Friday, July 23, 2010

friday forte: note to self

SPT 22nd July, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

note to self: smile godammit

It's been all quiet on the online bloggy front from me for a week. I've been away on The Family Holiday (we survived: we got eaten by mosquitoes: we cycled around a lot and enjoyed it: we were in a tent and in sleeping bags so there was no nookie ....... but that's a whole other kettle of fish).

More importantly, I was offline for an entire four days!! and I didn't go nuts. I didn't crave or twitch, and didn't ditch the boys to run off to an internet cafe.

Instead I read self-help books and knitted (and slapped bugs - have I mentioned the mosquitoes?). These were not the usual self-help books (which means nothing since I don't think I've blogged about anything other than wardrobe crisis "what do i put my enormous new boobage into?" manuals).

The first book I romped through was "Speaking of Sadness" by Professor of Sociology, David Karp. It's a collection of interviews with people who have depression, curated by the author who has also dealt with it during his own life. What is different about the approach here is that the information comes first hand from those at the front of the condition i.e. the patients. There are some very candid descriptions of living with depression and facing up to treatment. What I found extremely interesting were the personal accounts of medical ie. pharmacological treatment, and the journey leading up to the decision to take drugs. On a more sobering note, almost all those interviewed emphasised that living with depression is living with a chronic disease, one with no remission, just acceptance and recognition. By no means am I as badly affected as those who cannot even get out of bed in the morning, but reading the accounts has made me realise how much it clamps down on all aspects of my life. For example, the references to isolation spoke volumes to me.

My second book on cheerful self-discovery and relationship improvement was "Loving Men More, Needing Men Less" by Judith Sills ....... I wasn't sure what was going on here until about a third of the way into the text. After an awful lot of explaining, Dr. Sills finally managed to reassure me that I wasn't on the road to becoming a surrendered wife (hell, no). Far from it, her feminist roots blazing to the fore, the reader is urged not to put up with crap, abuse or general suckage but to engineer a way of dealing with the 'relationship problems in hand' by rising above them to her own benefit (or at least that's how I'm summarising it all). There's a bit more discussion here as food for thought. And I slapped my own mosquitoes, thank you.

So ... not the usual "exotic romance" novels holiday reading then, eh? Not the usual "let's fix everything and everybody" self help manuals either. Although a little different in focus (!) each book represents a slightly new tangent for my thinking. In the first, yes I am admitting to mild to moderate depressive melancholia, but with the second I'm tackling its cause by looking at what I can change ie. my own outlook on the way I deal with the relationship issues, rather than focusing on what I cannot/have not/will likely never in a month of Sundays change.

yawn Yes, it's me, me, me, me again all the way. But with the focus that it's me that needs to grow, that I'm responsible for my own mental health, and that I can engineer my own happiness/success by concentrating on myself for a change.


PS: to all interested parties - this isn't a "get out of jail free" card BTW
PPS: the knitting? "Greensleeves" from the 3rd Sublime Aran pattern book - halfway up the front now :)

ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!