Depression

A Young Adult in her 20’s posted on one of the on-line support group sites I follow. She said………“Having a horrible bout of depression the past few weeks. Really at the breaking point.”

I responded to her post with this and a link to a blog I published last year about the grief process.

Ahhh.  Depression.  It is the hardest time when it sets in.  I had a bout of it in my 30’s when it set in deep and I almost couldn’t crawl out.  Having T1D just makes us more susceptible to it and harder to dig out.  However, because we live in a world of duality …. everything that arises does so with its polar opposite.  This is not my opinion….this is scientific fact!  And we also know this…..everything is impermanent…….anything that arises is bound to pass away.  

You did not ask for advice and I am not giving advice…..I am sharing with you my experience.  When depression sets in, everything narrows down to its worst possible outcome and, at the same time , things seem to solidify; movement slows and sometimes stops all together.

The way out is two fold.  First, move…….walk, run, clean the house, do anything.  Second, remind yourself that there is a “bigger picture.”  There is always a bigger picture.  

Laird is right! (referring to comment previous to this).  You are awesome.  You have taken on a journey with a difficult cross to bear.  But, perhaps, before you came down into this body that your soul is traveling in, you made the choice to experience this..  And your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to keep moving forward.  Sometimes, like the days we find ourselves in today, we must. employ…..”Certainty without Reason.”  This is a deep spiritual concept also called Faith in many circles.  Have Faith that this is temporary and that there is a bigger picture.  Choose the path of The Matrix Warrior and keep chipping away until you see the code and can become “The One.”

I wrote a blog about the grief process.  It may help.  I hope so.  (Search for my blog entitled “From Denial to Acceptance.”

From a spiritual perspective, all of us are on a journey back hOMe.  Sometimes, it is dark and sometimes it is not.  Either way, we will all return some-a-day.  Namaste, Michael.ūüôŹ

Anxiety

I am a member of an on-line community for people dealing with diabetes. A mother of a child asked the community how we deal with anxiety. This was my response:

The anxiety can be, at times, overwhelming.  You asked for what to do with it so I am going to share with you what I have done, both good and bad, throughout this experience of injecting insulin for the past 45 years.

Read more: Anxiety

1.  Do Nothing: Let it Fester….not a good tack for me.  The feeling of anxiety is letting me know to move some how.

2.  Engage in vigorous physical workouts.  It is my experience that this is one of THE BEST ways to dissolve the anxiety.  The problem here is that it takes a tremendous amount of commitment and discipline.  There was a six year period in my life when I really did it.  I lost a few pounds.  I was strong.  I felt great.  I ran 3 miles a day.  Lifted weights a few days a week and did Hot Yoga everyday.  

3.  Alcohol and Drugs.  These things work great in the short term but don’t resolve the problem in the end.  Kind of just hides the symptoms while the cause continues to grow.

4.  Psychological Therapy.  Nope.  This includes anti-depressants, as far as a long term solution.  I have an interesting perspective on psychology and therapy.  I went to graduate school and studied this subject.  I can talk more on this subject privately but no more here because it will trigger too many people, especially the psychologists and especially the behavioral psychologists.  With this said, I think support groups are good.

5.  Alternative Health Approaches.  Acupuncture is very effective for me.  Cranial Sacral Therapy has been profound.  Some Chinese Herbs work wonders.  Rescue Remedy taken orally reduces anxiety in the short term.

6.  Yoga.  I know people think this is a form of exercise and it is, partly but it is much more.  I am actually a certified yoga teacher and have been teaching small groups both in person and on-line for over 10 years.  Yoga has been a bedrock in my approach to survival and staying healthy.  

7.  Meditation.  This, for me, is the core work of all that I do.  Advanced yogis know that we do the yoga postures and flows so we can sit in meditation more comfortably and for longer periods of time.  The purpose of meditation is not to relieve stress or to calm the mind.  The purpose of meditation is to increase wisdom.  I attended a 10 Vipassana Meditation Workshop where I reduced my basal rate by 50% during the work…..When the retreat ended it went right back up.  I thought I was on the road to The Cure.

Anxiety can be described, at least partly, as a feeling that is a result of wanting things to be different than the way they are.  Diving deeper,,,, it is more accurately, wanting things to be different than the way we perceive them to be.  Hopelessness and Helplessness arise when anxiety is not addressed productively leading to depression and deep feelings of loss and grief.  

The solution is not to change the way things are.  The solution is to change our perspective, or at least, be willing to explore and inquire into the validity and usefulness of our current perspective.  This is the only Free Will we have; the way we see things.

The “turning point” for me was when I changed my perspective from poor me, why me, victim to 100% response-ability; A Matrix Warrior.   From a spiritual perspective this means accepting and knowing that I chose to be right here right  now.  And Now.  And Now….And Here.  And Now…

The Reality (Not my opinion but proved by the science of quantum physics) is that everything in our world is impermanent.  Everything that arises is bound to pass away.  As the Buddha said,” Everything is ablaze. ”  Meditation is about having a direct personal experience of The Nature of Impermanence (Annica in Sanskrit).  When we do this on a consistent basis we are able to heal the ruts of reactivity (Sankhara) that block THE LIGHT of Fulfillment.

This T1D is a bitch.  I have always known it is harder on the parent, the loving sibling than the diabetic……sometimes.  It takes courage to confront such a difficult task.  The grief is from loss.  When our soul journeyed from hOMe we all experienced this loss.  THE GOOD NEWS is we are on a journey back hOMe.