Mindfulness, Depression and Me

Written by Deborah McCabe

I suffer from chronic depression and have done for many years. Although I was on medication and it does work for me I would still find myself succumbing to the onslaught of dark thoughts and spiralling downwards into nothingness.  I was having a 6 monthly review with my GP who suggested I try meditation as he had some patients who had found it very useful. So with nothing to lose I searched on the internet and found a meditation group near me. I went along feeling exhausted as usual and not really knowing what I was doing there. We did some breathing and closed our eyes and I felt myself going to a place I didn’t know existed. It was quiet.  I left that group with a sense of attachment to the world. Anyone who suffers with depression knows that it’s detachment from the world that is the norm.

I continued going weekly and felt myself getting better. I went on a weekend workshop and left on Sunday evening energised like I have not been for a very long time. I then read Ruby Wax’s book ‘A Sane New World’  and felt a sense of relief knowing I was not the only person whose mind raced constantly with self criticism, regrets about the past, worry about the future. Ruby’s book was about more than the meditation, it was about mindfulness. So I went on a mindfulness course.

It was there that I discovered 3 things that have totally changed my life:

  • Thoughts are not Facts
  • Acceptance – of your own life, your own self.
  • You can change the way you think.

I have since taken these points and many more into my very being and my depression has diminished to the point that when it rears its ugly head (which is always will) I am ready for it, I manage it and instead of feeling useless for months and making crazy decisions in the midst of it, I am out of sorts for a few days and then I move on.

I have learned to appreciate what I have, I have learned to enjoy life as it is, not what I think it should be like. I see things that were once an inconvenience as a pleasure, taking the dog out in the pouring rain makes me feel alive. Sitting on a train or bus gives me time to rest my mind and stare out of the window.

I feel so passionately about it that I have trained to run Mindfulness and Meditation courses and I have seen other people change in front of my eyes. Not everyone, but some people embrace it, practice their meditations daily and, like me, feel the benefit.

When you live in complete acceptance of what is, that is the end of all the drama in your life

Eckart Tolle