I decided in hospital that something in my life had to change. I sensed early on that I’d lost control of my whole life and that that unfortunate fact had seen me value my life as nothing and useless. Something, I knew, had to change. When it came to recovery, people carried on saying step by step Malan and not too fast! So, I thought – let’s make it about steps, literally and see if that can change anything in my mental health?
Since being discharged, I have been talking life step by step, literally. I have been working on my weekly daily goal of doing between 7k-10k steps and it’s going well up to now, although, we’re only on day 4! It’s a huge challenge considering that I was pretty much lying on my bed 24/7 totally inactive less than a week ago. Let’s just say by the end of the day that my legs hurt as well as various other parts of my body that I’d forgot existed! I’m usually exhausted physically and mentally after my workout.
The only danger with having such a goal is to obsessively pursue it till I miss the bar (one unfortunate day) , lose hope altogether and am back at step 1 – inactive and feeling negative. For all of you who know me, you know that this is a probable scenario. I run for my life with something until I am hit hard and then it all tends to go down hill from there. The plan in such a situation to get up and try again. I’ll try to accept the fact that I didn’t fulfil my goal for that particular day, but will hopefully wake up with a different attitude the day after.
I’ve been careful to note that I’m aiming to reach 7-10k, it really isn’t the end of the world if I fail at times. Doing something is better than doing nothing.
I don’t want this to sound like a diet attempt either. It absolutely is not. It’s not about weight, dieting or anything along those lines – it’s about mental health and mental stability. It’s about using my body physically to chase positives and in time, getting to lie with them, being able then to explore these positives – I’ll hopefully then be a lot less likely to finding myself in a fully blown crisis.
The Wonder wand / Brain
There is no magic wand for dealing with / healing depression or living with Borderline Personality Disorder. 4 long years of battling them have taught me that. The closest thing to a wonder wand is our brain, I suppose. By walking and using DBT skills to move my mind – I’m hoping to regain a sense of self, build my self confidence and move my mind to a more positive place. As the most complex organ in the body, the brain – I often think is underused, especially in a technological/digital age of convenience that sees everything happen extremely easily and fast. My aim with the walking and continuing with DBT sessions is to slow things down a bit whilst hopefully re-connecting my mind and body.
Part of my plan this week is going to meet a good friend that’s still in the psychiatric unit I was – to go for a walk and a picnic together. She is a dear friend that I think the world of; she also loves walking so happy days! Really hoping it won’t rain.
So, can steps make a difference? I am feeling brighter and a part of me feels more positive even after 4 days. Let’s hope it lasts! I’ll keep you updated.