Jo Clutton is a writer, artist, traveller, wild west nut intrigued by science and renaissance soul with a potty sense of humour.
She writes light-hearted anecdotal articles, many of which were published in a local newspaper and in various magazines, and now I’m publishing on her blog Creating My Odyssey
Jo’s blog chronicles the rebuild of her polymath creativity and life after a complete recovery from thirty years of depression, which was a miraculous event. Jo is hoping to inspire and encourage other creative people and those with mental health issues, and, hopefully, give some enjoyment!
“My blog is a great vehicle for my creativity, much of which has been hidden under a bushel. I’m also editing the novel. I’ve been writing forever, on and off, which helped keep me sane during young parenthood and depression. Alias Jeannie Delaney is the life story of a devastating cowgirl who is the fastest gun in the west and also bisexual. Since my recovery from depression, I decided it’s time to get it out there, and my Husband, who is a brilliant critic, is helping me do just that.”
Here, Jo shares her wellness story with us.
Since my complete recovery from depression, a calm state of mind has slowly evolved. It’s so good! I’ve always been excitable and prone to tempers, but not now. Excitable still maybe – that’s part of me – but tempers, not so much. Still there, but modified!
This is partly due to medication change, but also to cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT for short. I recommend CBT to anyone, not just to those suffering from mental health issues. My depression was clinical, but excurbated by the benign neglect of family – parents and siblings. And keeping silent about it. After thirty years of emotional neglect, plus anxiety, brain patterns become distorted and cognitive behavioral therapy gradually straightens them out. Slowly, and in my case, over a period of three years.
Non clinical depression and anxiety starts with a negative thought. CBT takes these thoughts, takes them apart, and challenges each fact. Is it true, that negative thought? Let’s have the facts. In my case, when we hit on the problem, I would cry. We knew then what we were tackling. It does help enormously if you have a CBT partner, particularly someone like my scienfically minded husband!
Other means of staying calm and well?
Talk. Talk. Talk.
I was discouraged by parents and siblings from talking about it and the feelings festered and grew. A true friend will listen. If necessary, ‘divorce’ the unsympathetic or ‘toxic’ people in your life. I’ve done so and it works. When I had reached complete wellness, I decided that I was no longer going to risk losing that. I’ve written a blog post about it.
Pursue interests and hobbies and start new ones, particularly creative and active ones. Make friendships and nurture them! Obviously relaxation is vital. My relaxation consists of regular morning coffees in a cafe with Husband and talking about everything and anything. Humour. Vital! That potty humour invested in both of us has probably done the most to help us. I can’t emphasise humour too much. Yoga is good, and sleep, of course. When I began to wake up feeling good, I couldn’t believe it! I’d never felt like that before. Hooray!
There you have it. My personal view. I hope some of this helps.
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Check out Jo’s blog and social media accounts:
Creating My Odyssey
(Kitty Le Roy’s Wild West Saloon)