Monday, October 09, 2006

Old black dog, new tricks

I am reminded by tomato, who writes beautifully on the subject, that tomorrow is World Mental Health Day.

I am quite an anxious person. As Wikipedia explains quite well, anxious people often use alcohol as an anxiety suppressant, which works a treat till you wake up and then you feel anxious *and* hungover. This explains why I don't see many Sunday mornings. What's to get up for?

And there is a kind of depression brought on by anxiety (as opposed to anxiety brought on by depression, which is a different kettle of fish altogether). This is probably my biggest mental health issue.

Not drinking helps. Going to bed early helps. Evening Primrose Oil helps. Exercise helps. Time by myself helps. Low wheat and low dairy helps.

But god, how boring is THAT? And boredom doesn't help.

The very first time I went to have a weep in Wantage, I rambled on for a while about vitamins going past their use by date while I unscrew the top of a new whisky bottle, and MF the therapist said 'so you know what you need to do to help yourself, but you choose not to do it?'

Yes, I said. That's exactly it.

And thus, oftentimes, it remains. But I chip away at it when I can, because when you can, you should.

For example: the vegetarian lunch option today in the New Building was cauliflower cheese and bread. I love cauliflower cheese, but cheese sauce gives me gut ache, and the bread in the New Building is of the lowest common denominator. I knew I would wolf it down, but I knew it would a) disappoint me b) make me feel a bit ill and c) make me hate myself slightly for not looking after myself.

So instead I had a smoked salmon sandwich (omega 3!) and some watercress soup. For my tea I had tinned sardines and Encona on toast (omega 3!) and some miso soup.

If I weren't necking sherry at half past midnight while writing this, I'd be one of those annoying born again sane people. As it is I will have a muzzy head in the morning, but I will celebrate not having dodgy guts too.

Mentally, am I healthier or less healthy than average? I have no idea. Am I moving in the right direction? For now. Is that enough? Absolutely.

joella

4 Comments:

Blogger tatton said...

Meditation cures boredom. Instead of being bored we meditate. Once you've mastered it (counting to ten and the out breath saying calm) then you can add your own mantra; happy or whatever you want to be.

12:00 pm  
Anonymous Charlie said...

Wait, do you hold your breath for the count of ten? I couldn't stay calm on the out breath under those circumstances. But if it's meditation or sherry, Jo, I think you should listen to Dr Tatton. Sherry is just trifle without the lumps. I won't have it in the house.

11:07 pm  
Blogger Jo said...

That's a bare faced lie. We got through a whole bottle of it last Christmas while listening to the Wombles.

10:13 am  
Anonymous Charlie said...

I know! I remembered that in some peculiar moment of clarity about 3am and nearly got up to type a retraction. Christ, I can't even say any longer that I wouldn't have the Wombles in the house. As long as they brought sherry.

3:33 pm  

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