So I’ve been really busy. Some of the things I’ve been doing.
I’ve just started a part-time college course with University College Cork- It’s called Mental Health in the Community. It’s really interesting so far, and I think it will be really useful in helping me advocate for myself and other service users. It’s extremely academic and there’s lots of coursework and my brain hasn’t been challenged in so long. Fingers crossed it still works.
Lots of walking. I’m walking between 30km and 45km every week. I’ve never walked so much! I’m getting to experience the best of Donegal beaches, and some beautiful walks. I’ll write a post soon with some of my favorite walks around Donegal.
I’m also doing a 6 weeks course with Aware in Letterkenny called Lifeskills. It’s extremely useful and I’d really recommend it. More info on www.aware.ie There’s also an online version which is definitely worth checking out if there’s no workshop in your area.
I’ve started Chi Gong, and I really love it. I’ve been doing a LOT of mindfulness over the past few months but I’m finding absolutely no benefit from it. My mind is just far too busy. But doing the movements of Chi Gong with the meditation and mindfulness really helps. It doesn’t stop the millions of thoughts that are buzzing around my head, but it does slow them down a tiny bit which is better than nothing.
Weekly Acupuncture sessions are an important part of my week. I have found an amazing Acupuncturist and I swear I really believe that she is helping keep me out of hospital. She is amazing, and I’d really recommend trying Acupuncture with a good Acupuncturist. I never had any belief in complementary therapies but I would go so far as to say that it has kept me alive.
I’m also working on two brand new websites. One for a community magazine I’m involved with, and the second a website on the benefits of writing and keeping a journal. (Watch this space)
Depression is such a lonely illness and it takes a lot of courage for people to reach out to others. But I love hearing of stories when someone does reach out and gets a positive reaction.
Crystal Nunn was going through a deep depression when she found the courage to send Stephen Fry a letter. Fry’s history with manic depression is well documented, but never in a million years did Crystal think that Fry would reply to her letter.
The letter which I’ve transcribed below has a wonderful message and it well worth a read.
April 10, 2006
I’m so sorry to hear that life is getting you down at the moment. Goodness knows, it can be so tough when nothing seems to fit and little seems to be fulfilling. I’m not sure there’s any specific advice I can give that will help bring life back its savour. Although they mean well, it’s sometimes quite galling to be reminded how much people love you when you don’t love yourself that much.