Feelings of despair, hopelessness and unhappiness. This is how I have been feeling for some time unbeknownst to me until I hit rock bottom. I couldn’t get out of bed. I had no energy. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I knew I wasn’t stressed nor depressed but I just couldn’t shake this feeling.
I was very familiar with the concept of thoughts create things and that you attract to you what you think about all day long.
To back track a little: I’d cured myself of self-imposed depression when I was 49 years old (9 years ago). At that time I hadn’t realised that I was depressed and had been for most of my life. I played a very good victim role. My brain was hard-wired to all the bad in my life. I never ever saw the good. My future was always the outcome of my past and present thoughts.
After my divorce and having to live on my own I found I did not like my own company. So I escaped by going to the gym every day, riding my bicycle, going out, anything so I wasn’t left alone at home. However it got to the point I couldn’t get out of bed anymore because I had burnt myself out. At that time I didn’t know what was wrong with me.
I went to the doctors and after all the tests I had, they concluded I was suffering from depression and recommended anti-depressants. I stood up and looked down at the doctor and said “I realise now that I have come to the wrong place to find answers” and I walked out. There was no way I was going to take anti-depressants. Even though I was struggling with my health, deep down in my soul it screamed out “no I don’t want to take anti-depressants!” I was 43 at the time (15 years ago).
When I got home I was compelled to look in my library of books and found a little book that read “How To Increase Your Energy”. I had bought this book some time ago, can’t remember why. So as I was reading it I realised that I was suffering from chronic fatigue. One of the things it said was to go for a walk and smell the roses. Lucky for me at that time I was living in a beautiful suburb in Brisbane, Australia where there was plentiful flowers, nature, stunning houses, shops, cafes and a park with a lovely bike/walking path. So each day I walked and appreciated the beauty around me. At first all I could manage was 5 minutes, and then I built up to 10 minutes until finally I could do 45 minutes without feeling exhausted. It took 18 months before I finally got my health back on track. I had taken 2 months off from work and when I returned I worked part-time for 3 months. I was fortunate that I had an understanding boss.
Through this time I also learnt how to enjoy my own company and I started liking myself. I guess it got to the point I was quite happy to living a single life. To this day I have remained single. I am now 57 years old. I guess this is another area I need working on but that can wait, lol.
So as I was saying I did have the tools and techniques to heal myself but the problem is that this time I am now a caregiver for my mother, I live in a place I hate and my mother lives under a flying school flight path. Over the years the flying school has grown which now means that the light planes fly over all day long morning until late evening one after another. It is driving me crazy. I try and shut my mind from it but they are so noisy and regular that I find it very difficult to shut them out.
I enjoy sitting outside in my mother’s back patio reading my holistic magazines, meditating and writing in my journal. However this is hard because all I can hear and see are the light planes flying over every minute. It has finally worn me down as well as being an “accidental caregiver”.
So a few days ago I bought some Rescue Remedy hoping this will calm and focus me. Yesterday I came across an article in one of my holistic magazines called “Gratitude – A Cure for Depression?” I became intrigued and found this article very interesting and insightful. As I was sitting contemplating what the author had written, an idea leaped in my mind “Start a blog on gratitude and a Facebook page”. Not only would this be cathartic for me to start feeling grateful for what I have but I wanted to reach out to others to join in so we could support each other and lift each other up.
I know how hard it is to be happy and positive when you are feeling so miserable.
Apparently once you start practicing gratitude it reduces your stress levels quickly. Science backs this up saying that gratitude practice reduces the stress hormone cortisol and dramatically increases the feel-good hormone DHEA. There is nothing like an all-natural “happy chemical” cocktail to make you feel better.
As you begin to deliberately think grateful, thankful, good thoughts your brain begins to think positively which means the neural pathways in your brain lessens its strong hold and starts rewiring your brain to be more positive.
I always thought that by choosing to be happy makes us grateful but in fact it’s by deciding to be grateful that actually makes us happy.
So I am giving this blog a go to help me release my thoughts of hopelessness and despair. Now I am not saying this will be easy as I know I will find it somewhat difficult at first given the intensity of the dislike I feel in my current situation in life. However I am desperate to start feeling good again because, darn it, it feels better, full-stop!
So please join me in my gratitude blog and the Facebook Group which my business partner Linda Strother created for us called “Our Daily Gratitude 4 Life”. She thought a group would be better in the first instance.
So let’s reward ourselves with the daily practice of gratitude. Transform our lives to feeling wonderful positive emotions to transition us to a place where we can be stronger emotionally and to be able to be more self-controlled one step at a time.
Blessings Isabella Manetti