I’m getting better at remembering life is good

A while ago, in another country, I thought I was a bit mad. That I was on the spectrum or something. I was convinced of it. It’s only when you get through something – when you get out the other side, that you can look back more clearly.

I wasn’t mad. I was just really, really very depressed.

If anybody had suggested I was depressed I would have said ‘Nonsense’. I’ve read about it, it’s an awful thing. It’s clinical. I couldn’t be depressed. But looking back I was in a situation I was trying to keep together. That deep down I knew wasn’t good for me. But I didn’t want to make the change that, again, deep down I needed to make. I tried my best and it wasn’t working. I was lost. Years passed.

When I made the change. I felt twelve tonnes lighter. Not at first obviously. But gradually and quickly. It was like the sun had come out. Don’t get me wrong. It was bloody scary for many, many reasons. At one point my savings were getting very, very low and anyone is only a few bad decisions or turns of bad luck from being homeless and on the street. I’m not a young man anymore either. That reduces options. But I felt lighter, more positive and energised for the first time in a long time.

Roll on a few more years and I’m in a good place. Better off than a lot of people as I haven’t had debt for many years. I hate debt as it traps you. Credit agencies love it though so I’ve learned over the past couple of years to carefully manage a credit card. Just so I can get a phone contract – madness. But what money I have is mine and I’m not too extravagant. So in a very short time, with hard work and a bit of luck I’m back in the same(ish) position I was in that other country – but with a much healthy life.

I feel lucky.

I try and help others as well.

We have a friend who is not happy with work or her lot in life. Herself tells me about the chats they’ve had and I recognised things. Lack of sleep, being down on everything, not wanting to go out…lots of things. I told Herself to invite our friend round. That we’d help her go through her CV. Give advice etc.

It’s amazing how you could see the clouds lift from her as the evening went on. That there were possibilities and options. Not everybody has the strength or can get the distance from their issues to do something about it.

When work is getting on top of Herself I try and gently remind her of the good aspects. She said the other day it actually helped her a lot – to remember context. Everybody has a bad day. I always try and remember the good parts. We’ve gone to a very relaxing place in Crete for the past couple of years. I’ve seen nothing of Crete. I sit by the pool, read books and relax. While I’m there I do that awful sounding thing of ‘Living in the moment’. I remember bad times, and remind myself that I’m beyond them, that this is lovely, and to remember it and appreciate it.

I use those memories throughout the year.

But to be honest it’s the same if I’m sitting in our garden on a Summers day. I appreciate it. There and then. I don’t think about anything annoying going on in life. Don’t dwell on problems. Just enjoy those little golden moments.

I’m also going to try and remember to change things that could make me unhappy before they become ‘massive things’. To try and have a plan and to act on it.

So I’m making a change…I’ll write about that next time.