I have tried to make sense of it, find a pattern, make predictions, use the knowledge gathered from books and doctors and online articles – but the fact remains- I do not understand CLINICAL DEPRESSION. It is such a weird thing that makes me go through experiences and feelings I didn’t even know could exist. Yes, right now is one of those days where I am unable to stop shivering, unable to focus on any work for more than a few minutes, unable to meditate enough to calm down and yet, nothing is really “wrong” around me. And to know that just yesterday I felt like the king of the world- someone who could win in all aspects of life.

The last few weeks, I have been to Chennai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Bombay –conquering my fears of travel. I have worked on projects I have not only enjoyed but am grateful for the awesome opportunities the Universe gives me in spite of being away from the commercial photography scene for so long. I have once again made clients happy and made new friends. I have even had a couple of awesome drunken partying nights where I was happy and silly as if the last two years never happened. I have been fortunate to be able to connect and enjoy the process where a stranger becomes an acquaintance and is on the path to being a friend. Of course, I thought I had finally figured it out.

I love being the “wise” one who has conquered a year long depression and has technically become a butterfly ( you know the whole caterpillar metamorphosis theory?). However, how is it possible that the butterfly keeps going back to being the caterpillar and the metamorphosis ( painful for sure) seems never ending?

Someone had once mentioned that Clinical Depression never really goes away and keeps coming back in different forms for varying durations throughout the life. It’s almost like “once a depressive, always a depressive” I have a deep fear slowly creeping into my heart and there is a huge battle happening internally between the optimistic me and the new scared depressed me – Could it be true that I will never ever be completely free from Clinical Depression? I don’t know the answer to that and I am praying for the optimistic me to win – and hoping to see the black clouds disappear forever.

Till that happens, I want to use my learnings from last year to balance my “normal” life with this black cloud which keeps visiting me. I can’t believe but I actually have a plan to follow religiously till I feel “normal” again:

  • Meditate – the minute I wake up and just before I go to bed.
    • A simple 5 minutes every morning on gratitude and another 5 minutes at the day end has proven to be helpful in the past few month, so why not!  Insight Timer is a life saver app.
    • During the day, anytime it becomes too much to handle, try this Mindful Meditation.It helps in grounding.
  • Gratitude – anytime during the day works.
    • Anytime am nervous, I can just use my prayer beads to say “Thank You God”. Even if it does not look like it is helping, I will eventually feel calm ( I always do!)
    • Pick any particular time of the day for an everyday chore ( example: clearing the dinner table) and for every step I take, say “Thank “ as I put my left foot down ad “You” as I put my right foot down.
  • Day Dream – my favourite part
    • Look for your deepest desire right now and imagine your prayer has been answered. You have received exactly what you asked for (or better) . Visualise yourself in detail – how you will feel and look , the place you will be, the things around you and more. I believe this not only helps in sending a great signal to the Universe on what you want but also leaves you with a sense of satisfaction because you “feel” the way you would when your dream comes true.
    • Pick any one person in your life who is important to you and you wish the relationship would become better. Close your eyes, visualise the two of you as happy smiling and having fun together ( again, in as much detail as possible). Send loving kind wishes to that person and thank the Universe as if the relationship has already become better. There is a magical power hidden in this step and you will see it’s effect soon if practised regularly.
  • Get out!
    • Shower and get ready and go out in the park/garden for some sun and fresh air. Irrespective of the weather, this always helps. If possible, look for a place where you won’t meet too many people and can enjoy your own company.
  • Music
    • Music has ALWAYS helped in lifting my spirits. I must make an effort to remember this tip. “Cheap Thrills” to “Yeh Jawani Teri” all works!
  • Remember Louise Hay
    • Pick up any affirmation that seems relevant and keep repeating it like your life depends on it. If you can’t choose, just say “I now go beyond other peoples fears and limitations.I create my own life.”

Anyone who knows me even a little , would vouch for my lack of planning for most things in life. The very mention of the word makes me anxious. But surprisingly, just writing the above lines makes me feel better and gives me hope. And I am liking this sense of security which comes with it. So here’s to more planning in life! What’s  yours?!