Sunday, 23 November 2014

I Am Not My Thoughts or Emotions.

Having had over a 554 day lag since the last time I recorded my Moodscope score, today was the day I decided it was time to revisit and record.
 
Let me tell you a bit about my life leading up to today, in a nutshell.

I was diagnosed with post-natal depression eleven months after the birth of my first child, some nineteen years ago now. However, I can predate that particular period of darkness with many years of undiagnosed and life sapping anxiety, even right back into my childhood.

After the PND diagnosis, I took a roller coaster ride through medication, psychotherapy, and cognitive behaviour therapy – followed by the happy days of recovery and being thankful to be alive. Three times I travelled this path. It's hard to say which breakdown was the worst. The life-saving anti-depressants transformed me mentally, but oh-so-slowly – much longer than the suggested 6-8 weeks. Each time I was also transformed physically, by those same drugs, into a perspiring, vomiting skeleton. But, I learnt to endure, as did those around me. Each breakdown had its own horrors. And yet, each time, like the Phoenix, I rose out of the ashes, to the glorious days of recovery.

And now my babies are young adults, and I feel a huge mixture of happiness and sadness.

Recent months as a mother and a human being have contained more highs and lows than my psyche would like to deal with, and I feel depleted. It is about eight years since my last and final breakdown, and since then I have gained so many tools for my mental health tool kit.  Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, expressing my feelings, reaching out rather than shutting down – all of these continually help to correct my course, maintain my equilibrium.

And then today, I remembered the cards on Moodscope, and revisited them. The score was unimportant to me really. The process however, made sense. Just looking at all those emotions, and calculating how intensely or not I was experiencing them, reminded me how all our feelings and thoughts fluctuate so much. Bringing my awareness to them, and assessing them, brought me back to the sense of who I am. My inner self. The awareness that is "the Real Me", so-to-speak. I am not my thoughts or emotions, and I am thankful to Moodscope for reminding me of that. I will come back to do the cards again tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future, whilst I find my feet again.

Someone suggested to me that I might be experiencing something akin to PND, as my babies fly the nest, and it's an interesting thought. Life is full of births and deaths, and rebirths, for all of us. As humans we have to keep learning to let go, over and over again. And we learn how to find our feet, over and over again too. We're not all in the same boat, but our boats all travel the same river.

Lyndsey
A Moodscope member.