Recovering from a really bad cold I’ve just about managed to drag myself into work yesterday and today. There is little chance of full recovery in the short term as I struggle with work deadlines and the house is in upheaval because a new kitchen is being fitted. I actually don’t remember Tuesday to Thursday of last week, like I said, it is a bad cold.
My cousin visited two weeks ago and we had a special ‘Cousins What Curry’ night – the second such event, with three cousins instead of two and a special guest Uncle appearance. It was a good night although I think I’m coming to the realisation that I don’t like curry. I like the idea of curry and generally the flavour is OK but sitting down to a huge bowl of the stuff is just no longer enjoyable. Even the Korma (a very mild dish) I had last night made me ill.
While I tried to be a bit more tame on the alcohol front, inevitably I don’t remember the last bar we were in (I have a receipt) nor do I remember getting home (I did). This is just not good enough. Apparently when the my Uncle and eldest of the cousins left we went to a bar to drink cocktails. I admit to having vague recollections but not that clear. If we had gone home at the same time it would have been great. And that’s the problem – knowing when to go home. Knowing when to stop.
But the excessive drinking is just a symptom of a bigger issue and forms part of the cycle of depression that it feels I have been going through for years now. A cycle of stress, drinking, anxiety, depression which I have been fighting harder and harder. ‘If only I could just have a few quiet stress free days I could pull myself together’ I tell myself. But that never seems to happen. Finally the stress of starting my own company, changing out the kitchen and the general day to day work has reduced my immune system that I end up with this awful cold.
On the Monday following the Cousins What Curry shenanigans, I met up with my eldest cousin for a more sociable lunch (I had a soda water). He too has struggled with depression and chronic fatigue and seemed surprised that I was also suffering. He mentioned a book, The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (amazon UK link) by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn.
I’ve downloaded the book on to my Kindle and have started reading. In the first chapter, they outline two example based on fictional characters Alice and John. John’s story was an almost exact representation of what I feel I’m going through and the impact it’s having on my life. (Interestingly John was the name of my imaginary friend when I was little). The only difference is that I have tried anti-depressants as well as some therapy. While they both worked at the time, I thought because my mood improved I was cured. But things have become much worse.
I realise I can’t go on like this so I have to take action before it becomes too much or it is too late. In the meantime I am tackling this cold with PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) a trick that a University Professor told me about years ago. I went to visit him in his office one day when I was working as an industry supervisor for some MSc students and he had a really bad cold. He said, I just sit here for 5 minutes or so repeating to myself, “I will feel better now. I will feel better now!”
Anyway, as I work my way through The Mindful Way Through Depression (TMWTD) I will report back on thoughts, benefits, etc. to see what I make of it all.