My life demonstrates how mindfulness meditation & living a nature-based life ends spirals of sadness and my chronic eating disorder syndrome. Ways to love your life again.
What is life for you? May be, a new opportunity to grow better or love deeper or may be try to correct things just one more time again. For you, may be each day comes with a chance to water the dead flowers. But, life is different for someone who has lost the zeal to deal with it. The mornings are not sunny and the nights seem too dark that it scares the soul from within. That’s Depression for you. For everyone, who is still dwelling on idea that Depression is a disease, then it is high time to shed that skin. Depression is not a disease, but a tunnel that puts you through a time, where you don’t see the light at the end of it. No, it is not a perception or a negative mindset, but an outcome of the consequence that shapes one’s life.
Every day, you will meet people, who suffer from one or the other form of this issue. Ill-Temper, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and even Narcissism; all these sums up to form the big beast we need to fight with- DEPRESSION.
Why I say it? Because, pushing through the hell was not easy for me as well. Being fighting with one of the most horrendous sides of Depression, I dealt with Emotional Eating Disorder for over 6 years. Every time I was sad, over-whelmed or angry, the pangs would get unbearable and the urge to grab anything to eat was way too strong than my own, once strong but now deteriorating, will power. I would eat food and then sulk in the unfathomable sense of guilt. It would feel as if I am fated to face everything that was happening to me.
I will be opening doors for you to see how activities like focused meditation for Depression and self-love is helping with my struggles.
Depression is one dark demon that creeps in your life and waits for you to be vulnerable, and then traps you with its claws, so tight that nothing will set you free. I never knew that my hunger hormones were a slave to Depression. In college, at a height of 5’4”, I weighed 78 kilograms and I ate whatever I wanted to, therefore, there was no halt to my bad lifestyle. However, this was just a sad page of the entire book. I remember the days, wherein I was bullied for my weight and mocked by people around me because I was fat and looked horrible. The bullying and constant hammering that came in the form of people calling me names, sabotaged my mental health to an extent that I preferred shutting down from the world. I found solace in eating food because that gave me a sense of comfort. I would instantly feel wonderful but sadly, I never assessed the issue. My brain took the hunger pangs as a voluntary signal, and almost thrust aside the consequences. This is what Depression does to you. It disrupts the normal mood patterns and makes you believe that the current response patterns are probably the best fit.
While in college, I got into a relationship that lasted for about 2 years. I thought a relationship shall fill all the emotional holes that bullying drilled in the past. However, as people say, anything that is built on the false foundation comes down crumbling. The 2 years that I was in, what I thought as bliss, turned out to be a narcissistic trap, wherein, I suffered more bullying and back lashes. This happened to an extent that made me even more depressed, amplified the wrong eating patterns, and a gain in weight. The dark clouds hovered over my life in a way that the job I got after college couldn’t keep me in place. I resigned and preferred staying in my hostel room for better. The end of the relationship kind of ended the essence of my existence. I would cry any moment, was not meeting people and gaining weight because of my eating disorder.
The reality is nothing can fill the gaps in your life but you. When you stop loving yourself and refuse to see the abundant, nothing helps you regain anything in life. That is what Depression did to me.
This society and the world, to be specific, picture an image in its own brain and then condition your mind in the same way. Imagine if we start seeing everyone from a view that wants us to see only the perfect sides. What would happen? This world will turn into one nasty messed up piece of being. Somehow, the surrounding wants you to be perfect to the Tea and you have no option but to be struggling everyday to meet those level of standards. No wonder, suicide rates have seen a new high in the past few years.
Depression is a clinically proven mood disorder that puts you through hell. My life was slowly turning into one and I was so near to reaching my death bed. It was in the year 2016, that I visited my parents for vacation. The night of 4th August 2016, brought in a hammer-thrash that opened my eyes my forever. The day still seems lingers like a vivid dream and nauseates me.
In the middle of night, I woke up sweating and gasping for breath. I couldn’t understand why and felt as if it was time to leave my body. My father took me to an emergency where the doctor stated that my pulse rate was high and heart beat out of whack. The doctor asked my father, if I am comfortable with medications for blood pressure. That very statement shook me from within. It was the darkest moment of my existence, when I realized that I need medications at the age of 27 years.
