She said move me move me. I’m locked up inside. I didn’t understand her, though God knows I tried. She said make me angry, just make me cry.. But no more grey mornings. I think I’d rather die. … James Taylor – Another Grey Morning
I have been plagued by depression most of my life. My mother used to call me highly strung and I was on a tonic at a very young age as a result. After I’d been diagnosed with depression later on in life, Mum and I talked about it and we realised I’d had depression since I was about 3. Shifting to the Blue Mountains had helped but not entirely. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt truly happy. I was numb. Not always sad, but just felt nothing. I think it’s a worse feeling than sad. “Nothing” is horrible. I always wonder why they call depression the Black Dog. I call it the Grey Dog. Black can be a beautiful backdrop for other colors.. Grey is just drab and dull.. It’s a nothing color. I hate grey.
About a year after my big move to the Blue Mountains, I was scouring an op shop one day, as I do and found a book called Change your Life in 7 Days by Paul McKenna. Now, I should probably tell you here, I am the queen of self help books. I’m always looking for that one little gem that clicks with me and I usually find something in every book. Staying on top of my moods has always been a long hard struggle but I try very hard to do it. I much prefer being happy to sad and it’s a full time occupation to achieve that. Now, the book was 50c. Being as picky as I am, I wasn’t going to buy it because it didn’t have the CD with it but Lachlan said he would look to see if it was available online, so I forked out the 50c and bought it.
I started reading it about a week later minus the CD and I have to say, it made a lot of sense but I can’t say it was life changing. About a month later, Lachlan found the CD online, downloaded it and gave it to me. I figured I’d listen to it before I went to sleep. Great idea, but I don’t think I ever heard the full thing. I was asleep within 5 minutes of starting it each night. Now I wasn’t a good sleeper back then. I heard everything and woke up at the drop of a hat, so to suddenly be falling asleep and staying asleep was unbelievable. I did wake up at the end of the hypnosis when he brings you out of it, but I went straight back to sleep. If nothing else, this was a good sleeping tool which in itself is priceless.
Don’t get me wrong.. he’s not boring. In fact he’s really interesting and I desperately tried to stay awake so I could listen to what he was saying. I have a huge interest in the way the brain works and wanted to learn his techniques, not of hypnosis but what he said to reprogram the brain. The lure of sleep was too much. I think years of little or no sleep caught up with me and I succumbed to the lull of his voice and the security I felt when listening to him.
I listened to it on a daily basis.. After 7 days i reevaluated how I felt and I can honestly say my life wasn’t changed but I was a lot less sleep deprived which did make me feel a bit better so I soldiered on. It didn’t matter to me that he wasn’t the magic answer I’d been looking for, he was helping me sleep, so it was all good. Sleep my friends is one of the greatest medicines for every ailment we have. Sleep deprivation will make you keep weight on, it will feed depression, it will inhibit healing of the body and mind. Yet as a society, we feed the obsession of no sleep. Our nightclubs are open all night.. Television stations show all the good programs as late as they can. With the popularity of the internet, we stay up later and later talking, researching, reading and just generally avoiding the necessary amount of sleep we need.
So with this knowledge, I put the need for change out of my head and carried on with my life, still listening but only for the benefits it gave me in sleep. It was after about a month, I suddenly realised I was happy.. Surely that couldn’t be right. I’m not talking about surface happy or environmental happy, I’m talking about inner happy that the gurus talk about. Let me clarify for those who don’t know what I mean.
Surface happy is where you can, not just act happy but be reasonably happy on the surface. An example of this is if someone is at a party. For a while they forget their pains and worries and are focused solely on the moment, so they are happy while they are in it. It’s not a deep happiness, it’s only on the surface. Their everyday worries, fears, pain, anger and unhappiness are lurking under the surface, ready for the moment when there is silence again to fill the void the surface happy has left.
Environmental happy is where you are buoyed by something that is happening in your life at the time. You’ve just won the lotto…. you’ve just bought a house… you & the family are taking a trip to Disneyland.. All great things.. but after a while, the worry creeps back in. You are genuinely happy for a while but then you wonder how long the money will last, whether you can afford to pay the mortgage if you lose your job, will the travel insurance pay out if something untoward happens when you’re away. The brain can be cruel. It never really shuts up.
