Sink or Swim…

I feel invigorated, full of energy, ready for anything! For the first time in over a year I’ve been swimming…doesn’t sound like much, but I used to swim every week and I loved it as much as writing.

Photo: Aberieddy By Lisa Shambrook

Then I allowed depression to pull me under and the lack of motivation kicked in. I’ve blogged about my depression before here and my love of swimming here, but didn’t really realise what an antidote to depression swimming is…
As I feel myself sinking in real life it takes effort to stay afloat…but this time I’ve had an influx of love and support from amazing friends.
Last time I slipped under I relied heavily on antidepressants and dealt with the excessive lethargy they left me with, this time I want to take a different approach.
I don’t want to sleep, I want to feel alive!
The answer is exercise…and I’m very grateful to have children who want me to live and not drown like a zombie!
So here I am, ready to dive in and power on through life no matter what whirlpool tries to drag me down into its murky depths. To start with I’ll swim; there’s nothing better than feeling the water envelope and lift me…then diving beneath and swimming…just myself and the water…

Nothing more relaxing to me than launching into a pool and surging underwater, those few mere moments of being alone and at one with the elements. Then the rhythmic movements of swimming, kicking, breathing…living and feeling the power of life within…
If money was no object I’d have a pool…it’s the one luxury I would take and enjoy.
How do you cope when life’s pressures become too much?
And if money was not an issue what would you do/have to help?

20 thoughts on “Sink or Swim…

  1. JO

    This pool looks bliss, Lisa – I hope the benefits stayed with you for days.What do I do? Turn the phone off. Walk if it's fine. And I have been known to reach for the wine. And I don't think it's money that stops me doing anything more constructive – I know what's likely to work. And sometimes it's just quiet time and space that I need.(Though if someone said, 'let's go to Africa,' I might not say no!)

  2. lizzie loodles

    I had no idea you suffered with depression but then why would I? I don't know other than through your words/writing which is so beautiful, inspirational and uplifting!! Anyway your question . .I tend to exercise too; Zumba is the best as the music just lifts you even when you feel like poo! Swimming is good too but I can't swim under water or with my face in it!!! And if money was no object, I'd have a pool, a gym and of course a personal trainer!! That would make me smile!! 😉 xxx

  3. Emma Pass

    Lovely post, Lisa. Great to hear you're feeling re-energised and I hope it continues.My favourite way to de-stress is walk with The Hound, or take a long bubble bath with a glass of wine. And if money was no object? Hmmm… I'd probably get a whole pack of Hounds to take out for walks! 😀

  4. Abi Burlingham

    Aw, what a lovely and honest post, Lisa. I love swimming too. I find it really clears my head, makes my skin tingle, releases those lazy old endorphines and makes me feel refreshed… and of course, there's my dog walks through the fields. I also love listening to music and taking photos, and just being with friends who I can connect to intellectually and who make me laugh! Heavens knows where I'd be without these things. Really glad you're feeling more up again. It's not easy to pull ourselves out of these spells is it? But you seem to have found your answer, which is lovely!

  5. Lisa Shambrook

    Thanks for appreciating my writing Lizzie! They also help me through a depression, and so does reading everyone else's inspiring tales… and yes, I'd smile with a pool, gym and personal trainer of my own!

  6. Lisa Shambrook

    The dogs can be life savers can't they, one look from those golden eyes and my spirits are lifted! Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to have more… all that unconditional adoration!

  7. Lisa Shambrook

    Thanks Abi, definitely feeling more inspired. Swimming and dog walking, exercise for the soul as well as our bodies! And friends…where would we be without them? Online friends and physical friends (Ok…that sounds weird, but you know what I mean!) abound, when I felt so low I had no idea I would get so much support, friends can make a huge difference!

  8. Rowanwolf

    I love to swim and used to do it as a kid all the time. (we were lucky, we had a pool.) Now though, I love to hike in the woods, usually with my dog. Or sometimes I walk the edges of the surf, collecting shells and driftwood. However, if money was no object, I'd own a horse again. I had one years ago when I was married and we lived on the Marine Base in Arizona. It was cheap. I had an old (25 year old) quarter horse named Ben. It's something I always loved and wish I could do again. It's funny. All of the things folks have said here connect in some way us to Nature, to Life, to each other. Walking outside, animals, water, things like that. These are the real antidote for depression. These things and the kind hearts of our true soul friends, Anam Cara.This was a wonderful post, Lisa. Thank you so much for all you contribute. 😀

  9. Lisa Shambrook

    My sister is bi-polar and owns horses, they're her life, so I really get the horse thing Stacy! I know that they've literally saved her life when she's been in crisis. I'm thinking that nature and exercise seem to be the answer. I've been told that exercise creates the 'feel good' endorphins (like chocolate and love do!), and I'm a firm believer that animals and nature do the same! I too love wandering through the surf, even when it's cold over here in the UK, I do it in wellies in the Winter! x

  10. Bullish

    When life is too much, I either exercise (walk, bike ride, etc – because those endorphins are nature's gold), hunker down with family and participate in an activity – do a puzzle, watch a movie – or I curl up with a good book and run away into an inky adventure written by someone else's imagination!! If money were no object – okay, the goofy truth is, I'd build a big creative community commune – because being around other creative people – artists, musicians, writers – is magical. I love see how they create and being involved in their process – it fuels my own creativity and it soothes my soul. But you see, I have you, Lisa, and Stacy, and Lizzie, and all the others, so in essence, I do have that creative community even if our commune is virtual!! So, you can come over to my virtual house anytime day or night and swim in the beautiful pool as much as you like!! HUGS

  11. Rakel' Sampson

    This post was lovely read but made me want to reach through and give you really big hugs! (I'm six feet tall and it comes with the territory)The comparison between swimming and depression was perfect, but your soul is calling you to the solution (swimming) without your head realizing it. You captured the struggle very well – to sink or swim (in both senses).When I get stressed, I need to be by myself, so I often grab a cup of coffee and visit several antique stores downtown. The warmth of coffee is comforting and viewing all of those old lovely things is inspiring. If money were no object – well – I really want to open a bed and breakfast where I can have fun being a hostess who allows others to relax.

  12. Lisa Shambrook

    Oooh Ruth, I'll be over to that pool as soon as! 🙂 The online writing community is Amazing (note the capital A…) I'm getting into the physical side (exercise) but must never forget the power of escaping with a good book, and with all my writer friends…I'm never short of a good read!

  13. Lisa Shambrook

    I'll take virtual hugs! I do love a good hot chocolate and wandering around beautiful things… Aesthetics are important to me and wandering around pretty shops (maybe picking up a trinket or two) is both soothing and inspiring! Running a bed and breakfast would terrify me…too much of a loner, but I'll come and stay at yours Rakel'…then we can go and use Ruth's virtual pool!

  14. G. B. Miller

    Bike riding and walking. Used to do alot of walking until I decided to dig out the bicycle. Now I explore my town on wheels and just for the fun of it, I bought a backpack to haul along my pen and paper and other assorted what nots. That way, if I wanted to take a break and do a little writing, I could.

  15. Lisa Shambrook

    I'd have to get a lot fitter before I tackle a bicycle again G.B. I tried it before and didn't get too far before my legs killed me! Love the freedom of a bike though. Right now I'm managing swimming and lots of dog walking!

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