Being Patient as part of mental wealth

I mentioned in my last post that “be patient” was the message my heart delivered to me in my guided meditation class.

Whilst this is absolutely what I needed to hear, going about it is sooooo much easier said than done.

I’ve been in a transitional phase of my life for around a year, my youngest child started school in August and so I had high hopes that something new would manifest to fill the void of at home caregiving. And here we are almost a year on, doing little else than caregiving.

Obviously, I get that the universe is busy fighting on other frontiers right now and so individual opportunities to work, grow and/or develop in any context are even more limited than they were for me previously. At times this is irritating; at other times it’s a great excuse to wallow.

There is that famous quote (Einstein I think) that goes something like, “live your life in the past and you’ll be depressed, live your life in the future and you’ll be anxious, live your life in the present and be contented.”

It has suddenly struck me that this pandemic is actually all part of the process of life as a transient and rather than seeing Covid as a road block, I should reframe it, treating it as fluid time that is carrying me forward towards whatever is next.

I really do believe that this seemingly endless ebb and flow of malaise will change us all for the positive one way or another. I can draw on some personal experience of hard learning to come to this conclusion.

I remember when I was depressed, crying and asking my doctor whether I would be back to my old-self ever again.

When she said no, it hit hard. But what she did say was that rock bottom is one of those significant moments in life where things are never going to be the same again.

Appreciating this wisdom was a hard road travelled but I totally get it now.

Clinical depression is not an illness whereby the harder you work at doing all the “right things” the quicker you’ll recover. It is a passage of time – pure and simple – and if you are able to accept this, congrats – you have hit a fundamental milestone in your recovery!

Unfortunately, as a high achiever and total control freak, I couldn’t bring myself to accept this until my struggle to get better as quickly as possible was behind me i.e. until I realised there are no shortcuts and that I had to try and “be patient” as part of the recovery process.

In my case, once I started to feel less shit day to day, I continued to feel very fragile for at least a year as I began to “recover.” A huge blow to my confidence.

No matter what anyone says, recovery (or perhaps better described as remission) from depression cannot be controlled by the mind, other than in terms of a willingness to keep on going with painful patience day after long day. And every rubbish day is another spent as part of a slow transition towards wellness. Then eventually there is a switch. To my mindset being about every good day that passed, and with that my confidence began to rebuild – brick by brick.

In truth, when I am well I can’t imagine how painful it felt being in the depths of despair, doubting whether I would ever be any fraction myself again.

When the mist descended again four years later, this exact mindset returned and again I found myself crying, questioning whether this was going to be me stuck here in a bleak hopeless mindset forever, never to be better.

Yet, here I am. Better than ever. For now anyway. Yes, fed up; but not actively depressed. I can trust me when I say that whilst I will never be my old-self again, there is so much more of a better, wiser, more resilient me yet to be. For now enjoy and be grateful for good health.

This week has been another heavy one.

I know what I need to do.

Be. Patient.


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