Sometimes things feel quite alright, and (rather unlike Theresa’s government) I really do feel strong and stable. Other times, things are hard. Depression and anxiety are hard to explain because they are hard to understand, even if you are experiencing these feelings.
I can feel terribly sad, worthless and lonely, even when I’m surrounded by loving and supportive friends and family. I can feel unsure of myself, questioning every word I say and even get waves of grief pass through me, even though I haven’t lost somebody at the time. I can also feel ace.
Peaks and troughs – story of my life!
After 7 years of taking medication (from such a tender wee age), I decided it’s time to try alternative methods. I’ve been trying yoga, exercise, healthy eating and I most recently adopted a bunny!
So, I popped a long to a Buddhist Meditation class at my university to see whether this might fill the role of reducing anxiety and processing my feelings in a healthy way.
The sessions are completely free and for 2 hours every Wednesday I can join a non-judgemental environment to relax, meditate and reflect on everything going on in my busy little head. People go for all kinds of reasons. Some are very spiritual, some are just slightly stressed out with deadlines and various people are dealing with personal issues through this method.
We sit quietly and breathe deeply, whilst someone ‘guides’ the meditation, speaking softly about what we can be thinking about and focussing on. You don’t have to Buddhist and you don’t have to know anything about meditation.
We wear comfy clothes, sit down on pillows and listen to soothing words. We drink tea in the middle and chat, and it’s a space where no one is interrupted or made to feel out of place.
On the first session we did a ‘prayer of love’ where you think about people you love and wish them the best. Then you think about someone whose hurt you and do the same for them. Oh my Christ, I was sobbing my eyes out. I didn’t realise I had stuff to process until my snot and dribble formed a single line of yuck, but no one so much as batted an eyelid.
All night I was subdued and felt strange, but to think I was holding all that sad inside without even knowing is quite a scary thought! We are constantly running around trying to push aside our feelings for a more convenient time so this is a healthy safe space to deal with shit without worrying you’re wasting valuable ‘doing’ time. I am feeling the same impacts that I have felt from formal counselling before, but this is free and there’s a real focus on working through your own issues and not having someone external ‘fix you.’
If you can’t afford, or are unsure about formal therapy, I 100% recommend trying out some meditation.
Hope you found this article helpful! If yes why not check out my other work:
- ‘how to be happy’: no nonsense advice from someone who GETS it
- What do I say?! How to help a loved one with depression