Then there is inner happy.. Is it the state of blissful nirvana we all strive to reach? This one is so hard to describe unless you’ve experienced it. It’s an inner contentment. I’m not saying there are no worries associated with it. Life goes on, of course there are worries and still the normal roller coaster of emotions that go hand in hand with life. But you seem to be able to cope with them a little better as your soul is more relaxed. It’s like discovering the real you and liking you. It goes right to the core.
I didn’t remember ever feeling happy with myself so it was almost a new me. I still had the same problems.. I was still struggling financially.. I was still lonely in a place where I knew very few people… I was still struggling to come to terms with the loss of a child, regardless of how long ago. But the inner turmoil had settled. I was still a bit skeptical even though I was experiencing it.. How long would it last? Would I fall even lower from this happy height if it didn’t last? I was almost used to the way I felt and it was comfortable. Did I really think I could live with the new me if it lasted?
The answer was and still is a big, fat YES!!! The constant messages that were being repeated to my brain by the hypnosis CD had actually reprogrammed my brain to believe I was happy. You’ve all heard the “what you believe, you are” catch cries of the New Age followers but it’s true. I had listened repeatedly to the same phrases, telling me that my life was good and I was good… After a while it sinks in to the brain.
We all know this works for children. Tell them they are good and they will be.. tell them they are bad and they’ll prove you right. That’s brain programming.. So why is it so impossible to think that we can REprogram our brain the same way. Yes, a child’s brain is easier as its a blank canvas, but we can achieve the same results with our adult brains.
When Lachlan was having problems sleeping, I purchased “I can make you sleep” by the same, Paul McKenna. I figured it was worth a try and I owed Mr McKenna the royalties. Within a few days, Lachlan’s insomnia was a thing of the past. It had plagued him for years. Now when he has a night where his mind is working overtime, he puts it on and insomnia is beaten.
I have since purchased “I can make you thin” and “I can make you rich”. I have also found recordings for other things such as study, blueprints for the brain, radiant health and other subjects he’s done. Okay, I’m not rich or thin, so you can say, hey it doesn’t work. Let me tell you, when I did the I can make you thin, for weeks afterwards every time I went to get something to eat, I asked myself if I really wanted it. I wasn’t ready to let the weight go so I held on to it by ignoring that little voice in my head and went with the voice that said, yes you do want it. It does work..
As for the I can make you rich….. it’s not a magic spell.. it’s not a wish upon a star thing. My thoughts about money are so much healthier now and so is my management of it as a result. I don’t see it as my nemesis or the only thing I strive to acquire.. I see it as what it is.. just money.. necessary but my happiness isn’t dependent on it, wholly and solely. None of this is a “no responsibility on the recipient” type deal. You still have to work at it. It’s not a magic “one size fits all” type cure.
I have never said, nor will ever say, that I am cured of depression. I have depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But nowadays, the battle I wage is a lot less than it once was. The symptoms are easier to cope with. The severity of episodes is nowhere near as bad. The amount of time I stay within an episode is greatly reduced to what it once was. I may not be cured, but I am in control nowadays. Let me tell you folks.. that’s a damn good feeling.
When I finally go to Ireland, I want to seek out Paul Mckenna (he is English) and thank him for changing my life..Pay homage if you will. Of course, for me it was more like, change your life in a month or so.. but what’s a few weeks between friends when it comes to improving the way you live? Besides, that title doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as the one he chose. I thank him daily in my head for how I feel. I am forever grateful to that 50c book in the op shop. I am even more grateful that Lachlan told me not to be a tightarse and just buy it. ( By the way, I didn’t rob him of royalty, I ended up buying the book complete with CD brand new.)
Just for the record… I don’t have any affiliation to Paul McKenna.. I’m writing this because I believe hypnosis can really change your life. It can cure phobias, smoking, obesity and overall just improve your quality of life. If you want to have a read of his website click on his name here. Paul McKenna….He is not some amazing person who has some magic powers. There are lots of other people and places out there that offer one on one or group sessions too. Mind Mastery is one I can think of that runs from the Blue Mountains/Sydney area. The link is here. Mind Mastery… Hypnosis is a recognised and respected part of the medical system. Even if you think hypnosis can’t do what it professes to be able to, keep an open mind. You just never know when you may need it.
Nowadays, I’m a much happier person….. and as a result, you get to read my ramblings. I’m hoping you think that’s a good thing lol… For now, I’m going to go back out into my garden. I once again have the energy to do what I haven’t done in years. Oh and by the way…. I still hate grey!
Happy getting sleepier.. (oh and for the record, he doesn’t say that!)…. Livvy 🙂