Time and Space – A beautiful marriage and an ugly divorce
Time and space are two things I love, but struggle with on a daily basis. My mental health battle for the last three years has done little in reality but intensify my volatile relationship with both. It’s a strange relationship – a love filled, joyous marriage on good or better days and an unequivocally ugly divorce on bad days. I’ve struggled with depression over the last three years and have been diagnosed as Bipolar Type Two and BPD.
On good days, I treasure time and personal space and can clearly appreciate their power and role in healing. But, on difficult days I loathe them. They seem to solely exist to spite my existence and intensify personal feelings of unworthiness and hopelessness. On such days, time slows right down – even stops – and becomes a prison. No one wants to stay in prison, right? If only I could manage time effectively. I’ve been working on it for the greater part of the last three years, but each and every difficult day brings its own challenge and I haven’t to date found a universal ‘all-fitting’ technique for dealing with time and space effectively when in crisis. My three hospitalisations to date probably serve at best to remind me of three prominent battles I lost, all battles against existence and time. I’m no specialist, but through lived experience, I’ve become a little better at dealing with time and space in crisis by using certain techniques. So here goes:
- Grounding: In crisis, I try to concentrate on the ‘here and now’ and on the way things ‘actually’ are. I remind myself that feelings are not facts. Being able to use time to just ‘stop’ and evaluate has been valuable.
- In crisis, immersing myself in Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques whilst also being aware of my internal and external experiences. A favourite personal pastime of mine is watching /listening to ASMR (whispering community) videos on YouTube. Very relaxing and a great distraction!
- Retiring when in crisis to a ‘Safe Space’ – could also be referred to as a ‘happy place’ (
- Create a ‘Daily Ideas Note’ on my mobile phone. This ideas list includes pleasurable self-care ideas and more practical day-to-day must do’s. Not a huge fan of time-restrictions as I feel that they tend to set myself up for a failure so am über liberal on the ‘time’ issue. If in crisis, the list can serve as a possible ‘map’ or navigation tool for the day.
- Indulge in Physical Activity. I have a beautiful Blue Merle Border Collie (named ‘Wini Lwyd’) that I love to walk! Physical exercise always makes me feel better and fresh air surely puts things in perspective.
- Get more sleep – sounds simple right? But, sleep always provides me with a different perspective. When all gets too much, hit the pillow and include a couple of hot water bottles! Be sure to know that tomorrow is a new day!
The above are all personal practised techniques. Like all techniques, I find they work best when practised daily, in non-crisis situations. In turn, they become a whole lot easier and more effective in crisis.
Making the blue a little lighter x