It’s hard to remember, what life was like before a depressive episode. In that state everything is black and white and days pass in a slow fog… I remember when I first saw the Psychiatrist:
“Are you suicidal?”
“I have suicidal thoughts but I’d never do that to my family”
“How do you know you won’t act on them?”
“I keep telling myself I’ve got better before, and I’ll get better again”
Sometimes it was a fight to cling to that knowledge. It’s been a couple of months since I left the psych hospital and since then its been a bit of a bumpy road but I’ve been heading in the right direction all the same. Now, after completing my first month of DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) colour is flooding into my life and I feel myself waking up.
Everyday I have to work at getting better. I do my DBT homework, I follow my therapists advice, I take my medication. The work is paying off though, my motivation has improved, my attention span is longer, my mood is more stable. Suddenly I realise that I’m no longer enduring my life but living it.
Today, as part of my DBT homework I created a photo wall as one of my ACE activities (activities that give you a sense of Achievement, Closeness to others and Enjoyment)
I ordered polaroid photographs of my friends and family and strung them up as a reminder of all the positives in my life.
Remember to look after yourself and to plan things that will bring you fulfilment.
This is a list of my ACE log
- invite a friend to dinner (or even just a phone call if you can’t manage dinner)
- Do something kind for someone else
- Sing along to music
- Have a hot bath
- Go for a walk
- Clean and decorate around the house (best done in small chunks)
- Meditation or Mindfulness exercise
- Setting a side a time for ‘life admin’ tasks
I consider myself very lucky to have a supportive network of friends and family around me that have enabled me to never lose sight of what’s important. I wouldn’t have made the progress I have if it wasn’t for their help.
For any readers that struggle with mental illness please take that step to reach out and ask for help from a friend, family member, or you talk to your GP or call Good Samaritans.