The last time I posted (which was a few weeks ago), I was feeling very motivated and I was exploring the idea of combating resistance and overcoming procrastination. I’m still feeling very excited about goals I want to achieve but I thought I’d be honest and reveal that I’m dealing with a bout of depression at the moment.
There’s a multitude of reasons why I think this has happened (not that anyone needs a reason to be depressed) but one that stands out is that I went full-force with being as active as possible and trying to fully take advantage of the motivation I was feeling after reading The War Of Art. I was working full-time, writing my blog, working on my music most days, going to a dance class every week, going to the gym and spending time with a guy I’m seeing. Then there were a couple of weekends there when I had people coming to stay with me.
As much as I enjoyed all of this, it’s taught me what my “productivity limit” is and what happens when I reach it. I burnt myself out basically. I’m actually really proud of how much I managed to do and accomplish in that time, though. The way my mindset shifted and how I managed to repeatedly bypass my laziness and excuses was something I’d never experienced before. I now know that that level of high productivity is possible. And I also know that it’s not sustainable without self care.
I started to view many aspects of self care as resistance in disguise. Did I really need to have a night in watching a film with some ice cream or was that just resistance? Did I really need to get to bed at 9pm to catch up on sleep or was that just an excuse to not work on my music? The lines became very blurred for me. With this bout of depression has come a reduction in my levels of activity and the distance to be able to see the situation a bit more clearly.
There is a type of resistance that is much harder to identify than the classic “can’t be bothered” type and it’s resistance against self care – resistance against the need to slow down every once in a while. It’s something I’m not very familiar with, I’m typically quite good at listening to my mind and my body. Over the past year and a half of blogging, I’ve focused on developing self-esteem and this has included a lot of talk about self care and self love. I guess burning myself out has been another opportunity to deepen my understanding of these topics.
With the depression in mind, what is my protocol for recovery?
Along with a lot of rest, a bit of a break from music and the decision to free up my schedule a bit; I’m taking a bit of a holistic approach to recovery this time round. My Mam lent me a book about chakras – Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith – when she came to visit me which I’ve been dipping into quite a lot the past few days. According to the book I have an imbalance in my root chakra. Your root chakra is concerned with basic needs, survival, nourishment and feelings of security and belonging.
Attending to my basic needs has been difficult for me for quite a while. I have a bad habit of depriving myself of sleep, not drinking enough water and binge eating. I also struggle to feel secure when it comes to living arrangements and my finances. I’m happy to have found a resource that details the reasons for these imbalances and that provides spiritual and holistic solutions to them. It’s like I’ve been provided with another piece of the wellbeing puzzle that I wasn’t really considering before.
As I approach my mid-twenties, I’m moving further away from the cynical and existential mindset I had in my late teens and I’m staying more open to new possibilities with regards to perspectives on life and the best ways in which to live it. I recently started doing stream of consciousness writing which has opened up a new world for me and has had me toying with the idea that it is possible to channel source energy.
“Source Energy is unconditionally loving. Divine Source is God, Universal Consciousness, a connectedness to all that there is.” – Jennifer Ching Lopez
What I do is I write three A4 pages of whatever pops into my head. Every now and then if I feel stuck, I’ll pause to meditate and focus on my third eye in an attempt to remain open to source. I’m smiling as I write this because I know how it sounds. I spoke to my Mam on the phone today and when I told her that I felt I was channeling source, she exclaimed: “That’s because you are! That’s what it is!” I’m experiencing as much doubt as I am excitement and optimism about this new practice. So I write about the doubt too and I’m typically able to diffuse it and see it for what it is – ego’s fear of abandonment.
Interesting insights have been coming up through this method of writing. One of which was in reference to my root chakra imbalance. Seemingly out of nowhere, the sentence came:
“Imagine as if you have just given birth.”
Following on from this came questions to do with how I would treat this child and offer her the best conditions for growth and thriving. I’ve explored self parenting in the past and I’m already familiar with the concept of relating to yourself as a small child in order to optimise self care; but this sentence really made the concept hit home for me. If I’d just had a child, I would not ignore her when she said she was thirsty, tired or needed to be bathed. I would not feed her with as much junk as she wanted just to keep her happy in the short term. I would not ignore her cries to get her basic needs met.
It made me feel differently about the way I’d been treating myself. It made me see my inner child very clearly, in particular when I looked back on the time around two weeks ago when I relapsed and harmed myself. The idea of doing such a thing to a child in my care made me so emotional because in a way I have done it to a child; my inner child. At the end of the day, I can’t always control when my mood plummets and I feel faced with self harm as the only solution to that problem; but new insights like these definitely go a long way to tackling unhealthy habits.
Do you believe in chakras or have any sort of holistic or spiritual practice in your life? What’s your go-to self care activity? Let me know!
Thanks so much for reading! 🙂
– SMUT. ❤
4 thoughts on “Life Update: A Chat About Depression + Chakras”
Great post H, you are figuring out more and more as you go and thank you for sharing it with us. My husband always used to call it my boom and bust cycle, maybe it’s a bit of a thing for creative people. It’s helped me to read the Musings of Dirty Sci Fi Buddha on WordPress, he is steadfast and clear minded in his disciplined approach to getting his writing done, and he is spiritual. I’ll never be exactly like that, but I do write almost every single day for one or two hours and the book is really coming along. Wishing you all good things and sorry you had a bad time recently. Love from holy Pushkar in India.
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Thanks Rachel, I can definitely relate to the whole boom and bust thing! I’ll check that page out, thanks for the recommendation. Glad to hear your book is coming along well! I’ve been terrible at keeping up with blogs lately but I’m excited to hear about your travels when I catch up on it all. Best wishes to you too from Edinburgh ☺️
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Some great insights here as always, thank you. 🙂 I have a daily meditation/contemplation practice, and I do EFT most days.
As for self-care: baths with Epsom salts and lavender oil, journaling, podcasts, long walks with music and of course books.
I’ve been very inspired recently by a book I feel you’d really like, Entering the Castle by Caroline Myss. It’s also great for using as a daily practice.
Definitely going to look up the Anodea Judith book too. 🙂
Also if you ever want to chat about any and all things related to spirituality,
mindfulness, healing etc. please do get in touch, I’m always keen 🙂
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Thanks! 😊 Writing has been so important for my self care lately. Great, I’ll check that book out, thanks for the recommendation!
Cool, might just take you up on that! 😉