Archives for the month of: June, 2011

there has been a very steep learning curve in my life with depression.  for somebody like me, who really enjoys being teacher’s pet, it’s so nice to be able to look to experts for the answers and then regurgitate them without ever finding out if they are TRUE.

i’ve looked in so many places for help with my depression: talk therapy (helpful for a while), medication (helpful for a while), routine changes (helpful for a while), becoming a recluse (guess what i’m gonna say here?  that’s right…helpful for a while), becoming a party animal (yep, a while).  because depression is a multi-faceted disease, the best way to dance with it is also multi-dimensional.

but, the single most beneficial thing that has helped over  a long time is how i choose to nourish myself.

that’s right.  what i eat has become the greatest single factor in the severity of my depression.

and, the best way for me to eat is NOT what is usually recommended.

here’s how the logic usually went:  since sugar is a direct path to seratonin production, sugar makes us happy, so if you’re depressed eat sugar.  we don’t usually come right out and say sugar.  we say carbs.  generally whole grains.

i am so happy to see the tide turning.  there is a greater awareness that sugar is metabolized like a drug and we need more and more of it to get that initial hit.  even worse, after our sugar high, there is a pretty bad crash.  but, whole grains are still recommended as the foundation of a healthy diet.  (spoiler alert: they are incredibly detrimental.)

i rode this roller-coaster for a long time.  when i was on a “health kick” i would decrease my “sugar” intake but up by grain intake.  warm baguettes, bowlfuls of rice and beans, quinoa, quinoa, quinoa, mounds of pasta bolognese.  after each hit, i would feel a little euphoric, detached.  and then, BLAM.  i would want to increase my razor to wrist ratio.

when i don’t eat sugar, grains of any kind, and keep my protein/fat to carb ratio at least 2:1, i can feel the life in me instead of wishing for death.  and that’s pretty damn sweet.

so, this past weekend, i was in toronto.  (o, canada!)  the kid and i drove eight long hours so that he could stay in the hotel room and binge on bad t.v. while i was receiving my training as a holistic lifestyle coach (level 1, kids, gotta start somewhere) with the CHEK institute.  it’s been a couple years since i’ve been in a classroom environment and i really enjoyed it.  but, it was clear to me how far i’ve come.  although i had facts to share on every topic (i am mister nigel-murray with girl parts.), i realized how little actual practical application i have in my life.  i’m one of those people who finds great safety in thoughts, safety in the processes of my brain.  facts.  i have a body in theory.

being a wild woman is about having a body in practice, in every moment.

i’ve been getting this message from so many different sources.  somebody told me the other day that our brains can time travel, they can be anywhere: regretting the past, reliving the past, wishing for something that isn’t in the present, yearning for something in the future, worrying about all sorts of different possibilities.  the body is absolutely chained to the moment.  it can’t be anywhere but right now.  and right now is, 98% of the time, just fine, if not better.

if you’re anything like me (and i’m willing to bet good money that if you were born in the past 100 years, you are) you tend to live in your mind, too.

so, how does one get wild with it?

1. be sensually aware

we have five senses. use them.  start with jut two minutes every hour and ask yourself these five questions: what do i smell right now?  what do i see right now?  what do i hear right now?  what do i taste right now?  what textures do i feel right now?

2.  play with dimension

most things that we interact with these days are two dimensional.  the computer screen, the t.v., concepts….but, the body is three dimensional.  move your hips in as many dimensions as you can discover, swing your arms through all the planes they can find, look around and see how many different perspectives you can create.

3. listen

your body is constantly (constantly, kids) talking to you.  100% of truth is found in the messages of the body.  your body wants you to be present with it.  when you don’t listen to it, it will start getting louder and louder until it’s screaming at you and then, if ignored long enough, it goes numb.  if you’ve gotten to a place where your body is numb, it’s really just pissed off at you.  it is giving you the cold shoulder because you’ve taught it that is can’t trust you.  that’s when it’s time to be patient and gentle.  start with little things.  feel the fatigue and go to sleep.  allow yourself to feel the hunger and feed your body.  listen to the fullness and stop eating.  hear the desire to move and let your muscles sing.

I have had a transformational weekend and from that I wanted to share some questions that are coming up for me.

What if I were KIND to myself?

What if  I treated myself as I wished others would treat me?

What if I allowed my “inner child” her tantrums and her tears and her playfulness knowing that my adult self will buy her the best things to eat, pay for dance lessons, drive her to the beach, and keep the house clean with flowers always in a vase?

What if I gave notice to my brain and moved into my body with an open-ended lease with option to buy?

What if I acknowledged that I’m free from my past and that all the associated suffering is a trick of my mind?

What if I set judgement down in a corner for a while?

What if I looked at myself with eyes of gentleness and understanding for all I’ve endured?

I’m really the only one that’s been with me the whole time.  No one else knows what life is really like experienced through my self.  The expectation that someone else will really get me and provide the things I need is bound to be unmet.  No one else really knows what hurts my feelings or makes me giggle so hard that I need to pee.  No one else has to put up with the abuse I often dole out onto my mind and body.  No one else is in my skin.  No one else has my bones and muscles and toes.  I am the only one of me there will ever be.  That’s some really special shit.

since wednesdays kind of suck all around, i decided that they would be the days that i blog about depression.

today, we will learn the opposite game.

it’s played when depression’s voice is the loudest one you can hear in your head.  you’ll know when that happens.  it’s not necessary when you still have the capacity to hear your own loving voice counter negative thoughts, but once all you can hear is the eloquent droning (somewhat like a rather pompous preacher’s sermon) of your depression, it’s time to play.

here’s how it goes:

1. depression tells you to do something

2. you do the opposite

one symptom of depression is feeling overwhelmed so i kept the guidelines of the game to a minimum.

“wild woman, can you give me an example?”

hellz to the ya, i can!

scenario one:

it’s ten in the morning and all depression wants to do is stay in bed with the curtains drawn, under the covers.

 opposite game: get up, take a quick shower, wear something clean, and take a walk.

scenario two:

it’s dinner time and all depression wants to do is eat a german chocolate cake

opposite game: sautee that steak you thawed in butter, plop some salad greens onto your plate and eat

scenario three:

depression’s got “i suck” on a playback loop in the brain

opposite game: “i’m pretty awesome” is repeated like a mantra

since, i’m playing along, it’s time for me to get up and get some lunch.  (gluten and dairy free!)