For those of you who follow me on twitter (@depressednotsad) you may have seen for the last few days I’ve been doing a post every day with the hashtag #3goodthings. I am doing this because through my job I have been lucky enough to receive some coaching from the lovely Jon Bartlett (@projectlibero ) and it was a suggestion he made to me.

I know that I (like many others) have the tendency to focus on the negative, or “bad things” that happen to me everyday, but the #3goodthings exercise, otherwise known as The Three Blessings exercise is meant try to focus your attention on the good things that happen everyday rather than on the negative.

The exercise is explained here on You Tube by Martin Seligman Ph.D. A professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania

As you will see he suggests doing it just before bed. However, I personally feel this is not necessary, although I have more naturally been doing it in the evening when I have had chance to “review” my day. I have also found that by tweeting it using the hashtag #3goodthings I am more likely to do it.

The idea comes from Positive Psychology and there is scientific evidence that the exercise simultaneously improves happiness and decreases depression. (Seligman, M.E.P., Steen, T.A., and Peterson, C., Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions, 2005) http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/articleseligman.pdf

I think it is definitely worth a go, and have already found that after 4 days it is making me think about my day differently. In those 4 days I have also found it is not always easy, but it’s making me recognise the small things and the things that perhaps I take for granted!

Some of my lovely twitter friends have already joined me in doing this, and I’d love for you to do the same, so for the next week try to thing of #3goodthings and tweet using the hashtag. I’m already looking forward to reading your good things. ūüôā

Depression, Mental Health, Uncategorized

The thing I can’t talk about….TW: sexual abuse

I’m not sure why I’m writing this post.

I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do.

I’m not sure if I’ll regret it and delete it.

You see, there are things that I will write in this post that very few people in the world know about. Because I can’t talk about it. I can’t deal with it.

But weirdly I have told 2 people in the last 2 weeks, and alluded to it while talking to my counsellor, and so maybe it’s something I do need to talk about? Because maybe it’s so intricately tied up with how I feel about myself that if I don’t talk about it it will just affect me forever.

Interestingly I told none of these people any details.

So, let’s just get it out there…..I was abused!

Ok. So I said it!

Let’s try a bit more…..I was sexually abused.

That was harder to say!

So I’m going to say the two hardest bits together.

I was sexually abused by my brother, and my brother is younger than me!

Ok. There you go!

So, now all those feelings of me being judged are there. And that’s why I don’t talk about it!

Because I feel ashamed of it!

I not only feel ashamed that for 8 years of my life my brother abused me, but also that he was younger than me, so I should have been able to stop it right? Because he was younger!

I told my parents!

Not at the time. I told them 7-8 years ago when it all came out during the counselling I had because of my last bout of depression.

They didn’t do anything! They got upset….briefly. They went to see a counsellor who apparently suggested perhaps I made it up due to some kind of sibling jealousy. WTAF!! At that point I was on anti-depressants and had been off work for 3 months. And my counsellor felt that it was probably one of the reasons I had got depressed. Why the hell would I make it up?! They also suggested that if perhaps it were true maybe it’s because he’d been abused by someone?

So, I have to assume that is why my parents didn’t do anything. Because y’know he *could* be a victim too. Well yes, he could I guess, in theory. But even if it were true (and I believe he denied it) it doesn’t excuse it! It doesn’t mean I will ever forgive him. It doesn’t mean it screwed me up any less. It doesn’t mean I don’t continue to have nightmares and flashbacks. It doesn’t mean that sleep and my sleep patterns will be any less screwed up as it is so intertwined with the abuse I suffered (he would often abuse me when I slept). It doesn’t mean I have a million and one trust issues, which I put down to hiding the abuse so long. It doesn’t mean I don’t get upset when they talk about him in front of me even when I’ve asked them not to. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to scream every time I see the mahoosive wedding photo they have of him and his wife right above the TV so I can see it every time I go to their house.

So, I’m going to talk about it! No, that’s not true. I’m just not going to hide it anymore!

Depression, Ex, Husband, Me, Mental Health, Uncategorized

Just Keep Swimming…

This week I planned to do a whole series on blog posts about my relationship and (fairly)¬†recent separation from my husband (The Ex). I thought it would be therapeutic, especially as this week would have been our 9 year wedding anniversary. You see, despite what I think¬†many real-life people believe I am “over him”. I don’t want him back! However, what I am not over is alot¬†of the feelings¬†I’ve been left with¬†about myself,¬†a loss of trust in people¬†and a general¬†feeling of¬†loneliness. Also,¬†I am far from over this latest bout of depression….in fact I feel very little¬†different¬†from¬†what¬†I did a year ago, except now I am¬†getting ever more weary¬†of fighting.

I’ve had a few conversations lately with people (including my counsellor) about how well I am doing to “keep the plates spinning”, to keep working, to keep parenting my young daughter, to keep cooking and cleaning and paying the bills. But I don’t feel like I’m doing well. The opposite.¬†I feel those plates are hardly spinning at all, in fact they are precariously balanced and if one of them drops the whole lot of them will come tumbling down. And I’m scared. Because I don’t know what I’ll do if that happens. I¬†have been feeling very low, having very dark thoughts,¬†crying¬†at the drop of a hat, losing my patience and temper more than usual. I’ve turned into an insomniac and I¬†feel both mentally and physically exhausted.

So, I’ve made¬†the decision that this week I have to start being kinder to myself, because I can’t risk any of those plates dropping. That means I’ll be trying to eat better, trying to stick to my “self-care” bedtime, and generally doing the minimum possible in every way just to keep going. I’m also going to try not to beat myself up over the things I don’t manage to achieve. That means you may or may not see those blog posts this week or even this month. But all I can do at the moment is¬†take advice from “Dory” from Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo….


(Picture courtesy of http://frenchieproject.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/just-keep-swimming.html)