While I was at university, like many students, I did not lead a very healthy lifestyle. Three years later I graduated with a body that had not been treated very well. I left university and moved to London I quickly found myself in quite a bad place emotionally – I had to take the giant step into in the big wide world and I did not adapt to the change well. Before long, I found that I needed to go to counselling because a great big lump of worry and panic had lodged itself deep into my chest. My brain was taken over by still and misty grey fog that left me unable to think about anything but the way I was feeling, a feeling that anyone who has been diagnosed with depression will be able to relate to. I honestly did not know what to do – I went out with my friends to try and shake the feeling, but alcohol only made me feel worse and poor Nick then had to deal with me crying ALL day instead of for just part of it! I comfort ate and curled up on the sofa while constantly asking my family ‘why’, ‘why am I feeling like this’? The answer, sadly or not, is that nobody can answer that question for you but you.
It was then suggested that I start on a course of antidepressants and just continued with the counselling in the hope that I could dislodge this dammed lump in my chest and get rid of it. I completely went against this suggestion. This was a route I did not want. Pills were not the journey for me. If it was not for the financial side of things, I would have loved to continue with counselling – my advice to anyone would be to never be afraid of counselling, it can be a lifesaving tool and can provide a profound release. Having counselling does not mean you are a nutter – and nor does depression for that matter. Together with my Dad, we decided that it was TOOLS that I needed and from that moment, the word ‘tools’ has become central to the way I live and is infact to the very driving force behind what CLOVE food co. is all about. We all need tools in life, and never more than when you are reaching rock bottom emotionally or physically. These were the three tools that I turned to in order to get better:
- Nutritious food
- Outdoor exercise
- Routine & stability
What is weird, is that I already knew how to cook really well at this stage but the good, nutritious food that I had been brought up on and learnt to create myself had sort of gone out the window while at university. Naturally nutritious food was the first tool to start using and I can honestly say with conviction that food is the most powerful of all medicines. Thankfully, after some time, my tools began to work. I would focus on one at a time and then slowly introduce the next. For me, I just don’t know how I would have got through that period without those tools and they are still tools that I turn to every day.
Depression is most often caused by a chemical imbalance in the body and in a lot of cases it can be cured with the right approach. I feel so lucky that my approach has worked 100% and I am completely back to my normal self. However the fear of feeling that way again has stayed with me and I never EVER want to feel as low as I did then. As a result, I now live life preventing rather than curing a feeling of depression. I also believe that these three tools that Dad and I came up with are helping me to prevent rather than cure a whole host of other illnesses in addition – everything from the common cold to cancer to thyroid problems.
So if any of you find or have found yourself in a similar position, or indeed any other position where you need to make yourself feel better, then I hope that the work I do with this blog will help you too. I hope it acts as a TOOL for you as from my own experience, I found that there were far too few out there.