Lately I have been writing a lot of “What” – What to do, what to try. Today I want to talk about “How”. How to practise, how to get the most out of your journey to In Recovery Me.
If you want to succeed, if you want to be well - then it’s all about consistency. It’s all about our habits. Not just our transactions. All the good ideas that you implement have to be done over and over and over again to have impact. I am most concerned with Depression and Anxiety. To get Well from these you must be consistent. There is no silver bullet. There is just a lot of hard work and slog. So in other words it is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
For years they have been saying that it takes 21 days to make a habit. Well the latest research is saying that it takes 66 days to make a habit. That’s a long time. That takes a great deal of faith in your process. That’s a lot of doing with small, snail like moments of progress.
We live in an instant world. Instant coffee, fast food, contactless charge cards. Fast and convenient. What I am telling you now is that to be well, to be In Recovery Me, you have to be slow. Slow and steady.
What I find helps is to have times of reflection. Times where I stop doing and I start being. I look back over all I have accomplished and all I have set for my goals. I take stock. This really helps me to realize that it takes many small steps to make progress.
Don’t get me wrong – there are many quick fixes. I support them. From going for a run to having a milkshake at McDonalds – our world is full of instant gratification. But to have your resting mood, your state of stillness to be one of health, your time alone, your moments of doing nothing – that requires consistent self-effort.
I reckon that mental illness is about nature and nurture. I totally believe that I have the power to affect my nurture so that I can change my nature. I used to believe I was powerless against my bio-chemistry. I used to believe that there was nothing I could do if my brain didn’t emit enough serotonin or endorphins or gaba or dopamine or whatever. But I now believe that I can change my brain, for the better. I have the power. But I also believe this is a slow slow burn.
So what I advise is that you chose carefully the good stuff you are going to implement, and then do it, and do it and do it. It takes a long time of writing a Gratitude Journal before you start to see the world framed in gratitude; before you start to see thankfulness everywhere. It takes a long time of meditating before you can train the brain to relax. During this period of gestation you have to have faith. My goodness, even anti-depressant medication takes six weeks to kick in. If you suffer from mood disorders; depression and/or anxiety then you are in a fight for life. Choose your path carefully and follow it.
How do I get well, I hear you ask? Slowly… it’s all in the dot dot dot! Slowly.
Have a great day. A day In Recovery Me.
About the Author – Kate Hull Rodgers is an expert by experience. She has been mentally ill since 1986, more than 30 years. She is diagnosed as bi polar and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) Every day she battles to be in recovery, many days she wins. She speaks in corporate workplaces with her company www.humourus.co.uk. She has spoken in 29 countries. Also she runs Stepping Stone Theatre for Mental Health www.steppingstonetheatre.co.uk with her husband, Bill- and she is still happily married. Mustn’t forget, she is the proud mother of Harvey and Dominic – and the dog, Zebbie.