I will call myself T, as I like to drink a lot of the Green variety...

I am Dutch, but have been living in England for almost 20 years now, as I have moved here with my English partner whom I met whilst he was working in Holland.
We are now both in our 40's.

I hope to use this blog as a Journal of Online Therapy (or "a therapy session with the universe" as Trisha calls it) for whatever goes on in my head/life, I am trying to understand or make sense of or have problems dealing with, as lately more than just my mum have mentioned that "writing things down, helps!" for whatever reason...

And I will try, but I was useless at keeping a diary (couldn't see the point, waaaaay too much effort), so can't be sure of the outcome.
Baby Steps...

So here is my T for Tao...

So far, at the moment, trying to be a gardener, gardening and using the design aspect as a creative outlet, gives me more joy and therapy than anything else, and when possible, peace of mind and a sense of purpose, as well as my immensely beloved now 4 year old Doggy who keeps me company, makes my heart smile just by looking at him and stops me from having to talk to myself all day (which happens to be a very persistent habit), whilst taking Tai Chi classes adds to my sense of balance and harmony, adding some strength in the process.

A few years ago, a GP told me I was suffering from depression, and probably have had 'lapses' before.
That particular one was just bad enough to go and find out what was happening to me.

I didn't and don't have any suicidal tendencies and try not to take any drugs of any kind, so I was and am not on prescribed medication, but do believe in homeopathic medicine and alternative approaches and came across something (I don't know when exactly anymore... my timeline memory has never been good...) that I was willing to give a try: St. John's Wort capsules.

If you have never heard of this and you suffer from depression or anxiety, please please please check this out as I am sure this and the CBT eventually helped me to get out of this episode (which all in all lasted about 5 years), and is worth giving a try at any time when having difficulties dealing with things emotionally.
But be aware that it will interfere with (amongst others) Oral Contraception and can't be taken with blood thinners, so ask your 'prescriber' to be sure, please.
Please, if you can, give it a try if you are desperate and are losing the will to live or the fight to want to go on.
PLEASE!!! If it could make a difference, wouldn't you at least want to know...?

I was advised to see a free counsellor for 8 sessions, which I could only attend after being on the waiting list for 6 months and then had to go back on that list to be able to receive the same again, and again, and again.
I did this for three years...
Unfortunately, the NHS counsellor couldn't be much more than a way to vent for me, but at least it helped my thoughts from just going round and round in my head and giving me therefore the 'space' and opportunity to find other ways to help myself.

At the time I was trying to do a university degree and had serious trouble attending and finishing, let alone submitting projects, but did get help from the university's counsellors as an added service to the NHS counsellor I was seeing as well.

At some point I was asked if I wanted to try something they were doing experimentally, they had one place left, as they also couldn't really do much more than be someone to talk to.
As I was still looking for something that should be able to help me more/better, I started a program called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for depression, but more on a self help basis that was being tested there.

It meant I had a once a week session with a computer, without someone else being present (I could ask for a counsellor follow-up if I felt the need for whatever reason, but never did), taking me through questions and suggestions, coming up at the end of each session with something to try and sort out or start to do, like baby-steps, for that week.
It was only supposed to take about an hour each time, but I couldn't get through it in sometimes less than 2 1/2 hours, trying to do the best I could, get through each task, being honest with myself about my answers and taking the notes I needed to take.

It was hard at first...
Who wants to drive for an hour to get there (that's how far away the university was) and then sit alone in a room trying to make sense of what a computer program is asking you to do for that length of time, whilst I was having trouble getting up after a minimum of 12 hours sleep and getting through another day anyway? And I have always resented Homework, and this was giving me things to do as well!

But somehow I had to go and do it, I needed to find something that helped me get out of It someday and as long as I kept looking, I would come across something, anything, surely!?
And the strangest thing is, that after the first 2 or 3 really emotionally hard sessions, I realised I was feeling better leaving the room than when I entered it that day..! And that happened every time from then on, making it easier to get out of bed and do it all again the next week.

At the end I was asked what I thought about the chances of it being a successful Self Help Therapy, and all I could think of was, that " don't have to understand how it works to help you feel better".
As that is what it did, on a different level than the counselling (which just eased it for a bit).
I actually started to feel better on a daily basis and eventually got out of the spiral.

But unfortunately, I live in country that is essentially not my own and have to try and cope with 'missing' and homesickness on a daily basis, as well as a growing (undiagnosed) anxiety problem (which I am now trying to overcome as well as not sinking back into depression), all feeding my deeply rooted Someday Syndrome whilst Neurosis also runs in the family, with most likely some form of Adult ADD/ADHD as a wicked twist on top, whilst my so-called Other Half turns out to be an egocentric, chauvinistic, Bully with narcissistic tendencies and has to be suffering from undiagnosed Adult ADHD (because that would explain just about everything about him!), who tells me Abuse is only "when you hit somebody, and I don't hit you, so I don't abuse you"...

...whilst I try to keep getting up every time he mentally and psychologically 'floors' me, to get on with tackling my issues by myself, as I had to come to the conclusion that all I have tried over the years to make him understand, see sense and stop/change/help, have not really had enough of an effect to make me be able to keep on living with him, if he doesn't want to go and find help himself, which is what I am trying to get him to do as a last resort...

And that breaks my heart...

...I know he deeply loves me in his own utterly inadequate, everything-for-him kind of way.

I left my country, my life, my family and everything I hold dear, everything I love and is of the utmost importance to be myself and exist... for him... to have a life with 'The One I Couldn't Possibly Be Without'... to love him and be loved by him... I can't help but love him so intensely that the thought of having to leave him terrifies me more than anything else I can lose...

...for now...

...until I get strong enough... face that worst fear that paralyses my actions and interferes with my mind and logic... and health... cope with the realisation I have lost someone, something important to me, in my life, again... deal with the immense unbearable pain of 'losing'... which will come... let go...

"To hold, you must first open your hand.
Let go."
(Tao te Ching)