Greetings to you all! Happy almost Fall.
Those of you who are regular readers will know that I am a potter, but what you may not know is that I have recently moved through a period of depression, courtesy of my PTSD.
You often hear about people ‘battling’ depression, and I have often used that phrase in the past.
However, this time I have
experienced it differently.
This time, I have allowed myself to experience it and not try to hide it or cover it up. And there were some good lessons in that for me!
What did sitting with my depression and allowing myself to experience it without judgment look like? And more importantly, what did it feel like?
When I would ‘battle’ my depression, I had a never ending and ever growing to-do list, only I would cross less things off. Then I would feel like I somehow failed, because I was falling behind, which of course would make me feel worse, broken, inadequate and ashamed. It’s a pattern I’ve been aware of, and have known is not healthy.
Even in the incoming fog of this depression, which was building up towards our last lockdown in late Spring, I knew I had to try something different.
This time I allowed myself to feel the depression.
I did not try to hide it with an endless flurry of activity.
I did not try to brush it under the carpet. I allowed myself to feel it, without attachment or judgement. I tried to not allow it to be a weapon I turned against myself. If you’ve got a stomachache, you don’t punch yourself in the gut, and mental health is no different.
I was able to do this by communicating with my family and friends openly. By not hiding what I was experiencing. By speaking my truth. Being able to do that, letting go had two big effects.
The first was to help me realize how incredibly lucky I was to have the support and love of people around me. Thank you wonderful people in my life, and pets!
The second impact was being able to let go of shame, and the feeling I was broken. The acceptance that the depression was a part of me, just one part of many, allowed me to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
Overall, choosing to sit with my depression and allowing myself to experience whatever came up was positive. However my pottery did suffer without my usual focus and drive, and so did the quality of this blog, so my apologies and thanks for hanging in there.
I’ve had to revise some of my goals for the year
But you can help me reach one of them and win some great pottery in the process. I’d like to increase my subscriber base for my newsletter. All those who subscribe, will be eligible to win a ‘Great Pottery Gift Basket‘ I am putting together. The more people who subscribe, the more items I will add to the basket.
You can subscribe to my newsletter here, and see what is already included in the gift basket here! And don’t worry, I only I send a newsletter out once every few months, so you’re inbox won’t be filled with spam!
Please always remember, that if your depression is severe and you have thoughts of self harm, always seek professional help.
This is just my experience of what worked for me this time. I make no claims that it will work for anyone else, but maybe putting my experience out there may help someone else in some small way. 🙏