This was a time when my body was going through the darkest times and my mind was trapped behind its own doors. A vicious circle of sadness-eating disorder-weight gain-poor health, was marring my well-being.
Depression is not an ailment that goes away, once you start popping pills for days. There are medications available and are prescribed for people who suffer in scenarios. There are several forms of Depression and therefore, there is a separate approach for each one of them.
My response patterns reflected a combined effect of Seasonal affective disorder and Heavy mood swings. During certain times of the year, I would feel exhausted for no reason and that controlled how I dealt with people and situations. This is how I realized that my body was trapped in the wrap of the ill-fated scenarios and a sad life.
The ways of life that helped me break the chains might not resonate with the life you deal with, but surely an indicator that nothing is big and tough enough.
As I narrated the night of August 4th 2016, the entire journey flashed in front of eyes and believe me, self-healing is tough yet doable.
1. Homely Psychotherapy
I am not going to state any clichéd possibilities of curing depression nor I visited a therapist. No, I didn’t, because of a simple fact that place where I currently live is a small city with no licensed practitioner nearby. Had I been in a metro city, like I used to before 2016, I would have visited once. However, I am glad that God had a different plan for me. I shifted back to my native place to be with my parents and support them for a while, as they are old and incapacitated to perform daily outdoor chores or running errands. This was a blessing because I realized that more I stayed amid my folks, helping them, and just being there for them, actually served as a way to heal myself. The love we shared with each other became a medicine for my broken parts. I started a new job here, came back to a serene environment, and found a passion in teaching students from rural areas. While, I tried my best to serve others, this helped me regain my confidence.
2. No Gym Health
I am a no-gym person. Please don’t freak out reading this because I have facts to pacify your opinion. Do you know that working outdoors in greenery boosts your mood? Open air and flora around helps brain release happy hormones called Endorphins, which regulates the mood and gives you a sense of zeal to live happy. My next target was to end this weight gain story, forever. I started with brisk walking and gradually walked my way to the intense art of Yoga. I learned HATHA YOGA and tried myself by incorporating meditation in my regime. Owing to my symptoms of Depression, it was hard for me to meditate but with time, I managed to train my mind in one direction. I would imagine flame of a burning candle and focus my mind on it. Time taught me that including meditation for depression can be a possible way out and surprisingly it was. Knowing that seasonal change affected my mood, I religiously workout during winters and autumn. My workout regime is a perfect blend of cardiovascular exercises to regulate weight and Yogic moves to infuse stillness. Another change that took 2 years to come into existence was my Vegan lifestyle. The world of spirituality says that eating meat chokes the Pineal Gland, therefore, restricting mindfulness. Exercising boosts mood in general, and instills self-love. It was now more about how good I looked than how much I weighed.
3. Some Time Alone
Someone who is fighting Depression can find solitude a threat to their recovery. However, this is your race to win. You must understand that self-love starts with chalking out a plan for your own mental peace. Sometimes, it is important to save energy for yourself and use it to re-construct your aura. Through Exercise and family, I was only able to scratch a part of the issue. What really helped me in the long run was some tender care for my own soul. I used to go out for long walk, spend time in my garden and do gardening. I made journaling a part of my daily life; every morning I write all the blessings in my life and things I am grateful for.
I found passion in Gardening, feeding the birds in my garden and finding smiles at the time of despair. The most loving part is when I wrap my day with some dose of meditation. I would not say that I am totally free from the ugly traps of Depression, but I would mention that my mind knows how cruel it is to sabotage your well-being with food. It is 2019 and past 3 years have been an arduous journey of love & hate.
You cannot overlook the abuse and move on with the consequences. Sometimes, the pain goes away when you sit down and experience every hurtful layer to it. Your healing starts now. Take each step slowly. Do not run but rather walk slowly and stomp onto every single hurdle. Let us join hands and find our ways together towards the ultimate sense of existence.
Author Bio: After suffering from 'Emotional Eating Disorder' for many years, Almy took up the courage to fight it and beat it. Yoga become her weapon to fight with this deadly disorder and in no time, she helped herself out of it. Ever since, she has been continuing with her practice of yoga and hopes to inspire others by spreading the goodness of yoga across the world.