Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Would You Just... Reframe That Narrative?

After work, walk home from the bus stop beneath a shushing canopy of leaves, the late sun turning the green of the leaves gold. Tiny purple flowers on the bushes. Telephone wires intersecting far off vapour trails to form complex patterns in the sky. The air hazy and warm. Buzzing of insects. Dry pollen tumbling on the breeze. Two children cycle past on miniature bikes, calling to one another, and I walk on, my footsteps swallowed in magnificence as, all around me, England lets out one vast sighing breath.

I always feel better after admitting to struggling. It always helps the storm to dissipate. Much of it, I think, is working to reframe my narrative. So, instead of thinking of myself as someone who tries to break free of depression and yet is always pulled back, can never escape, to instead try to join the dots to tell the story of a man coming to terms with his mental illness, with having days when the clouds are thick, sure, but many days when they are not, and learning each time the wind picks up and the hailstones fall to batten down the hatches and put away the delicate china, and to ride the weather out.

I feel low sometimes. I felt low yesterday. I'll feel low again soon. That is OK. There's no perfect world to get to, no end to struggles, at least in this lifetime. To paraphrase the Zen saying, "Before enlightenment: battle with days when you can't get up. After enlightenment: battle with days when you can't get up." I think perhaps happiness isn't about how great we can make our lives, but how great we can feel about our lives right now, in their, as Jon Kabat-Zinn quotes it, "full catastrophe".

I know these posts probably seem like a broken record at the moment, the same realisations, the same failures, the same realisations again. But I'm having to forget how I've lived life for probably two decades now, and learn again from scratch, and that takes a fair amount of repetition.

So bear with me. It's not easy, but, at least in retrospect, it'll all have been a lot of fun.

See you tomorrow x

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