Having lived with (and sought answers to) depression for some 40 years, I realised that the only person who really knew how to help me during depression was ME – but I wasn’t available at the time, being sunk in depression! Depressed Me and OK Me weren’t available at the same time. Unwell Me could see everything that was wrong with my life, but couldn’t do anything useful about it, and Well Me didn’t notice the things that were wrong, even though she could act if necessary. How could these two communicate? I began to leave notes for myself – in depression, if Unwell Me saw something she really wanted to change, she’d leave a note for Well me to look at when she got back. And Well Me would leave notes for Unwell Me, of various things she thought might help whilst I was depressed. Unwell Me’s only job is to try those things out and report back, so that Well Me can write a guide for Unwell Me to use when she’s completely fucked and unable to think.
This website is a result of that work. It’s the things that actually worked for me in depression – not always, but often enough that it’s worth trying them when I’m unwell.
The “Unwell Self” menu takes you to tips for managing when you’re depressed. “Well Self” has things that your well self can do, when s/he’s around, to prepare for depression. And “Support” has tips for people supporting someone with depression – this is where you can point friends and family.
You can also download my free wallet guide, which is a summary of these tips, to carry with you so you always have it available, and you can read them in more detail here on this site.
I also teach Nonviolent Communication, over at my other site, makinglifemorewonderful.com.au
St Francis Prayer
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
St Francis of Assisi
I help you make sense of things … of things that have happened to you, or of what other people are saying and doing, or how you’re thinking about something.
I help reframe, change perspective.
I offer practical and useful frameworks, different ways to see things.
I teach the wisdom of no defence. That defence is always* attack. That vulnerability is the safest place to be. *[I’m NOT talking about things like sexual or physical abuse here! Please keep yourself safe, to the best of your ability! I’m talking about the 99% of time that our negatively-biased thoughts and filters tell us we’re under attack.]
I teach self-connection – which is what we REALLY want, not the myths of happiness and positive thinking – and self-compassion.
I teach authenticity.
I teach trauma awareness, and gentleness with ourselves around our precious and painful dysfunctions.
I teach win/win
I teach speaking up and speaking out
I teach “no wonder”, and “you make sense”
I teach “being with”, not fixing
I teach that it’s not your fault – AND that it’s your responsibility. And that the kind of responsibility I’m talking about is actually freedom.
I teach by modelling all these things – vulnerability, compassion, connection, authenticity, courage.
I teach by telling my own stories.
I teach by being IN there with you, fighting the same battles.
I believe in people’s inherent “goodness” – by which I mean, no-one is out there intentionally trying to hurt you, they’re trying to manage there own stuff. That doesn’t mean you don’t get caught in the cross-fire … but the pain is less when you’re not telling yourself they’re trying to kill you.
I believe in people wanting to give, in preferring love, when given the choice, and the ability to choose it.