You put your right leg in...
In between his Catholic preaching and stories about his six children (and the 'one-on-the-way', there was always 'one-on-the-way'), my English teacher, Mr Garvey, used to drum into us the difference between a noun: 'a person place or thing' and a verb: 'a doing word'.
A noun always sounded very still to me, it was a solid object rooted in position. A thing. A stationary lump. Like banana, bin-bag, or Basingstoke. Whereas a verb was in-flight; it was moving, active, floating around in the atmosphere. Running, playing, singing and dancing.
When I'm depressed I am a noun. Flat, motionless and heavy, like a stone. It's a lazy, lethargic lump of a condition that digs its heels in and makes me want to lie down. It convinces me that I can't move, that I am a fixed object and must stop.
But one thing depression hates is to see a verb coming... Uh oh.
'Dancing?!' it cries; 'movement?! Are you crazy??! I'm depression and my job is to keep you small and quiet and still. Stop wriggling and jiggling at once!!'
In a recent study (Peper & Lin (2012) if you're so inclined) tested 110 participants for depression and then made them partake in one minute of opposite arm and leg skipping (No, I'm not sure what that is either but I reckon any type of random arm and leg flapping will do!) The results were increases in energy and better mood. The theory being that sitting still allows easier access to hopelessness, helplessness and negative thoughts.
As you know by now I'm on a mission to outwit this sneaky friend of mine so I am determined to keep moving... and in moving I hope to literally shake him off my back. I will run, I will dance. I will walk, I will climb, jump and fling. And I will put my right leg in, my right leg out, in, out, in, out, shake it all about...
Go on, I dare you... do the hokey cokey and turn around. Cos that's what it's all about ;-)
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