Clarification of thought
One of the areas of my life affected by my experience with melancholia was my thinking, or rather lack of ability to think. I remember vividly how I was no longer able to concentrate or focus on any material that I tried to read. When I did try and focus on a more complex thought such as a couple of paragraphs, it seemed fruitless. The thought was like a vapor, in that it disappeared as rapidly as it came. I was only aware that the fog was beginning to lift when my mood gradually lifted. It was like the sun coming up in the East, burning off the fog, layer by layer. And that leads me to the next point in my recovery. With the fog disappearing, and my concentration slowly reappearing, I was able to have a thought and hold on to it. I noticed that when I read something it managed to stay in my memory.
One of the laws of recovery, which works for me, is the saying, “Move the body and the mind will follow.” I found this to be true. It also confirmed for me how the mind will work more efficiently when the body is moving. That is why I personally put so much stock in walking or any other physical exercise which has a direct effect on the brain.
I also have learned how reading and writing down one’s reflections helps to clarify one’s thinking. You see in black and white your thoughts–now before you on paper or on the computer screen. In other words they are not flowing out there unattended in cyber space but instead are sitting right there in front of you. That is why in our recovery program of the 12 Steps it is recommended that one begin writing down various issues that have surrounded you in your life. By doing so you can determine how these items have influenced you positively or negatively. And since we are speaking of depression here, this is a process in which writing down gives us a degree of clarification as we examine one issue after another. Many times the issues or events are interlinked and hold the key to understanding our thinking and behavior. Reflection or as it says in the Steps that through prayer and meditation (clarification of thought) we sought to improve our contact with God.
Hopefully, soon, I will post some questions about one’s own recovery and you can answer them at home, in your own time and space. You too can make time, by reading, writing and find for yourself a greater purpose in life through a continued clarification of thought.