This is going to sound ridiculous, but I spent today at Trent Bridge cricket ground with my dad, my uncle and my dads friend watching England play New Zealand in the 4th One Day International.
For most people there, I’m sure today was a pleasant and relaxing day, drinking, soaking up the sun and enjoying friendly banter whilst watching a very civilised game of cricket.
Today has been really tough for me.
Past experience has taught me that I don’t do particularly well at major sporting event. I’ve not got to the bottom of it yet.
- It may be linked with my introvert and the fact that large groups and loud noises tend to make me feel anxious
- It could be habitual, as in I’ve freaked out so many times before that I automatically go into panic mode and just freak out
- It could be because I suffer from Low Latent Inhibition and I basically get overwhelmed by everything that’s going on both in and around the ground
- It could be that I’m an alcoholic and always end up getting drunk and not really in a state where I am able to take in or remember the experience
- It could be that I’m a sex addict and I instinctively spend my time looking for attractive women to objectify.
There are quite a few reasons why I tend to not be able to remain present, when at these type of events. It’s the reason I’ve never done a music festival before, because I know I’ll pretty much freak out and not be able to enjoy myself.
Armed with the knowledge I did everything that I could do to prepare myself for today.
I got plenty of rest yesterday afternoon, so that I wasn’t overly fatigued.
I woke up and got up early (5am) so that I could shower, eat, read and meditate and still leave time to drive leisurely up to Nottingham to have brunch with my family.
I drove sensibly, considerately and carefully, taking a couple of breaks to chill out and get something to eat and drink.
I got myself into a positive frame of mind on the way up and tried really, really hard to hold on and maintain my positive energy field.
Before we’d even got to the ground I was already only about two thirds present inside my head and I was losing myself fast.
Once we’d entered the ground and taken our seats I was gone. I was desperately searching for myself again, trying to recreate how I had felt earlier. I had disconnected from myself and was no longer present. The longer this went on the more I felt myself slipping back into depressive thinking. Alcohol wasn’t a problem but I had already clocked which fit women were sitting where and my obsessive mind was starting to kick in, so I consciously had to control my thoughts.
I was unable to reconnect with myself. I tried meditating. I tried to accept how I felt. Nothing I was doing was making me feel any better. If anything, I was getting worse by the minute. Shrinking into myself and thinking about how I was going to cope and what would happen if I really couldn’t hold it together. I just wanted to get out of there and be on my own.
After about 4 hours of disconnection from myself I suddenly remembered what it was that I needed to do.
I needed to just accept me for who I was in that moment.
I realised that I had put walls up to protect myself. These walls are similar in many ways to the coping mechanisms of addiction. At one point, when I actually was really ill, I needed to protect myself from the world. Today I had just gone into autopilot and instinctively put the walls up without even thinking about it or consciously knowing it.
As soon as I realised that I no longer needed these walls and that they were now not protecting me but actually disconnecting me, I sat back and let go.
I don’t need to pretend to be having a good time. I can just be and have a good time. My head is my space and it’s all mine. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone or protect myself from myself any more.
I don’t need to think about getting better, or clinging on to a feeling that has passed. I am better as soon as I simply accept myself and let go.
I instantly started to feel better. I became present and peaceful again. I began to communicate with my dad and uncle. I began to pay attention to and enjoy the game. I started liking being me, sat inside my body and accepting who I was in that moment.
I was sure that I was going to write today off and that my streak of good days had finally come to an end, but I can safely say that although today had its shit bits, I came through it OK.
I actually trusted myself enough to listen to my own advice and it worked.
You can work depression using the 12 steps.
- Step 1 – I admitted I was powerless over my depression and my life was becoming unmanageable. CHECK
By admitting I was powerless I regained my power. It’s essentially the same idea as the serenity prayer.
In some twisted way, it’s actually my addictions that may well end up being the cure for my mental illness.
I just keep reminding myself:
Keep coming back, it works if you work it so work it you’re worth it!