Fighting Depression

When Plan Z fails – fighting depression

What do you do when you run out of letters in the alphabet?

Sometimes, no matter how hard you push and try and shove and battle, you’re stuck. You can’t move on with your life the way you want. And that is bloody annoying. Now, you know me, I’m not a quitter – when I’m faced with a problem, I battle away at it. If Plan A doesn’t work, I’ll try Plan B, Plan C, Plan D and so on and so forth wearily through the alphabet. This time, I’ve got to Plan Z and, guess what? Plan Z fell flat on its nose too. So now what? Give up? Hell no!

There are times, it strikes me, when you just have to submit to the Hand of Fate or whatever you want to call it and…wait. .

Does that mean you wait passively? Does it mean slumping into depression or necking a bottle of wine (or more) a night? Nah. Been there, worn that T-shirt. It’s old. I figure that, even when you’re really neck deep in Stuck (and quite possibly nose deep in Shit too), there are still things you can do. Exterior circumstances might be immovable forces but you can still work on the things over which you have control – ie yourself. So I’m using this waiting time to get myself in order.

When life gets tough often the first things we let slip are diet and exercise. If you’re feeling low it’s the easiest thing in the world to reach for the comfort food, to grab the booze…to say ‘Sod off!’ to the gym and to slump at your desk, or sink into the sofa rather than going for a run or a swim or whatever. Of course it’s a vicious circle. Eating shit food and necking alcohol plunges you further into the depression cycle. Forgoing exercise makes you miss out on all those gorgeous endorphins. So you get more depressed and, well…you know how it goes.

My exercise regime has slipped of late. I blamed it on having two injured shoulders but really, I was just making excuses. So I’ve started doing a weekly circuit class at the gym, and got a new programme too – because I know that, when my muscles work hard, my mind smiles. Can’t get to the gym? Can’t afford it? Not a problem. I could adapt my plan for a DIY home workout if anyone’s interested?  Or, really, just do whatever you like as long as you’re moving – it could be walking, chair yoga, dancing like a loon round your living room…whatever.

Food-wise I had been letting my diet go to hell in a handcart and, yup, my mood nosedived along with my blood sugar levels. So I’ve been hauling myself back into healthy eating. No extreme juice fasts or detox diets, no hair-shirt stuff – just good balanced healthy eating.  Again, if anyone’s interested, I am happy to give more details in another post.

The other part of the equation is meditation. I can’t make the bastard world outside me change (at least, not yet), but I can always change my interior world. Too busy? Let me really annoy you by quoting the old Zen adage:

“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy: then you should sit for an hour.”

So here I am. Waiting. But not just waiting – exercising and meditating and eating seriously decent food. And it feels… better.


  1. Thank you Jane , I’m off work sick today , feeling meh! I’m going to meditate now , I know it helps me to feel better .

  2. Author

    Oh no! Get well soon, Tracy. Yup, meditation will help plus lots of TLC. Deal? xx

  3. How very timely. I’m at the bottom of that cycle, hands on rim of hole, peeping out to see what it could be like if I could just put my foot on the next step of the ladder…….

  4. Author

    Okay, so let’s do this together, huh? 🙂

  5. I have been mired in…I hate to call it depression, it is more like ennui, for over a year. I am firmly stuck, except for meditation, exercise and diet, because those are my constants!!

  6. Author

    I baulked at using the word depression as it’s not that for me…but figured it might chime for a lot of people who do feel that way. Ennui, yes I understand that. For me, it’s really frustration more than anything – like battling glue. You have big immovable externals, I know that…
    Meditation, exercise and good diet are good constants in any fixed state, I reckon. xxx

  7. Hi Jane, needed to read this after the shittiest year in quite a few shitty years! A timely prod to get back to meditating though I wish I could make myself do it when I need to not when I am beginning to get back on top! xx

  8. Author

    Hey Pip, the past is past…done and dusted. If you’re doing it now, that’s all that matters. So sorry to hear that you’ve had such a shitty time. Hope things turn your way soon, dear heart. xx

  9. Not all plans work but if you change the plan you have more chance it will work then if you give up when I get to Z Jane I always start again it’s plan A1 then B1 to Z1 never give up, never say never the experience along the way is priceless 🙂

  10. Author

    Yup, I had that feeling, Jay. I’m not a giver-upper, no siree… 🙂 Thank you.

  11. Author

    True innit? 🙂

  12. Author

    Thank you, dear Rachel. I’m fine, really…curiously. xxx

  13. Author

    Good plan. 🙂

  14. Just living well is my answer. I hope. Not always getting there but somehow managing to live well in a lot of moments despite how very hard that part of life is which is my father’s motor neurone disease. I don’t think he has much longer now. I hope he does not. No one should have to live this. But still the fire glows, the babies grow, the sun shines or the wine glows in the glass.

  15. Just what I needed to make me pick myself up and get back to having a better diet and exercising more. Look out dog the walks are about to get longer and I will find time to practice my yoga every day.

  16. Good evening Jane. I’m glad to have found a way to click over here. It’s grand to see that your helpful, wise words.

    What a fast moving year 2015 has been. I cannot quite believe that I am in the midst of painting my Christmas tea cup cards. Want to send one to you, and hope the address I’ve got is still current. xo

  17. Author

    Frances! How very lovely to hear from you. Yes, this year has flown past. Oh yes, I’m still at the same address for the time being. Your cards are a highlight of my Christmas, my year in fact. 🙂 xxxxx

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