for Michael Jackson's MTV video 'Thriller', without the uber cool dance moves or the music.
One of the concepts that I have learned from my studies of depression and anxiety is the concepts of mindfulness. Mindfulness to me is both a theory and a tool. Understanding the theory is easy, to be able to use it as a tool is not so easy. It took me some time before I could put mindfulness into practice. I am no super expert at it either. Signs of absence of mindfulness can be many. One sign would be having my head in the clouds all the time, just continuing daydreaming the whole day.
Different people have different fixations on what they daydream about. Just few years back, every day I would daydream like crazy. I will not give any details of my fixations of daydreaming. Those are personal. The details are not as important, what is important is the fact that time and other resources ware wasted by excessive daydreaming. Some authors and poets use their imagination to create contents of fiction. I don't think daydreaming is the same as that. Creative imagination is not same as dreaming that you led the Argentinian national team to world cup victory! I surely did not. One sure sign of daydreaming is that almost surely you will have a rude awakening from it. You might hit a lamp post. Somebody will come up and tell you to snap out of it. Hours have gone by and you have not completed any of the chores. This used to happen to me all the time, just imagine my reputation back then.
One source of my daydreaming’s were events of my past, how things could have been different. Just chewing cud, no more. Past cannot be changed, it's fixed in concrete. Mindfulness to me is living in the present moment, and for me it is easier said than done. A very good book on this subject is ' Power of NOW ', by Eckhart Tolle. Reading this book was interesting, but for me, I wanted an action plan, something to do so I could keep my focus in the present moment. I found an odd way out.